Food & Drink

Eats Beat: A new Playa out west, and Arkansas chicken

Slim Cbickens’ tenders and fried pickles arel coming to Fort Worth.
Slim Cbickens’ tenders and fried pickles arel coming to Fort Worth.

More than 25 years after the original La Playa Maya opened in Fort Worth, Lupe Ayala is bringing a big Mexican coastal seafood restaurant and bar west.

A huge new La Playa Maya will open late this month in Hudson Oaks, replacing the highly regarded Fort Worth restaurant’s small, limited Weatherford dining location.

When anybody asks for a good, general-menu Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurant with lots of variety, La Playa Maya is usually among the top two or three.

Ayala was the owner and cook when his family borrowed $13,000 to open a hole-in-the-wall Yucatán seafood restaurant on West Central Avenue offering some of the city’s first ceviche, cocteles and “mariscos y mas.”

Now, La Playa Maya is known for fajitas, enchiladas and a brisket-stuffed chile relleno, along with a full menu of grilled fish and shrimp in garlic sauce or a la Mexicana.

The newest Playa fills a remodeled space left when Boo-Ray’s of New Orleans moved around the corner off U.S. 180.

“We’ll be able to do more here, and it’ll feel more like the Fort Worth restaurants,” Ayala said this week.

The new location includes not only a patio and more parking, but also several dining rooms including a hunting trophy room.

Although Playa started as a seafood restaurant known for its signature shrimp cocktail, most locations now sell as many orders of fajitas, enchiladas and fish tacos.

The new Hudson Oaks location will open after Father’s Day at 3039 Fort Worth Highway, with other locations on Hemphill Street, near the Stockyards and in the Village at Camp Bowie;

New chick’n town

Slim Chickens, the Arkansas-based chicken tenders restaurant, is opening by July in north Fort Worth.

An Arkansas college-crowd favorite, Slim Chickens is known for lightly breaded tenders and wings “shaken” in a choice of eight sauces, or as salads, wraps or on waffles.

Signature specials include a “jar dessert” fruit shortcake and several flavors of Southern iced teas.

Slim Chickens will open for lunch and dinner daily at 5528 North Tarrant Parkway, at Parkwood Hill Drive;

Winslow’s goes east

A Winslow’s is open in Dallas, taking the cozy west-side wine cafe to Oak Lawn and adding a broader menu.

Winslow’s is opening in late afternoon now, but will add brunch hours and eventually coffees. Look for it at 3908 Cedar Springs Road; 214-559-4470,

Horseshoe pitchin’

Update: Chef Grady Spears says his new Horseshoe Hill comfort-food restaurant in the Stockyards will open by July.

It’s taking shape at 204 W. Exchange Ave., in a 65-year-old cafe and grill.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538

Twitter: @EatsBeat