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Sweet Malik’s puts spice, heart into Cajun chicken tenders

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Star-Telegram food guy Robert Philpot gives you his take on AT&T Stadium's new fan menu for the 2018 Dallas Cowboys season. Philpot is talking with chef Heather Fuller of Legends.

Texas has plenty of Cajun fried chicken.

But nothing quite like Sweet Malik’s.

Chef Ahmed Williams’ modest little north Arlington fried chicken stand dishes up tenders and wings with a distinctive flavor: cayenne combined with a hint of apple-cinnamon and apple pie spice.

The result: tenders and wings that are at once peppery, savory and sweet, served with imaginative sides in a surprising little North Collins Street restaurant that tastes more like Uptown New Orleans.

Everything at Sweet Malik’s is either hot or sweet, or both. The biscuits are honey-glazed. Even the Cajun fries are dusted with a combination of seasoning and sugar.

Sweet Malik’s also serves two superstar side dishes: a “green gumbo” made with traditional greens in a light roux, and a crawfish mac-and-cheese made with three cheeses.


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For dessert, there’s a peach-apple crumble in a jar, probably made with some of the same spices.

Sweet Malik’s chicken is unlike any other. And the price is a bit higher: $9.99 for four tenders with fries, or $4.99 for a wing snack.

But the sides are only $2.50, so a box dinner with both sides could easily feed two for $15.

This is the kind of little, independent, chef-driven restaurant that TV shows spotlight. It’s like a gourmet New Orleans chef’s version of a Popeye’s.

Try it at 2280 N. Collins St., near Brown Boulevard. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily from 10:30 a.m.; 817-962-0046, sweetmalik.com.

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