Eats Beat

Popular small-town Casa Jacaranda to open second location in Mansfield

Tiny Casa Jacaranda Mexican Kitchen, open only three years in small-town Venus but already listed among Texas’ best 100 resturants, will open a second location in Mansfield by summer, Monica Martínez said.

The second Casa Jacaranda will replace a small Mediterranean restaurant at 1050 Country Club Drive in the Walnut Creek Shopping Center.

It’s the same pocket-sized restaurant as the first location, meaning crowds will line up out the door at times.

“We like small spaces,” Martínez said. “We’ll keep the open kitchen. Everything will be the same.”

The first Casa Jacaranda quickly made the “worth the drive” list for authentic, handmade food carefully assembled by Toluca, México, natives Josefina and Nely Cruz and Martínez, a Monterrey native

Social-media commenters gave it five stars for everything — the chicken mole pipian enchiladas, the chiles rellenos, the huaraches.

Yelp commenters, known for their affection for small, out-of-the-way places, ranked it the No. 68 best restaurant in Texas.

Casa Jacaranda also has a full bakery case with empanadas, tres leches cakes and cookies.

The original location is a tiny old Venus storefront repainted in bright colors with papel picado added. It’ll take more work to give a strip shopping center the same charm.

The current Casa Jacaranda is open from breakfast through dinner Tuesday through Friday, brunch through dinner Saturday and brunch Sunday at 118 W. Second St., Venus, 817-489-4775 or 817-946-0646, (It’s BYOB.)

The “comida grande” (large dinner), $9.99, with a green chicken enchilada at family-owned Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant’s new location in east Fort Worth. (It’s not related to the larger Austin-based Chuy’s Tex-Mex chain.) Bud Kennedy

Chuy’s of Fort Worth opens in Burleson

Another Johnson County news item: Chuy’s Mexican Restaurants of Fort Worth, the tiny company owned by the Adame family, has opened a new location in east Burleson at 856 E. Renfro St.

This is the little, locally owned Chuy’s, not the big chain from Austin. Expect big, fluffy handmade flour tortillas, bargain $6 lunches and $8 dinners, and simple, unassuming Tex-Mex.

Just so there’s no confusion, the sign on this location actually calls it “Chuy’s of Fort Worth.” (Legally, the other company operates here as “Chuy’s of Austin.”)

It’s only open for breakfast and lunch now, but may add longer hours later. Look for it at Renfro and South Hurst Road; 817-744-7857.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.