Eats Beat

How ‘Nacho’ Anaya gave us National Nachos Day. (But who has the best?)

Spiral Diner’s vegan nachos are made with cashew spread instead of cheese.
Spiral Diner’s vegan nachos are made with cashew spread instead of cheese.

Believe it or not, nachos began as a women’s happy-hour snack.

As another National Nachos Day approaches Monday, be thinking of late chef Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya of Coahuila, Mexico.

four military wives from Texas

It was a diner from Hillsboro, Mamie Finan, who named the eventual tortilla-slivers-melted-cheddar-and-jalapeno-strips platter “Nacho’s Special.”

Now note what’s missing from this origin story: queso. Or pickled jalapeno slices. Or a bowl of chips piled with toppings.

That’s “ballpark nachos,” originated in Arlington’s city-owned stadium concessions in 1975.

Since then, chefs have taken brazen liberties with Anaya’s creation:

▪ When we asked Star-Telegram readers their favorite nachos, the No. 1 answer didn’t have cheese at all.

Spiral Diner’s nachos “Supremo” are made with cashew spread and quinoa along with guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos; 1314 W. Magnolia Ave.,

▪ The Fort Worth-based Fuzzy’s Taco Shop chain’s nachos scored high, too. They’re made with white cheese and a garlic-cream sauce; multiple locations,

▪ Joe T. Garcia’s serves both traditional cheese or bean-and-cheese nacho platters along with a piled-high plate of “Joe’s” fajita nachos; 2201 N. Commerce St.,

▪ Chimy’s nachos come on giant platters with pepper jack cheese and toppings such as green chile chicken; 1053 Foch St.,

Many readers like the nachos at Yucatan Taco Stand, 909 W. Magnolia Ave.,

▪ For traditional nachos, Fort Worth has some of the nation’s most historic traditional Tex-Mex restaurants. Try the featherlight chips at El Rancho Grande Restaurante, 1400 N. Main St.; historic The Original, established in 1930 at 4713 Camp Bowie Blvd.,; or the newer but very traditional Enchiladas Ole, 901 N. Sylvania Ave.,

A new Rooster Bakery, and lots of new pie shops

Amid all the new bakeries open or coming in Fort Worth — 85Cº Bakery Cafe, Bread Winners Cafe, Hurley House, SusieCakes, Three Danes Baking Co., Unrefined Bakery — there’s also news from a familiar bakery.

Black Rooster Cafe & Bakery will open in mid-November in the Village at Camp Bowie. That’s next door to owner Immy Khan’s first restaurant, the Lunch Box cafe.

The two restaurants will share a kitchen but sell different baked goods and sandwiches; 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-738-2181, and (Other Black Rooster locations continue on Forest Park Boulevard and at 910 Houston St. downtown.)

A new prime steakhouse for Arlington

If you missed the news earlier this week, the new Mercury Chophouse steakhouse location in Arlington is open for lunch and dinner weekdays and Saturday, brunch Sunday: 2221 E. Lamar Blvd., ninth floor, 817-381-1157,

It’s Arlington’s first prime steakhouse. Owner Zack Moutaouakil also has a location in The Tower in downtown Fort Worth.

The Fort Worth location will be open Thanksgiving Day, Moutaouakil said. For more restaurants open Thanksgiving, see the Wednesday report or

Biscuits for Wesleyan

Fixture Kitchen chef Ben Merritt will open a new “biscuits and burgers” restaurant in Texas Wesleyan University’s Rosedale Renaissance development in a former grocery and furniture store at 3016 E. Rosedale St.

Ben’s Triple B will serve breakfast through dinner. His Fixture burger consistently rates as one of Fort Worth’s best; 401 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-708-2663,

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, @EatsBeat.