Food & Drink

Eats Beat: Yes, there’s still a $5 lunch at this Fort Worth restaurant

Humperdinks serves a new bacon-egg-potato brunch flatbread.
Humperdinks serves a new bacon-egg-potato brunch flatbread. bud@star-telegram.com

When Los Zarapes celebrated its 30th anniversary, the Palomino family didn’t have to roll back any menu prices.

Los Zarapes’ lunches are a daily rollback: always $5 for enchiladas, tacos or chalupas, served the same, simple way Horalia Palomino has served them since 1986.

Los Zarapes is one of those humble, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood restaurants Fort Worthians hold dear. When it opened, Palomino was 29 and a mother of two, launching her own business for the first time after a predecessor, Rivas Cafe, moved out of the little space west of the Stockyards.

Even then, the little strip shopping center was well-worn. Colorful serapes covered holes in the walls.

Palomino chose that name: Los Zarapes.

Star-Telegram staffers and then-columnist Sheila Taylor Wells visited often and rhapsodized over the enchiladas, the family atmosphere and the journalist-friendly prices.

Nothing has changed.

On a lunch visit this week, Los Zarapes served a green chicken enchilada plate topped with plenty of melted cheese and a surprisingly hot salsa verde instead of the usual milder tomatillo sauce.

The platter wasn’t the size of those at north-side enchilada favorites Dos Molinas’, Esperanza’s, La Playa Maya or Los Asaderos — but the price wasn’t either.

The weekday lunch specials also include a choice of a taco or chalupa plate. The $5 specials are served at lunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., every weekday.

Los Zarapes also serves a much broader menu of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, some rooted in the Palomino family’s Aguascalientes legacy and others added in recent years, including bistec a la Mexicana and seafood dishes.

The menu includes “street tacos” with cilantro and onion or crispy Tex-Mex tacos, along with posole, caldo de res, menudo and gorditas.

Breakfast is served daily at 8 a.m. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch Mondays through Wednesdays, breakfast through dinner Thursdays through Sundays; 1503 N.W. 25th St., 817-624-8013.

Weekend wakeup

Humperdinks Brewpub is also becoming a brunch pub.

The busy family restaurant near Six Flags Over Texas and Globe Life Park has added a new bacon-egg-potato breakfast flatbread ($11.99).

It’s basically like a thin-crust breakfast pizza but with potato skins replacing the base layer of cheese. It’s plenty big for two to share, particularly if they also get one of Humperdinks’ jumbo cinnamon rolls.

Humperdinks is also serving its “burger madness” menu including a burger with chicken-fried bacon ($12.99).

Its weekly bloody mary-mimosa brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays till 3 p.m. The kitchen is open weeknights until 11:30 p.m., weekends until 1:30 a.m.; 700 Six Flags Drive, 817-640-8553, humperdinks.com

Anticipation

Watching the restaurant openings:

The new Olivella’s Pizza will open next week in the Village at Camp Bowie shopping center, followed by Yolk, the new breakfast cafe in Sundance Square, later this month.

Avoca Coffee’s new Foch Street coffee shop is expected to open late this spring, along with Heim Barbecue’s new Magnolia Avenue bar and restaurant and the Original Pancake House’s new Fort Worth location on South Hulen Street.

(Workers at other stores say the new Whole Foods Market is planning an October opening.)

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @EatsBeat. His column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com.

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