Eats Beat

Chocolate souffles, coconut pie and more: Taking the ‘Fork’ to dessert

The Shops at Clearfork development is definitely all about the fork.

The still-pending opening of B&B Butchers & Restaurant makes seven major restauarants now open in the new southwest Fort Worth shopping center, and seven different menus of desserts.

Diners are already choosing up sides about which Malai Kitchen dessert is the best: the toasted coconut cream pie, or Malai’s banana pot de creme.

The best place for that debate is over a chocolate souffle or Grand Marnier souffle at Rise n°3.

From riverbank to tollway, Clearfork’s restaurants offer a remarkable selection of sweets.

Malai Kitchen’s coconut pie on a macaroon crust with coconut gelato and tamarind-caramel sauce is a dream come true for those who love coconut pie.

The banana pot de creme is bruleed with dark chocolate. There’s also a mango-sticky rice custard and a chili-peanut chocolate roll.

NM Cafe at Neiman Marcus serves a strudel and cake of the day — it was red velvet last week — along with those Neiman Marcus cookies.

The new Washington-based Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar also is known for its “drunken doughnuts” with caramel, chocolate-Irish cream and amaretto, or a soft-baked chocolate chunk cookie over ice cream with sauce.

City Works Eatery and Pour House, mostly a sports bar, also serves a butterscotch bread pudding or peanut butter-Snickers pie.

Cru Wine Bar isn’t running a full schedule yet, but the dessert menu includes a lemon tart with pistachio crust.

That’s not to mention Joy Macarons or the desserts at Starbucks Coffee.

B&B Butchers’ spectacular dessert will be the open-face ice cream sandwich, or there’s a blueberry coffeecake crumble bread pudding.

Any dessert crawl should begin and end at Rise, and not only with its souffles.

Rise’s regular menu offers about seven souffles, including chocolate and Grand Marnier but also flavors such as praline pecan, raspberry or dark chocolate mint, all $12.

This is not the time to choose a subtle flavor: If you like chocolate, order it. The apricot and raspberry are almost too understated.

Do not ignore the rest of Rise’s dessert menu: a fruit tart (lately apple, $10), chocolate cake or creme brulee.

(It is completely acceptable to order a Rise n°1 salad and apple tart or creme brulee and totally ignore the souffle menu. But why?)

More desserts are coming when Austin-based Fixe Southern House, known for biscuits and a blackberry-macadamia biscuit cobbler, opens within weeks.

Also coming soon: Florida-based Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, known for Key lime pie; and (finally) a Grimaldi’s Brick Oven Pizza.

Several of the Clearfork restaurants are opening their first regional location. (Malai Kitchen is also in Southlake and Dallas, and Grimaldi’s has a Grapevine location.)

The restaurants are along Monahans and Marathon avenues in the shopping center, off Chisholm Trail Parkway at Edwards Ranch Road (between South Hulen Street and Bryant Irvin Road).

(If the shopping scene is too hectic, Press Cafe nearby serves breakfast through dinner, coffees and a daily cake special or pot de creme.)

Barbecue at the new Whiskey Ranch

A promotional restaurant event Wednesday night combines two holiday favorites: barbecue and whiskey.

The new Whiskey Ranch home of Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. (TX Whiskey) will host pitmaster Matt Pittman of Waxahachie-based Meat Church.

It’s a $50 ticket for barbecue and a sunset whiskey cocktail reception;, or find tickets at

Last call for holiday tamales

In these final days before Christmas, the scramble begins for tamales.

Some favorite shops are closing early and others are selling out, so don’t get caught tamal-less.

▪ Marquez Bakery in Arlington is the go-to choice for late tamales. It’s open until 7 p.m. Saturday and until 5 p.m. Christmas Eve.

The best deal is the “tamale family meal”: two dozen with rice, beans, salsa and a 2-liter soft drink for less than $30. Or order pork tamales by the dozen; 1730 E. Division St. (Texas 180 at Ballpark Way), 817-265-8858,

Cardona Foods Tortilla Factory & Cafein north Fort Worth will sell tamales and to-go chips and salsas until 2 p.m. Saturday only, closing on Christmas Eve; 850 Meacham Blvd., 817-625-6477,

Both Esperanza’s Cafe & Bakery locations in Fort Worth, serving the original cooking of the late Esperanza (Hope) Lancarte, will be open regular hours Saturday and until midafternoon Sunday; 2122 N. Main St., 817-626-5770, or 1601 Park Place, 817-923-1961,

Other good choices: all Pulido’s Restaurants, plus Rodriguez Foods, which also sells its locally sourced beef and pork tamales through Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Stores.

Mariposa’s Latin Kitchen in Fort Worth and Hot Damn, Tamales! sell more contemporary tamales with various fillings.

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