Eats Beat: Enchilada diner rolling into TCU neighborhood

08/12/2014 11:18 AM

08/12/2014 11:20 AM

Fort Worth is an enchilada town.

Fajita grills come and go, and taquerias keep reinventing the genre.

But nothing in Tex-Mex captivates Fort Worth like a good enchilada plate, and that’s what owners of new Pegaso Mexican Diner are counting on.

Pegaso, opening next week on Bluebonnet Circle, is all about enchiladas, with a choice of three tortillas, six fillings and eight fresh-made sauces on a $6-$7 platter.

It’s a counter-service restaurant with street tacos, tortas and sides such as roasted corn.

Pegaso is a team effort by Dallas investor Jay Coates and legendary Dallas restaurateur Monica Greene, a frequent Fort Worth visitor when she owned Dallas favorites Monica’s Aca y Alla and Ciudad.

They chose a TCU neighborhood that long has lacked a dominant Tex-Mex restaurant or margarita stand, although diners throng to the original Fuzzy’s Taco Shop nearby.

Asked this week whether the demand is there for a Tex-Mex diner, Greene replied, “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?”

Or Pegaso’s chipotle chicken enchiladas with green sauce?

“In a sea of taco and burrito restaurants, we’ll be able to compete with our enchiladas,” Greene said.

That was the idea behind her short-lived BEE (Best Enchiladas Ever) in Dallas, but Pegaso has broader appeal and specialty margaritas with a patio and late-night take-out taco window.

It’s branded as “Tex-Mex comfort food.”

Coates said they chose the location specifically.

“My uncle grew up a mile and a half away and said the circle used to be a hopping place,” he said.

“We think this location is perfect for families and students.”

Pegaso, 3516 Bluebonnet Circle, is expected to open for lunch and dinner next week, adding breakfast in mid-September in time for those morning TCU football games; 682-708-3127.

Rolling with Hatch chiles

Pegaso joins a city with impressive little enchilada cafes such as Enchiladas ¡Ole! , where owner Mary Pérez is back from an El Paso round-trip Monday.

She picked up 500 pounds of freshly harvested Hatch green chiles for dishes beginning Wednesday at Enchiladas ¡Ole!, open Monday and Tuesday for lunch and Wednesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner at 901 N. Sylvania Ave., 817-984-1360, enchiladasole.com.

(Another great little enchilada stop: Mariposa’s Latin Kitchen, 5724 Locke Ave. mariposaslatinkitchen.com. And don’t miss green chicken enchiladas at Esperanza’s Cafe and Bakery.)

Cajun in the country

Is Glen Rose the new western outpost of Cajun cooking?

The Bayou Cajun Eatery’s owners hope so.

Chef Julia Vandiver’s simple Cajun cafe has lasted a year on U.S. 67 and looks like a keeper in a town known more for pie than dining.

The Bayou is a very simple, casual cafe with homemade, unassuming dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya and etouffee. Sundays, the Cajun menu rests in favor of all-you-can-eat catfish.

It’s not a destination drive, but can be a stop if you drive that way to Austin, the Big Bend or points south; 509 N.E. Big Bend Trail, 254-989-0322, facebook.com/TheBayouACajunEatery.

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