The Dive is swimming in a different direction.
In a city that’s not choosy about fish restaurants, the Dive Oyster Bar somehow missed in its first try as a chef-driven seafood shack in the Western Hills neighborhood.
So meet the new, simpler Dive Oyster Bar y Cantina, serving fresh oysters, seafood, tacos and enchiladas for the Benbrook Traffic Circle.
If you want a catfish basket, the Dive has it. If you’re dining with someone who wants a beef enchilada plate, the Dive has that.
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It’s a natural next step for a restaurant that took over the original Salsa Fuego location.
The Tex-Mex is simple and handmade, and the atmosphere is more Baja.
A chicken enchilada platter was a surprise at lunch one recent day. The Dive didn’t offer green sauce, but the ranchero sauce had a robust kick and the Spanish rice had more flavor than in most restaurants.
The queso — an option on enchiladas — was better than usual, and the chili sauce for beef enchiladas had an ever-so-slight hint of something sweet, like you’d find in a richer mole.
The Dive’s original seafood menu remains in trimmed form, with fresh Prince Edward Island oysters on the half shell available that day.
The towering Key lime pie, one of the best in Fort Worth (along with Lucile’s and The Tavern’s), is also a keeper from the old menu.
The much-praised gumbo and clam chowder remain on the menu. (The Dive wisely dropped some high-end items that didn’t fit the west Fort Worth market.)
The “Dive burger” is now a $7.99 lunch special with fries weekdays, along with fried fish baskets. (It’s the kind of burger that sells for $10-$11 down on Seventh Street.)
Depending on how long you’ve been in Fort Worth, you know the location as “the old Salsa Fuego,” “the old Charley’s,” or “the old Kentucky Fried Chicken.” It’s across from the Buffalo West steakhouse on the north edge of the Benbrook Traffic Circle.
Coffee competition heats up — to 85ºC
Fort Worth’s first location of Taiwan-based 85ºC Bakery Cafe has delayed its opening after test service this week in the Left Bank shops.
When it opens, expect long lines. It’s everything young diners love in one shop, from coffee drinks to boba tea and a variety of both Asian and European breads and desserts.
There are sea-salt coffee flavors and green-tea pastries, and local favorites such as Black Forest cake or red velvet cake.
The cakes are visually stunning, and come in new flavors such as a mango-mousse “creme brulee.” There’s also a strawberry mousse cake.
It’s smaller than a typical coffee stand, so don’t expect to linger. But if you’re not looking for coffee and dessert, try the breads, cheese bites or egg tarts.
The 85ºC has rescheduled its official opening after a few days of practice service this week. Watch for more practice days at 628 Harrold St., in the new shopping center across from Trinity Park.
It’s close to the new location of California-based MidiCi Pizza, expected to open by the end of the month, and California-based Creamistry nitrogen ice cream, under construction.
(Up front along West Seventh Street, the new Fort Worth location of Austin-based Hopdoddy Burger Bar has added “now open” signs. The new bakery and pizza restaurants will help diners find Left Bank.)
New Sundance grill on Third Street
Also now open: 3rd Street Bar & Grill in Sundance Square, owner Al Abbood’s third bar-and-grill. (He owned the old Sonoma Grill in Flower Mound.)
More on 3rd Street in a later column, but first impression: This is a comfortable grill with a casual menu and the relaxed feel of gathering places like the old Pour House location downtown.
Chef Steve Mitchell came from M Bistro but has worked with Yucatan Taco Stand, so the tacos (and hot sauce) are an easy pick. The menu ranges from salads to burgers and a couple of steaks or dinner platters.
It’s close to the court buildings and churches on the west side of downtown, where street parking is easier.
Mambo comes to Burleson
The much-awaited Rio Mambo Tex Mex y Más restaurant in Burleson is now open for regular business hours and weekend brunch.