You’ve tried Memphis hot chicken.
Now meet Chicago hot chicken.
Chicago’s Chicken Coop, owned by a former franchisee of Windy City legend Harold’s, is open on South Cooper Street south of UT Arlington.
It’s completely different from Gus’s Fried Chicken, the cayenne-pepper Memphis legend now open on West Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth.
But it’s every bit as good.
While Gus’s cayenne-pepper spice is cooked into the crunchy peanut-oil crust, Chicago’s Chicken offers a choice of juicy chicken “Chicago-style” (drizzled or drenched with either a sweet, mild sauce blend or Louisiana hot sauce) or “Texas-style” (dusted with peppery seasoning).
It’s a lighter crust than at Gus’s or Arlington chicken temple Babe’s. The Chicago “mild” sauce is basically barbecue sauce, ketchup and hot sauce mixed together, served across both the chicken and made-to-order french fries.
Combos start at $4.99 on a menu that features wings but also includes white or dark chicken dinners, livers, giblets and gizzards. The menu also offers fried shrimp, catfish, perch or tilapia.
Besides fried chicken, Arlington is getting even more good barbecue.
When Lockhart opened in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff, it was so authentically Kreuz-ish that you had to ask for a fork. Lockhart still delivers smoked meats on butcher paper, but with the expected North Texas sides and amenities.
Old, new at NM Cafe
The new NM Cafe will officially open Friday along with the Neiman Marcus store in the Shops at Clearfork.
The NM Cafe is slightly more casual than the old Hedges or Zodiac, with no linen tablecloths but a full bar and the same familiar menu, including popovers, strawberry butter and consommé.
There’s a choice of eight salads, lighter dishes such as blackened salmon tacos, sandwiches, and a burger with Muenster cheese and green-chile mayo.
It’s open for lunch only at 11 a.m. daily, brunch at noon Sundays. It’s mostly booked Friday except late (it’s open until 4 p.m.), but try over the weekend; 5200 Monahans Ave., 817-989-4650, neimanmarcus.com.
On the way
More new openings:
▪ Yet another Salsa Limón, the sixth, will open later this year at 1455-1465 W. Magnolia Ave.
Ramiro (Milo) Ramirez’s busy taqueria will open alongside a vintage record store on what had been a used-car lot and then a vacant lot next to Ellerbe Fine Foods.
Also, Salsa Limón Centro downtown is now open till 3 a.m. weekends at 550 Throckmorton St. Work continues on the relocated west-side Distrito location, 5012 White Settlement Road.
▪ Eatzi’s Market & Bakery has announced an early-May opening for its first Fort Worth location, 1540 S. University Drive in University Park Village.
The new location will sell prepared meals to go but also fresh specials, sandwiches and coffees; eatzis.com.
(Now you know why the new Tom Thumb Grocery location across the street emphasizes by-the-pound take-out dinners and prepared dishes.)