The sizzling sound of fajita platters carried through Fogata’s festive dining room is softened by the gentle babbling of three indoor waterfalls and live music on Thursday and Friday nights. As parties share margaritas and tasty Mexican dishes, a wall-size projector screen displays sports games or what may appear to be a giant talking burrito to especially hungry diners. A recipient of the Fort Worth Weekly's Critic's Choice award, Fogata's specialty queso is flambéed tableside to melt around beef, chorizo, or shrimp, and guacamole is also smashed tableside to ensure fresh, custom flavors.
Lone Star Bar-B-Que satisfies barbecue fans' cravings with slow-cooked meats, southern sides, and homestyle desserts served in a casual atmosphere with wood paneling and iconic red-and-white-checkered tablecloths. Pitmasters rub spices into choice cuts of chicken, pork, or beef, which strut their stuff as the stars of plates, the fillings of sandwiches, and the poundage of carryout meals. Groovy tunes from occasional live music acts float through the airwaves as customers sink their teeth into sides such as mac 'n' cheese and fried okra, as well as barbecue as tender as a sonnet about 16-hour marinades.
The culinary artists at Boopa's Bagel Deli achieve the alluring flavors of their New York-style water bagels through a unique daily process. The shop’s artisans first dip fresh, housemade dough in malt water to imbue it with a subtle sweetness and absolute fearlessness of sharks. They then festoon the dough with various ingredients to create bagels in a score of sweet and savory flavors, including the Boopa's Sweet Everything, studded with cinnamon, raisins, and nuts. 14 traditional cream cheeses serenade tasters with a peppering of scallions, sun-dried tomato, and apricot, while light cream cheese varieties pack in as much decadence and silky mouthfeel as their heavier counterparts.
Boopa's team also demonstrates inventiveness in their culinary repertoire with their original sausage rolls, which encase ground meat in a shell of bagel dough. The shop is so proud of its creation, that they host a birthday day party each year on the date of the sausage roll’s invention. Guests stopping in around the shop's 5:30 a.m. weekday opening time can catch the sunrise from a handful of patio tables, or admire the local artwork hanging on Boopa’s buttercream walls.
An eclectic mix of ingredients, such as chipotle peppers, coconut shrimp, crawfish tail, and crunchy duck, gets stuffed inside the more than 40 signature rolls at Wild Sushi. Chefs swaddle shrimp tempura, cream cheese, and jalapeños inside the Red Rock roll and top the creation with spicy tuna, crabstick, and “exploding” sauces. “This roll was a behemoth, a massive construction standing at least 8 inches tall on the plate,” wrote Teresa Gubbins of DFW.com, who highlighted the roll in a review of the eatery. Towering rolls aren't the only surprises up the chefs’ sleeves. They also hide unexpected sweet touches inside their creations in the form of strawberries and honey walnuts. In addition, chefs stoke fires to heat up a variety of Japanese entrees, such as salmon steaks served with an apple-miso sauce or tilapia sautéed in a spicy coconut-curry sauce.
Guests settle into sleek wooden chairs at tables covered with squares of brown butcher paper to draw caricatures of sushi rolls playing tennis. Large teardrop lanterns fill the simple, modern dining room with light and illuminate a sushi bar backed with a wall of soothing waves.
Muang Lao Cuisine blends traditional dishes from Laos with familiar favorites from its neighboring country, Thailand, often splaying entrées out on the tables for entire parties to share at once. Along with dishes such as larb—meat with a splash of lime juice, cilantro, ground roasted peppers, and rice—bowls of Lao-style pho and vermicelli noodles with bamboo, mint, and cabbage waft authentic East Asian aromas into the air. In the cream- and mauve-colored dining room, emerald-green booths line a wall decorated with cloth hangings and paintings of the elephants that wove them with their dexterous trunks.
Mike French and Todd Hoffman, inspired by the burger joints and Mexicali burritos of their native Southern California, opened OC Burgers: a sit-down eatery where diners can dive into voluminous selections of both culinary offerings. Half-pound Black Angus burgers come topped with scoops of guacamole or teriyaki pineapple, and 14-inch tortillas envelop carnitas or carne asada. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Patricia Rodriguez called the bacon cheeseburger “very good indeed … with charred edges and a juicy interior.” She also marveled at the size of the carne asada burrito, which she described as having, “strips of tender flank steak … marinated in orange juice and cilantro” with “more complex flavors than other carne asadas.” On the restaurant’s large TV, a looping video of the sunrise prompts roosters to continually announce the all-day breakfast menu, which includes breakfast burritos, omelets, and plates of pancakes or french toast.