Eats Beat

Tortas, huaraches and green sauce at a little cafe in Grapevine

Chilaquiles verdes (with ranchero-jalapeno salsa) at El Piquin in Grapevine.
Chilaquiles verdes (with ranchero-jalapeno salsa) at El Piquin in Grapevine. bud@star-telegram.com

Somewhere between the boring chains and strip malls, Grapevine has a few genuinely original restaurants.

One is El Piquin, in its third year bringing tastes of Guerrero or San Luis Potosi to a Texas 121 corner at Timberline Drive.

No doubt about it: The chilaquiles verdes breakfast at El Piquin is the best that side of Fort Worth's Esperanza's or Benito's.

Instead of tomatillo, the chilaquiles verdes ($6.49) are made with a spicy salsa ranchera. It's “green” ony because it has jalapenos.

The chilaquiles rojas are made with a guajillo sauce. Add eggs for $1.50, making it more of a migas-like dish, and add chorizo or an excellent grilled chicken filet for $2.69.

Breakfast tacos cost $1.49, burritos $2.49, served with the restaurant's spicy green sauce or rich red.

The lunch and dinner menu is wide-ranging: sopes, huaraches con pastor, tortas and a choice of seven soups.

El Piquin offers chicken, beef or shrimp fajitas, or try the fish fillet ranchero or fish tacos.

Best of all, El Piquin is open late: until 11 p.m. nightly, 11:30 p.m weekends.

It's at 2638 William D. Tate Ave., which is Texas 121 at Timberline Drive; 817-310-3995, facebook.com/Elpiquin01/.

Zoo's Beastro party in African Savanna

The Fort Worth Zoo's Beastro party costs a little more than other events, but this is a special year.

The $110 donation not only buys unlimited food samples and drinks from 40 restaurants and shops, but the party's also in the new African Savanna.

The party starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until midnight, with the restaurant booths closing at 10 p.m.

Some of the tastings:

Bacon burnt ends from Heim Barbecue;

Shrimp ceviche tostadas from HG Sply Co.;

Bulgogi tacos with lemon rice from Mash'D;

Blackened shrimp tacos from Eddie V’s;

Margarita and pina colada cupcakes from Moonlight Cakes;

And Texas toast bread pudding topped with a cinnamon whipped cream and a TX Whiskey dressing from Vintage Grill and Car Museum in Weatherford.

Two bands will play in the Reserve at the African Savanna.

Buy with confidence this year: if it's rained out, the zoo will refund your gift.

Buy online before noon Friday at fortworthzoo.org.

At the African Savannah exhibit, Fort Worth Zoo visitors can feed giraffes, watch hippos glide through a pool, play peek-a-boo with meerkats and talk to a variety of other animals, bird and fish. The exhibit's grand opening is on April 21.

Fort Worth's newest ice cream shop

New ice cream shops are everywhere, but the newest to open is Creamistry.

The flash-frozen ice cream shop gives you a chance to pick from 27 flavors and between milk, cream, coconut milk or sorbet.

It opens daily from noon to 9:30 p.m. (10:30 weekends) at 628 Harrold St., in the left bank shops across from Trinity Park; 817-782-9670, creamistry.com.

Also new and worth a try: Amorino, artisan gelato from France new in the Shops at Clearfork.

Amorino is known for sculpting gelato cones in the shape of a rose. But don't get hung up on the appearance and miss the flavor of the new organic black-currant gelato, for example, or blueberry-cheesecake.

Amorino is open at 10 a.m. daily until 10 or 11 p.m.; 5274 Monahans Ave., 682-312-9115, amorino.com

Party for 75 years of Roy Pope

Reminder: Saturday is party day at Roy Pope Grocery, marking 75 years as a small, old-fashioned grocery and meat market 1 mile from Central Market in west Fort Worth.

Roy Pope has plenty of reasons to stop in — including fresh Fredericksburg peaches — but one of the best reasons is always the Kobe beef burgers.

The deli counter serves fried or baked chicken plate lunches, daily specials and barbecue.

It opens at 10 a.m. for the early lunch crowd, and the deli closes at 3 p.m. (The grocery is open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

It's at 2300 Merrick St., on the corner at Collinwood Avenue; 817-732-2863, roypopegrocery.com

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

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