Comfort and Joy
Forgo the calorie counting when visiting Chef Blythe’s Southern Bistro. The first restaurant from Oklahoma native and local chef Blythe Bridges is set to open this month in a North Richland Hills shopping center and will be a sanctuary for the stick-to-your-ribs comfort cuisine of the South. Bridges, who has cooked in Dallas and has culinary and food and beverage management degrees, will serve elevated versions of Southern classics such as grilled chicken marinated in sweet tea, homemade pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes (both of which top the Bistro’s signature burger), and traditional sides like garlic mashed potatoes, fried squash, fried okra and broccoli cheese casserole. There’ll be fried pies, too, along with Key lime pie and bread pudding doused in maple sauce. Inspired by Southern celebrity chef Paula Deen, Bridges says all bread will be made in-house and promises that her chicken-fried steak “is not going to be thin. You won’t have to search for the meat.” 9160 N. Tarrant Parkway, North Richland Hills, 817-770-4905, www.chefblythessouthernbistro.com.
An Appetite for Grinders
Chef David Hollister, the culinary brains behind Dallas’ Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill and Yucatan Taco Stand, is elevating the sandwich bar in Fort Worth with the opening of Dagwoods Grinders & Growlers this month. Located near Ridgmar Mall in a strip shopping center, the small, dark wood-walled eatery will offer a hearty menu of hefty sandwiches, each compiled with premium ingredients like Akaushi tri tip, Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon and Beemster Dutch gouda cheese. The beef belly sandwich on rye comes with house-cured Akaushi beef belly bacon, the only bacon of its kind in Fort Worth, Hollister says, and sweet balsamic onion jam. The namesake Dagwood, a multilayered sandwich named for the central character in the comic strip Blondie, comes dressed with smoked rosemary aioli, beefsteak tomatoes, crispy leeks and a fried egg paired with roasted bone marrow jus for dipping. Visit hungry and bring an empty growler for filling, because the sandwich shop doubles as a craft beer bar. The Ridgmar location is the first of two for the Dagwoods brand, as a second outlet with a slightly different menu will open on Foch Street by October, he says. 1736 Mall Circle, Fort Worth, 817-570-7913, www.dagwoodsdfw.com.
Fine Food for Frogs Fans
Jon Bonnell is back to partner with Amon G. Carter Stadium’s concessionaire Sodexo to cater Texas Christian University football games this season, and just like last year, he’s sharing the spotlight. Local guest chefs will showcase their culinary talent for members of the Champions Club during each home game. They include Blaine Staniford (Grace), Molly McCook (Ellerbe Fine Foods) and Lanny Lancarte (Righteous Foods). The Horned Frog football home opener, set for 2:30 p.m. Sept. 12, will feature the cuisine of Clay Pigeon Food and Drink executive chef and owner Marcus Paslay, who’ll serve his version of a BLT with house-made bacon, heirloom tomatoes and a sherry-mustard-honey glaze. Guest pastry chefs, including Robbie Werner of Stir Crazy Baked Goods and Lina Biancamano of Mod Bakehouse, will also get in on the action this year to serve desserts to suite holders. www.gofrogs.com.
When the Texas Christian University baseball team advanced to the College World Series this summer, The Classic at Roanoke executive chef Charles Youts was inspired to support the Horned Frogs by way of the kitchen with a potato pancake special in TCU’s school color — purple. “I was able to harvest the potatoes from a local farmer,” the chef says. “We like to think outside the box sometimes and let people see food in a different color and spectrum.” Youts is bringing back the dish this month to kick off the Horned Frog football season. Fans can whip up the savory dish to sit center-plate for game-watching parties at home with the recipe here. Serve with dollops of Youts’ tangy Roasted Garlic Sour Cream and a salad for a festive, easy meal that’s sure to score big with guests.
Tea Lovers, Rejoice
While high-quality coffee beverages are no longer hard to find amid the growing number of local coffee venues, opportunities for premium, fresh-brewed tea are lacking. But tea lovers will find an oasis of options at Tea2Go, new in Montgomery Plaza, where more than 120 loose-leaf teas are available hot or iced. Teas are brewed to order and categorized by type, including herbal, green, oolong, rooibos, chai, white, black and more. Varieties include everything from English breakfast to honeyed almond. The subtle sweeteners, if desired, range from coconut sugar to ginger-infused cane sugar. The loose-leaf selections are stored in rows of bins and are also available for purchase by the ounce. Note that iced-tea sizes climb all the way to 44 ounces — a valuable size as steamy temperatures linger through September. 2600 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-349-3345. www.tea2go.us.
Sushi in Southlake
Southlake will have a new option for sushi when RA Sushi opens this month in the city’s newest shopping and dining destination, Park Village. The Florida-based restaurant, which has North Texas locations in Plano and Addison, is popular for its upscale, dimly lit, date night-friendly atmosphere, as well as signature sushi rolls like mango lobster, grilled pineapple with shrimp tempura, and yellowtail with chili ponzu sauce. Traditionalists will appreciate the eatery’s lengthy list of sashimi — thinly sliced raw fish like halibut, mackerel, sea urchin and striped bass. The new Southlake location will feature an expansive outdoor patio, beer, sake, wine and specialty cocktails and happy hour daily. 1131 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-601-9590, www.rasushi.com.
A New Tasting Room for Grapevine
Heading to the 29th annual GrapeFest this month? Make a stop at Bingham Family Vineyards’ new Grapevine tasting room. The longtime High Plains grape growers have been providing grapes for wineries all over Texas for more than a decade but decided to fulfill their wine-making dream by creating vino of their own. “We wanted the fruits of our labor to be easily accessible to a larger number of people than our rural winery site allows,” says Betty Bingham, who manages more than 150 acres of wine grapes just outside Lubbock along with her husband, Cliff, a fourth-generation farmer. The Binghams chose Grapevine for the city’s avid promotion of Texas’ wine heritage and culture, Betty says. Bingham wines are categorized by reds, whites, sweet wines and rosé and tastings are paired with Veldhuizen farmstead cheese from Dublin. Dugout, a full-bodied blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc, is a popular selection named for the first generation of the Bingham family, which settled in the Texas High Plains in the early 1900s and lived in a dugout. 620 S. Main St., Grapevine, 682-651-8668, www.binghamfamilyvineyards.com.
The second annual Oktoberfest Fort Worth, presented by Spaten, will take place Sept. 24-26 at The Shack at Panther Island Pavilion along the Trinity River. The three-day Munich-style festival will celebrate German food and music with indoor and outdoor biergartens, entertainment (including Brave Combo) and dancers of all ages performing traditional Bavarian folk dances. Menu items will include bratwurst, pretzels, strudel, schnitzel and crepes made to order. Admission is $5 Sept. 24 ($3 in advance), and $10 Sept. 25 and 26 ($7.50 in advance). Children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. http://www.oktoberfestfw.com.
The 29th annual GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, will take place in Historic Downtown Grapevine on Sept. 17-20. This year’s event will feature Texas, Oregon and Argentinian wines along with craft beer, live music, local food vendors and even a shaded champagne terrace for sampling premium bubbly. Popular events include the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation. GrapeFest admission is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors 62-plus and children 6-12. Weekend passes start at $18 and admission is free Sept. 17 and until 5 p.m. Sept. 18. www.grapevinetexasusa.com/grapefest.
Bird Café will host weekly whiskey tastings at 5 p.m. Thursdays this month, featuring selections from Amador Whiskey Co. Two whiskeys and one craft beer will be paired with three small plates from executive chef David McMillan for $25. The Sundance Square restaurant also will host a five-course whiskey and beer dinner at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 ($90, including gratuity) featuring Texas-based Garrison Brothers whiskey and beer from Southern Star Brewing. 155 E. Fourth St., Fort Worth, 817-332-2473, www.birdinthe.net.
Thai Chili, which recently closed its Southlake location, has moved to Roanoke near the city’s historic downtown. The traditional Thai restaurant offers a variety of curry dishes, including creamy panang, mild massaman and pineapple curry presented in a hollowed pineapple shell. Soups, noodle dishes, fried rice, seafood and a lengthy list of appetizers round out the large menu, which is served Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. 210 S. U.S. 377, Roanoke, 682-502-4843, www.thaichilitx.com.
Peruvian Purple Potato Pancakes
• 3 cups mashed Peruvian purple potatoes (or other
purple variety), chilled
• 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, smashed
• 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed
• Salt, to taste
1. In a large bowl stir together the mashed potatoes, cheese, scallions, egg, garlic and 3 tablespoons flour until combined. Using hands, divide the mixture into 12 portions. Roll each portion into a compact ball, then flatten it into a pancake about 1/2 inch thick.
2. Place the remaining 1/2 cup flour in a shallow dish and carefully dredge each pancake in the flour.
3. Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan. Fry the pancakes, in batches, until they’re golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add more oil to the pan as needed between batches. Do not overcrowd the pan and do not flip the pancakes too soon or they won’t develop a crisp crust.
4. Transfer the pancakes to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt. Serve topped with Roasted Garlic Sour Cream (recipe follows) and garnished with micro greens, if desired.
Roasted Garlic Sour Cream
• 2 bulbs garlic
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
• Pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut whole garlic bulbs in half and coat with olive oil. Wrap in foil. Roast for 1 hour.
2. Let cool to room temperature. Squeeze garlic out of skins and sprinkle with salt.
3. Add the roasted garlic and sour cream into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Remove into a bowl, fold in chives and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
— 504 N. Oak St., Roanoke, 817-430-8185, http://theclassiccafe.com.