Eats Beat

A day for red valentines, or green enchiladas

The classic green chicken enchiladas at Los Asaderos.
The classic green chicken enchiladas at Los Asaderos. bud@star-telegram.com

When someone asks about the best Tex-Mex in Fort Worth, I send them to the 1500 block of North Main Street.

Somewhere between Los Asaderos, La Playa Maya, Nuevo Leon and several smaller gems nearby like Chalios and Los Paisanos, you’ll find Tex-Mex to your liking.

(If not, then El Rancho Grande, Esperanza’s Cafe and Joe T. Garcia’s are only two blocks away.)

It took awhile, but Los Asaderos has rebounded from a switch of owners within the Villarreal family.

The name also changed from El Asadero, although the two still seem interchangeable.

Best of all, that fiery hot sauce is hot again. And the green sauce on two recent visits was the same spicy tomatillo-onion blend that made El Asadero popular with Dallas guests, including Laura and President George W. Bush.

The salsas were inconsistent because that’s how the peppers arrived last year, Carlos Villarreal said in an online message.

“The family’s working on getting everything back on track,” he said.

Diners like the fideo on Friday’s lunch and occasional specials like albondigas (meatballs) or the squash-and-pork stir-fry called calabacitas.

The menus are new. But they still feature the same chicken enchiladas verdes ($9.99), enchiladas in mole poblano ($8.99), beef or chicken fajitas ($12.99-$13.99) and grilled shrimp or fish platters. Lunch specials cost $6.49.

One of Los Asaderos’ trademarks is the first-rate, flavorful stewed chicken breast used for the enchiladas and chicken tacos. No stringy dark meat here.

Eye-catchers on the new menu include six soups, carne guisada and chicken tamales, along with a distinctive “Joshua’s special”: nachos topped with beans, beef, cheese and the sublime enchilada sauce.

There’s also a breakfast menu with migas, huevos rancheros or chilaquiles (ask for the green sauce). Los Asaderos opens at 10 a.m. Sundays.

I could talk about other dishes. But if you look around, more than half the diners will be having either green chicken enchiladas or fajitas.

Los Asaderos is in is 32nd year after originally opening as an east side “Mexican steakhouse.” The steaks are no longer the focal point, but the fajitas retain the same flavor and extra seasoning.

It’s open for lunch and dinner daily except Tuesdays; 1535 N. Main St., 817-626-3399, losasaderosfw.com.

A few last-minute Valentine’s choices

If you waited till today to pick a Valentine’s restaurant — good luck.

Buffalo West, Fixture Kitchen and Flight on Eagle Mountain Lake have some prime tables available.

▪ Buffalo West’s menu offers chateaubriand for two for $80, prime rib and lobster tail for $70 or a tenderloin and lobster tail for $65. Desserts include an Irish cream-pecan bread pudding.

It’s open Monday through Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch at 7101 Camp Bowie Blvd. West; 817-732-2370, buffalowestfw.com.

▪ Fixture Kitchen has Valentine’s space available and also will serve its special menu through Saturday.

Chef Ben Merritt’s specials include Chilean sea bass, a filet mignon with shrimp ($24.95) and a butternut squash bisque; 401 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-708-2663, fixturefw.com.

▪ Flight on Eagle Mountain Lake has a $45 special featuring a “heavenly cheesy” halibut, scallops or a filet mignon topped with lobster Thermidor.

Dessert is a “red velvet delight”; 9307 Boat Club Road, 817-882-6910, flightonthelake.com.

▪ Italian restaurants such as Campisi’s, Mancuso’s, Margie’s, Fontana in south Arlington, La Bistro in Hurst, Saviano’s in Euless and many pizza-and-pasta cafes take walk-ins. Or try a Mediterranean restaurant such as Terra Mediterranean Grill, Byblos or Istanbul Grill.

Valentine’s all weekend at Michaels Cuisine

If you miss out on a Valentine’s dinner tonight, never fear: Michaels Cuisine is also serving Valentine’s this weekend.

Chef Michael Thomson’s menu features a “Cupid’s plate” for two with a red bell-pepper cream soup or spinach-roasted pepper salad, plus a 32-ounce tomahawk rib-eye with lobster tails, $170 per couple.

Other specials range from a pecan-crusted chicken ($25) to a beef tenderloin with lobster tail ($45). Desserts include strawberry shortcake, chocolate mousse or creme brulee.

If you’re not familiar with Michaels, it’s the pioneer local “contemporary ranch cuisine” restaurant. It’s open for lunch weekdays, dinner weekdays and Saturdays at 3413 W. Seventh St.; 817-877-3413, michaelscuisine.com.

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

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