Food & Drink

Eats Beat: Arlington’s Potager may pull up roots

Potager's lemon roasted spring garlic, garden peas, and field greens
Potager's lemon roasted spring garlic, garden peas, and field greens Star-Telegram archives

One of Arlington’s most distinctive restaurants is gone, and another is endangered.

Olenjack’s closed last week, seven months after parting ways with namesake chef-founder Brian Olenjack.

Meanwhile, fresh-organic Potager Cafe in Arlington’s emerging downtown tentatively plans to reopen Friday and Saturday night this weekend, but only for a farewell dinner.

Potager, a garden cafe-restaurant known for its honor-system pricing, has been shuttered a few days as owner Cynthia Chippindale considers whether to move or make expensive repairs.

When Potager opened in 2009 in a half-century-old sandwich shop near UT Arlington, hardly anyone thought it would last six years. That’s because Chippindale asked customers to pay whatever they thought her food was worth.

As it turned out, diners think her lunches and dinners are worth $15 to $20, about like other restaurants. So Potager has been getting by, but the old building needs repairs, and Chippindale may choose to relocate.

She is serving crepes at her Potager’s Other Stuff coffee and gourmet foods shop across South Mesquite Street.

“I feel like I’m bobbing around in the water, not knowing which direction to go,” she said this week.

She does not own the building, but it has been featured in print and video coverage, and she has herbs, lavender, sage and artichokes growing in a garden alongside.

“I’m trying to figure what to do next,” she said.

“The people who come here are like a big, wonderful family. I want to have everybody in, just for a dinner and to explain,” she said.

No hours or menu yet; 315 S. Mesquite St., 817-861-2292, or ask at Potager’s Other Stuff, 208 S. Mesquite St., 682-553-5811,

Barbecue is ready

Besides losing notable restaurants, Arlington also gained one this week.

Jambo’s BBQ Shack, a new second location for a Rendon barbecue stand, opened in a former grocery-and-grill at 2502 Little Road.

The Lovato family bought Jambo’s and the recipes from founder and TV pitmaster Jamie Geer.

Heaven’s landing gate

In Fort Worth, the former Barbie’s Colonial House buffet, near Meacham Airport, has completed its changeover to Heavens Gate Restaurant.

Nothing but the name has changed, with a new Thursday through Saturday night dinner buffet joining the busy daily lunch and weekend breakfast buffets.

Heavens Gate might be best known for its weekend breakfasts. There’s also a breakfast menu weekday mornings and a generous home-cooking lunch buffet.

The new nighttime buffet is served until 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with dinner served until 9 p.m.. 3820 N. Main St., 817-624-1262. The old website is still up at

Whole-grain in Southlake

Meanwhile, the new hit healthy-dining Modmarket chain is off to a brisk start in Southlake.

Taking an anchor space in the still-unfinished Park Village shops, Modmarket was packed at midday Sunday, with some diners choosing the fresh salads, and others choosing the whole-grain organic pizzas or lingering over the whole-grain breakfast waffles.

Modmarket opens at 8 a.m. daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner; 1161 E. Southlake Blvd., 817-442-0123,

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

Twitter: @EatsBeat