A couple of years ago, the Star-Telegram ran a story on what could be called the Chipotle Effect: Fast-casual restaurants that followed the burrito chain’s assembly-line model, where customers move from station to station, telling servers what they want on their pizza, pasta bowl, salad, etc.
One cuisine not mentioned was Indian, which is about to get its own Chipotle-style restaurant in far north Fort Worth, near where Fort Worth, Watauga and Keller meet.
Spice 8 Indian Fusion Grill, which has endured a couple of long delays and has been development for months, announced in an email an Oct. 19 opening date. That’s Friday, by the way.
On its website, Spice 8 — which gets its name from eight key spices used in the food — describes its cuisine as coming from the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s a step-by-step process: Pick your style (bowl, wrap, “Better Than Pizza” flatbreads made with your choice of naan; “Wow Momo” steamed or fried dumplings, or biryani), choose a grain (white, brown or biryani rice), choose a protein (chicken, spicy chicken, lamb, paneer or tofu) and choose your veggies. Then top it off with a choice of sauces or chutneys.
Kebab and curry entrees will be available, again with multiple options. Also available are a samosa plate, chaat (a snack made with yogurt, chickpeas and more), and “chilli”. Desserts such as gulab jamun, ras malai and kulfi (Indian ice cream) are also on the menu, as are a mango and a strawberry lassi. The online menu lists domestic and imported beers, on draft and otherwise, and a wine cooler, but it isn’t specific about labels.
The north Fort Worth/Watauga/Haltom City area has seen a lot of growth in Indian restaurants in the past couple of years. Less than a mile west of Spice 8 on North Tarrant Parkway, but slightly hidden, is Swad Indian and Nepalese Cuisine, in an awkwardly positioned, awkwardly built shopping center that has seen a lot of restaurants come and go. Swad is at 8333 Sohi Drive No. 100, on the Park Vista Boulevard side of the Park Vista-North Tarrant Parkway Intersection.
Not far south, in a Basswood Boulevard shopping center just west of U.S. 377, is Amma’s Indian Cuisine at 5601 Basswood Blvd. No. 197. It has a larger menu than Spice 8 or Swad, including South Indian dishes and an impressive lineup of curries (including several vegan options).
Stlll farther south (but still north of 820) are the huge Indian Kitchen, officially at 6374 N. Beach St. in Haltom City but set off in the back and more accessible from Western Center Boulevard; and Indian Grill — Taste of Punjab, a short drive east at 5000 Western Center Blvd. No. 100.