Food & Drink

Brewed pub-cafe on Magnolia is finally starting to perk

The bacon-brûléed banana waffle at Brewed.
The bacon-brûléed banana waffle at Brewed. bud@star-telegram.com

Finally, Brewed is the all-day restaurant Fort Worth wanted on West Magnolia Avenue.

When the coffeehouse-gastropub opened four years ago, it tried to be everything at once: a craft coffee-beer bar, a Medical District lunch cafe, a late-night hangout and a source of south side inspiration.

Many ventures have foundered and folded under such weight. But Brewed’s owners stuck with it.

Now, the kitchen seems to be clicking throughout Brewed’s 15-hour days, and the weekend brunch draws waiting lines of a hour or more for bacon-banana waffles or “low country” shrimp ’n’ serrano grits by a chef who actually knows the South Carolina “low country.”

Chef Nate King’s new spring menus launched the next generation of Brewed. If you went once and came away confused, go back and see the changes.

A daily lunch menu offers imaginative $10-$11 salads and sandwiches on Empire Bakery breads, such as a new turkey-arugula sandwich with avocado-cranberry spread on nine-grain bread.

The entrees include salmon with Parmesan gnocchi or a cauliflower steak with risotto, or a choice of burgers including one with sriricha barbecue sauce and a stout-cheese spread.

The dinner menu features King’s shrimp ’n’ grits with ham, peppers and micro greens. There’s an ancho-rubbed pork chop and plenty of dishes with Brewed’s fabled duck-fat french fries.

The brunch chicken biscuit sandwich now has bacon and provolone, and there’s a savory “French toast” with bacon, ham, egg and Italian provolone on ciabatta.

“We want to keep developing and changing,” King said.

“We just want to make everyone feel comfortable here, like it’s someplace people of all ages can hang out, and comfort food.”

Brewed is open at 8 a.m. for breakfast through dinner Tuesday through Thursday and until midnight Friday. It opens at 9 a.m. weekends for brunch and also serves dinner late Saturdays, closing at 2:30 p.m. Sundays.

Brewed, 801 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-945-1545; brewedfw.com.

It’s looking green

This might seem early, but the 20th annual Hatch green chile festival starts Monday at Blue Mesa Grill.

This year’s Hatch pepper menu includes bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with chiles and served with Hatch mac-and-cheese ($18), short ribs with Hatch tomatillo ($17.50) and the familiar Hatch chiles rellenos, pozole or candied-Hatch cheesecake.

The annual festival dinner buffet is Aug. 17, serving all the specials for $20 and Hatch chile-pineapple margs. (Members of Blue Mesa’s email club get the buffet for $10 by showing the club acceptance email.)

Blue Mesa Grill, 1600 S. University Drive, 817-332-6372; bluemesagrill.com/

New look at Taco Diner

The new Taco Diner in Waterside will open next week, and it shows how much the Dallas-based M Crowd concept has evolved.

The original Taco Diners were simple, retro “Mexico City taquerias,” more interior Mex than cousin Mi Cocina. The new Waterside location has a sleek interior, but with a community table, charging stations, a quick-grab taco window and more energy than a chips-and-salsa cafe.

This space covered the new menu items a few months ago: special tacos such as fried chicken-maple or shrimp with jalapeño slaw and sides such as roasted corn with Buffalo sauce. (Ask for the extra-hot creamy serrano salsas or chile de arbol, or for the popular Mi Cocina salsa.)

The patio runs along the new “Grove” event space amid shops and apartments along a river bend next to a Whole Foods Market.

All Taco Diners will add Saturday and Sunday brunch by fall.

Look for the new location next week at 5925 Convair Drive, off Arborlawn Drive a block west of Bryant Irvin Road (and three blocks west of the Chisholm Trail Parkway); tacodinerrestaurants.com.

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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