Grapevine’s Wise Guys
Based in Orange, Calif., Wise Guys Pizzeria has opened a Texas outlet in Grapevine, adding to the city’s growing list of pizza possibilities. The casual eatery was opened by the godson of one of the original “wise guys” and specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas but with nontraditional toppings, such as pesto with avocado or roasted corn with Hatch chiles. There also are “fully-loaded,” thick-crusted pies in vegetarian and meat-filled varieties and about a dozen local craft beers on tap. Managing partner Larry McCain recommends the Godfather Supreme, which comes with four meats, olives, mushrooms, peppers and onions. Also find meatball subs and sandwiches, build-your-own calzones and sweet ricotta-filled cannoli. 322 S. Park Blvd., Grapevine, 817-488-0001, http://wiseguystx.com.
Farm to Bottle
Dallasite cousins Elizabeth Portman Black and Annie Portman Stull (both new mothers) launched their own line of organic, cold-pressed juices two years ago with the hopes of cultivating healthy habits in others. Now the Vim + Vigor “farm-to-bottle” beverage line is available in Tarrant County at Central Market stores, Whole Foods in Arlington and The Fresh Market in Southlake. Varieties are numbered and named by benefits, such as the green Detoxify + Alkalize, the pineapple and mint-infused Energy + Clarity, and the citrusy Immune Booster. No. 06 is the brand’s rotating seasonal offering, currently called Hydrate + Heart Health thanks to its blend of watermelon, mint and lime. Turn the summer sipper into a low-calorie cocktail with the mojito recipe shown here. www.vimvigorjuice.com.
Deep Dish in the Heart of Texas
A taste of Chicago has blown like a strong wind into Arlington with the opening of legendary pizzeria Gino’s East. Founded in 1966 by a couple of disgruntled taxi drivers, the restaurant became synonymous with authentic Chicago-style, deep dish pizza and grew to generate visitors from around the world. Texas is the first state to land locations outside the greater-Chicago area, and outlets recently opened near Houston and in San Antonio. And while the Texas Gino’s menus aim to cater to locals with items like brisket sliders and barbecue chicken pizza, word is the hefty Meaty Legend — topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon and traditional bacon — and the Chicago Fire — made spicy with patty-style sausage and roasted red peppers — are what Chicagoans love. 1350 Copeland Road, Arlington, 817-987-1380, www.ginoseast.com.
Shake It On
After sipping his way through tequila distilleries in Mexico, Fort Worth resident Scott Hackler was inspired to create an all-natural cocktail rimming salt, and he says it took him 19 tries to get the sour, salty and spicy blend just right. The crimson-colored beverage garnish is called Halo del Santo (Spanish for “saint’s halo”) and is made with kosher salt, chile peppers and lime juice. It’s a spirited accompaniment to tequila, margaritas, bloody marys or micheladas, and each 5-ounce canister ($14) packs enough salt for 177 rims. The salt’s popularity led Hackler to add Mexican-style sweet lollipops to the Halo del Santo line; they’re available in mango, watermelon and pineapple flavors ($3.50 per package of six). Here he shares a recipe for a michelada finished with Halo del Santo along the rim. http://halodelsanto.com.
Denton native and home baker Brandon Moors is bringing a funky-fresh take on doughnuts to Fort Worth with the launch of Funkytown Donuts, a gourmet doughnut purveyor now available for catering. Moors, whose food and beverage experience includes stints at Central Market and the Ashton Hotel, spent time in the kitchen at an early age learning from his mother, Ruth, who’ll help with the business. Dough and glazes are scratch made, and mouthwatering varieties include blackberry-lemon, dark chocolate s’mores, strawberry shortcake, a take on the Girl Scouts’ Samoa cookie, and Key lime pie — a rendition of Moors’ favorite dessert. Moors is seeking a storefront for his sweet new venture, but he’s taking custom orders for parties and events. 940-453-5511, www.funkytowndonuts.com.
Colonial’s Back on the Spectrum
After last year’s less-than-seamless catering of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, chef Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Love Shack, Woodshed Smokehouse) won’t be back for the PGA Tour’s Fort Worth stop, which is set for May 18-24 at Colonial Country Club. Conroe-based Spectrum Catering, which handles food preparation for multiple PGA Tour events and high-profile sports events, will return as Colonial’s on-course concessionaire. Menu items will include pico de gallo-topped “Cowtown Nachos” with ground beef and queso, crispy chicken sandwiches with pickles, and new brisket soft tacos garnished with cilantro and queso fresco. And because temperatures typically soar during the annual be-seen event, plan to sip Spectrum’s thirst-quenching frozen margaritas, too. www.crowneplazainvitational.com.
Leah’s Gets Sweeter
Cookie lovers can rejoice. Leah’s Sweet Treats, the Camp Bowie Boulevard cupcake mecca owned by Leah Loose, who’s known for incorporating festive bursts of color into both her baked goods and her wardrobe, has officially added cookie sandwiches and sprinkle cookies to her lineup of sugary indulgences. Her Sprinkle-chip Sandwich Cookie ($2.50) is composed of two chocolate chip cookies held together by sprinkle-coated icing. The “Sprinkledoodle” ($1) is a thick, snickerdoodle-inspired cookie baked with rainbow-colored sprinkles. Patrons can order by the dozen or purchase what’s available in the case each day. But arrive early, as Leah’s Sweet Treats has a reputation for regularly selling out. 4910 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-731-5223, http://leahssweettreats.com.
Wine-ing and Dining in Roanoke
Touted as the “unique dining capital of Texas,” Roanoke now has a wine bar thanks to the opening of 3 Vino, the creation of local residents Mark Maloney and Tina Norris. Maloney left a career in the flooring business to partner with Norris, who owns a nearby gift shop. They’ve opened a space where friends and family can gather with wine, including regional, domestic and global varietals by the glass, flight, bottle or on tap. Tap selections will change regularly, they say. “We’ll have more whites in the summer and reds in the winter,” says Maloney, whose favorite summer sipper is chardonnay from California’s Rombauer Vineyards. Patrons can order cheese and charcuterie trays or call for take-out from nearby restaurants. The 1,800-square-foot historic building, once the office of Roanoke’s switchboard operator, seats 50 inside and about the same number on the enclosed patio. 206 Main St., Roanoke, 817-491-9463.
The Lunch Box’s original Ridglea location has added breakfast service and is now open daily at 7 a.m. New menu items include custom omelets, breakfast sandwiches and tacos, brioche French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict. Breakfast is served until 10:30 a.m. weekdays and until 2 p.m. on weekends. 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-738-2181, www.eatthelunch
Grace will open on Mother’s Day to service both brunch and dinner. Menu highlights include green eggs and ham with salsa verde, pork carnitas with white cheddar grits and a petite filet and lump crab with eggs Benedict. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the restaurant will reopen at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. 777 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3388, www.gracefortworth.com.
The Egg & I, a Colorado-based breakfast and lunch chain, promises a Memorial Day opening for its west Fort Worth location. The national franchise (with locations already in far north Fort Worth and North Richland Hills) specializes in eggs Benedict, scrambles, omelets and frittatas as well as lunch salads and sandwiches. Hours will be 6 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-731-3442, www.theeggandirestaurants.com.
Dallas chef Dean Fearing has partnered with Patrón Tequila to create a custom-barrel select anejo tequila. Fearing and his team traveled to Patrón’s blue agave fields in the hills of Jalisco, Mexico, and worked alongside Patrón team members at their copper stills to create the personally designed, barrel-aged tequila. Limited quantities of the smooth and slightly sweet spirit are now available for pours at Fearing’s Restaurant, located at The Ritz-Carlton, 2121 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 214-922-4848, www.fearingsrestaurant.com.
• Halo del Santo rimming salt
• 4 ounces tomato juice
• 4 ounces Negra Modelo dark lager
• 1 tablespoon Key lime juice
• Dash Worcestershire sauce
• Dash Maggi seasoning sauce
• Cholula hot sauce, to taste
Rim a glass with Halo del Santo rimming salt. Combine remaining ingredients in the glass and serve chilled.
Vim + Vigor Watermelon Mint Mojito
• 4 ounces Vim +
Vigor No. 06
Hydrate + Heart
• 2 sprigs mint
• 2 ounces light rum
• 1 ounce club soda
• 1/2 cup light agave
Combine all ingredients and serve over crushed ice.