Food & Drink

A bigger Blue Mesa, and a little bit of Philly in Fort Worth

A lunch combo with a salmon taco, cheese enchilada and chicken adobe pie at Blue Mesa Grill.
A lunch combo with a salmon taco, cheese enchilada and chicken adobe pie at Blue Mesa Grill.

The new Blue Mesa Grill is open, with plenty of what west Fort Worth craves: parking.

The $3.7 million, two-story palace at 612 Carroll St. has large dining rooms, a breezy patio facing Montgomery Plaza and a 300-seat upstairs party terrace with a skyline view.

Most of all, it has a parking lot on West Sixth Street with plenty of space in a congested neighborhood.

The time to go to Blue Mesa — or anywhere in the West Seventh Street shopping area — is lunchtime, when parking is easy and so are the prices.

For $11, Blue Mesa’s three-item combination lunch is plenty for anybody. Try it with a chicken-tomatillo enchilada or a blue-corn cheese enchilada in three-chile sauce, and ask for the “taco of the month,” red-chile salmon with black beans and pineapple-habanero relish.

A grilled fish lunch platter is $15, and the Navajo grilled chicken-avocado-corn salad is $10. For $9, there’s a combo with a salad and Blue Mesa’s signature “Painted Desert” soup (black bean with corn chowder) or tortilla soup.

That leaves plenty of money and room for the guajllo-apple pan dowdy with dulce de leche ice cream, chocolate empanadas, goat-cheesecake, pecan tart or flan sampler ($6).

The new Blue Mesa also has a built-in serving line for the Sunday brunch, served beginning at 9 a.m. for west-side breakfast seekers.

It’s open daily for lunch and dinner on Carroll Street west of Montgomery Plaza; 817-332-6372,

The four other locations include Lincoln Square in Arlington, which also has midweek brunch on Wednesdays. (Note for Thanksgiving Eve.)

A Philly steak pheast

Fred’s Downtown Philly finally brought the taste of Philadelphia west.

The renowned cheesesteak chain, patterned after the North Philly stands of founder Fred Walker’s childhood, is open at 5735 S. Hulen St., next to a Starbucks, Raising Cane’s and Taco Cabana.

Fred’s is the gold standard for Philly cheesesteaks in Dallas-Fort Worth. There are 25 choices for $4.59-$12.59, but the showcase is the Broad Street, with steak, onions, mushrooms, banana peppers, jalapeños and cheese (or Cheez Whiz on request).

Insiders know to order the Philly-style Italian hoagies with salami, capicolla or pastrami and provolone on Amoroso’s bread, plus banana peppers, sweet-pepper relish, and oil and vinegar ($4-$8.75).

“Crab fries” are made with Old Bay seasoning ($1.99-$3.50).

Fred’s Downtown Philly has eight other locations, including Bedford, Euless and Hurst (yes, one each). It’s open daily for lunch and dinner; 5735 S. Hulen St., 817-292-3314,

Tower taqueria

That new Salsa Limón Centro opening is days away.

The latest of Milo Ramirez’s Salsa Limón taquerias is scheduled to open short hours for a dry run some days next week, then officially in November.

It’s at 550 Throckmorton St., in the Tower. Eventually, it will stay open until the wee hours and serve late-night crowds displaced when Picchi Pacchi moved to 411 W. Seventh St.

Mile-high landings

A new location of Colorado favorite Smashburger will open at 2175 E. Southlake Blvd. in the Kimball Crossing shopping center.

Also from Colorado: a second Tarrant County location of Tokyo Joe’s will open at 1707 N. Collins St. in Arlington.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538,, @EatsBeat. His column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in