Juan Rodriguez has “cooked cowboy” for 10 years.
Now, he’s cooking for guests at his catering hall and soon-to-come restaurant, Magdalena’s.
Rodriguez, Reata’s chef for six years and before that chef de cuisine at the New York City Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, struck out on his own and landed in north Fort Worth.
Magdalena’s is his catering headquarters for now, but Rodriguez plans to open it by winter as a Latin fusion restaurant featuring his family’s native Puerto Rican cooking with flavors from his upbringing in Monterrey, Mexico.
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“I grew up on cabrito, like my grandma taught me, but I do the paellas and pernil [pork shoulder] and tostones,” Rodriguez said.
Magdalena’s combines Latin fusion with the small-organic movement, making blue corn tortillas from corn grown on small farms in Oaxaca and Michoacan.
“It’s a little bit Puerto Rican, Mexican and Southwestern, too, like I’ve done the last 10 years,” Rodriguez said.
The location, a 1949-vintage backstreet retail shop facing Oakwood Cemetery, is a former window company and before that a linen company.
A new Jambo’s
A popular Rendon barbecue stop is opening a new location in Arlington.
Jambo’s BBQ Shack, a fast favorite for Texas barbecue diners two years ago when pitmaster Jamie Geer opened it, will add a second location next month at 2500 Little Road near West Arkansas Lane.
The Lovato family now owns Jambo’s, continuing recipes by Geer of Jambo Pits and TV’s BBQ Pitmasters.
Ashton Lovato wrote by email that the family was looking for an Arlington location and found an old Jackson’s Grocery & Grill, built in 1955 as Alexander’s Grocery before its 1960s years as Charlie’s Bar-B-Q.
The family bought Jambo’s last year and kept the restaurant’s three regular pitmasters.
“It was important for us to keep the Jambo’s name and more important to not change a thing as far as the BBQ,” Ashton Lovato wrote.
For early diners
Clever idea from Mi Cocina Restaurant in downtown Fort Worth: It now opens daily at 10:30 a.m.
That helps nab early lunch crowds, jurors and workers with meetings at the usual lunch hour, along with anyone who simply missed breakfast.
Other restaurants open and serving lunch at 10:30 a.m. include the Fred’s Texas Cafe location near West Seventh Street, Carshon’s Deli and also The Lunch Box in the Village at Camp Bowie shops.
Bud Kennedy's column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538