Cancún Mexican Restaurant opened when ceviche and vuelve à la vida shrimp cocktail were new here.
Sixteen years later, it has become a reliable west Fort Worth standby for Tex-Mex.
In a neighborhood where Mi Cocula and La Playa Maya get most of the attention, the Piña family’s smaller Cancún opens earlier, serving lunch or brunch at 10 a.m. weekends.
Even the breakfast eggs and tortillas taste fresh off the griddle, almost like a sales pitch to come back for Cancún’s fajitas and grilled meats.
A huevos rancheros breakfast was served with white cheese and a mild ranchero sauce, a much lighter dish than the gloppy platter at some Tex-Mex restaurants.
If the ranchero sauce isn’t spicy enough for a wakeup, Cancún wisely offers El Yucateco green sauce on the table. Other simple breakfasts include chilaquiles or eggs Mexicana.
Cancún’s prices are cheaper than the flashy Tex-Mex restaurants. Lunch starts at 10:30 a.m. daily — good for west-side working folk — and ranges from an enchilada special (less than $7) to carne guajillo, fajita enchiladas or a fajitas-stuffed chile relleno with jack cheese and ranchero sauce for less than $10.
There’s a small patio in front of the simple 30-year-old building on a dowdy strip of Camp Bowie Boulevard West. (It was built originally as a fried chicken stand when Bojangles’ briefly entered the market, then operated many years as an Eggroll Express.)
Melt and more
If Melt Ice Creams is open on West Magnolia Avenue, can Heim Barbecue be far behind?
The first of three heralded additions to the mid-Magnolia blocks near Kent & Co. arrived last weekend with the opening of Melt, Kari Crowe Seher’s small-batch premium ice cream shop moving from Rosedale Street.
With Melt’s move come longer hours: noon to mid-evening daily (closed Mondays), with extended hours until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 1201 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-886-8365, melticecreams.com.
▪ Heim Barbecue is expected to start training the staff this week and open within a few weeks at 1109 W. Magnolia Ave. Emma and Travis Heim’s trailer smoker drew blocklong lines near South Main Street, so they’re opening a full-service restaurant with meats, sides and family-recipe desserts. Watch heimbbq.com.
▪ Work is just beginning at the first DFW location of Memphis-based Gus’s Fried Chicken, coming at 1067 W. Magnolia Ave.
▪ Also open nearby: Bentley’s coffee, crepes and “craft hotdogs,” 1515 W. Magnolia Ave.; 682-715-4530, facebook.com/bentleysdogs.
More pizza and chicken
Two new openings this week:
▪ Blaze Pizza, a California-based fast-bake pizza chain comparable to Pizza Snob or a more elaborate Pie Five, will open Thursday in the new Waterside shops, near the corner of Bryant Irvin Road and Arborlawn Drive.
Blaze, already open several months near the Whole Foods Market in Arlington, is known for generous promotions, inexpensive pizzas and a serving tray that becomes your take-home box.
On the first day, 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to Cook Children’s Medical Center.
But the big news is Friday, when Blaze offers a free pizza for anyone following on social media; 5925 Convair Drive, 817-731-5069, blazepizza.com.
▪ Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, the Arizona chain known for breakfasts, fried or smothered chicken, and catfish, will open by Thursday at 1201 Texas 114 E., Southlake; 817-251-2663, loloschickenandwaffles.com.