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.
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.
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.
▪ 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.
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.)