360 West October 2012 : Page 75

EatDrink Tidbits, morsels and other tasty things Smashing Pumpkins ’Tis the season to take advantage of pumpkins (we’re talking the real deal, not the overly sweet canned variety). Nehme Elbitar, co-owner of Chadra Mezza & Grill in Fort Worth along with wife Christina, makes a dessert hummus using the seasonal gourd as for the fall menu at his Southside restaurant. The recipe is proprietary, but the Lebanese chef says pumpkins commonly are used in his native land and the growing season there mimics ours. We did manage to get a few details: He uses tahini but no garbanzo beans. There are honey and spices including a bit of ginger, and the pumpkin is cooked in a sugar water that’s later drizzled over the hummus before serving. It’s not too sweet but hits the spot, especially with some of Chadra’s strong Turkish coffee. The hummus is served with crispy housemade pita chips sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar. We scraped our bowl clean, but it’s a great dessert to share — or order a batch for a party ... just give the restaurant a couple days’ notice. In addition to the hummus, Nehme offers seasonal pumpkin-pecan ice cream and pumpkin baklava. 1622 Park Place Ave., Fort Worth; 817-924-2372 or chadramezza.com. — Meda Kessler Photo by Aaron Dougherty IN SEASON www.360westmagazine.com October 2012 75

Tidbits And Morsels

IN SEASON

Smashing Pumpkins

Tis the season to take advantage of pumpkins (we're talking the real deal, not the overly sweet canned variety). Nehme Elbitar, co-owner of Chadra Mezza & Grill in Fort Worth along with wife Christina, makes a dessert hummus using the seasonal gourd as for the fall menu at his Southside restaurant. The recipe is proprietary, but the Lebanese chef says pumpkins commonly are used in his native land and the growing season there mimics ours. We did manage to get a few details: He uses tahini but no garbanzo beans. There are honey and spices including a bit of ginger, and the pumpkin is cooked in a sugar water that's later drizzled over the hummus before serving. It's not too sweet but hits the spot, especially with some of Chadra's strong Turkish coffee. The hummus is served with crispy housemade pita chips sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar. We scraped our bowl clean, but it's a great dessert to share — or order a batch for a party ... just give the restaurant a couple days' notice. In addition to the hummus, Nehme offers seasonal pumpkin-pecan ice cream and pumpkin baklava. 1622 Park Place Ave., Fort Worth; 817-924-2372 or chadramezza.com. — Meda Kessler

Cool space, hot coffee and craft beer ... oh, and there will be food, too

Brewed A group of Fort Worth friends — including a pastor, a cardiologist, an engineer, a musician and an interior designer — is behind the gastropub opening this month in a formerly sedate part of Magnolia Avenue just west of Hemphill Street. David and Dayna Corley, Scott and Jana Clark, Jamey and Melissa Ice, and Joey and Lori Turner have channeled their talent, energy and enthusiasm into a unique project that started out as a coffee-wine-beer pub. With the addition of chef John Kramer, whose resume includes several Vegas restaurants, the concept has expanded to include a breakfast-brunch-lunchdinner menu designed to appeal to food lovers without sucking their wallets dry. This includes Lobster Corn Dogs, Brewed Fries (regular or sweet potato) cooked in duck fat and the Fairmount Bird & Veggies. Look for plenty of Texas craft beers, wine on tap via an old cognac barrel and locally made Holy Kombucha fermented tea on tap as well. On the coffee side of the bar, you'll find Avoca beans brewing with options ranging from specialty drinks to a bottomless cup for those who like to sit awhile. Designer Jana Clark has used a mix-and-not-matched approach with locally sourced doors from The Old Home Supply House in Fort Worth, modern chandeliers from Dallas' Global Views, treasures found at flea markets (an old pull-down school map is used to cover up the flat-screen TV in the main dining room when it's not on) and curbside discards. Custom pieces include the metal Brewed signs in front and back. The goal was to create a comfortable living-room feel, and she's succeeded. A private dining room with a long community table and cozy seating arrangements is getting bookings. A cozy beer library near the bar means you can read up on your favorite pours. And the curvy patio, with its multiple fire pits, is designed to handle a crowd even on a chilly night. 801 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth. Check the Brewed Facebook page for updates.

— Meda Kessler

new¬able

Hutch's Pie & Sandwich Shop It was a tough summer for this family-owned restaurant in Weatherford that dates to 1935. It was faced with closing up shop— David Hutchens cites the economy, new restaurants opening and road construction. But Weatherford residents wouldn't allow the business to close, going in droves to support it. They're still coming, and David says he can't put into words how thankful they are. David, son of founder R. F. Hutchens, owns the business, and his sons, Brandon and Blake, and grandson Dylan work there. Granddaughter Jessica has, too, and her daughter, fifth-generation 4-year-old Braeleigh Kae, already is learning to make pies. Flavors include apricot, apple, cherry, peach, lemon, chocolate and banana cream; all are handmade daily (each pie is $1.45). Can't make it out to Weatherford? Thanks to an updated website — part of the new technology-friendly Hutch's (along with Wi-Fi) — you can choose from five flavors, and have them shipped. For daily specials and promotions, look for Hutch's Pie & Sandwich Shop on Facebook.

145 College Park, Weatherford; 817-594-0751 or hutchsfriedpies.com.

— Gail Bennison

New¬able

Tacos & Avocados Chef/restaurateur Jason Boso (of Twisted Root fame) has opened Tacos & Avocados along Roanoke's booming South Oak Street, in the space originally occupied by his Cowboy Chow. This concept is easier to grasp than Chow's: high-quality street tacos, specialty guacamoles and margaritas made with flavor-infused tequilas. The space got a minimal makeover, mostly with paint (including site-specific art byThe Public Trust gallery in Deep Ellum), a self-serve paleta cart and a new counter for fast-casual service. Early hits from the appealing menu include a guacamole with tomatillo, pepitas and grilled Fresno peppers; well-seasoned elote served off the cob; and what we'd describe as Buffalo-wing tacos. Here's hoping the oily tortilla chips were the result of opening jitters. Like everything Boso does, this place purrs with good vibrations. 101 S. Oak St., Roanoke; tacosandavocados.com

— Marilyn Bailey

MILESTONES

Happy birthday, Weinberger’s Deli

When you bite into an Italian beef sandwich at this little restaurant in Grapevine, you're not just getting slow-roasted beef heated in savory au jus and topped with the crunchy, spicy snap of Italian giardiniera. You're getting decades of family experience in Chicago coupled with Dan Weinberger's passion for the sandwich — a combination that has him celebrating 10 years in the Texas suburbs this month. Even the order of assembly is crucial to Weinberger, who says the dressings on a Reuben, for example, should be spread on the meat, not the bread. When the former statistician decided to try his hand at the family business — one of his dad's Chicago delis was open from 1952 to 1998 — he at first offered traditional deli fare, like knishes, bagels, lox and cream cheese. The suburbanites were not interested. But they liked his sandwiches. So Weinberger made those the focus, though he still sells matzo ball soup during cold spells and sneaks lox into a sandwich with cream cheese, tomato, capers and spring mix. The hands-down favorite, though, is Weinberger's Italian beef — he slow-roasts 450 pounds a week of inside round seasoned with garlic, red pepper, black pepper, thyme and oregano. Like many deli meats, he explains, Italianstyle beef was born of necessity. The less-fresh, tougher cuts of meat were the least expensive, so home cooks who needed to feed a big family on a small budget used copious seasoning and slow-cooked the roasts for tenderness. The method also produced drippings, the au jus. If Italian beef isn't your thing, no worries. Weinberger will find something that is. "I'll throw away five or 10 sandwiches to find the one you can't live without. And you're mine for life." Besides the Grapevine location, there are Weinberger's delis in Denton and Westlake, and another is in the works for Keller. 601 S. Main St., Grapevine; 817-416-5577 or weinbergersdeli.com. — Judy Wiley

DALLAS

Can you say hot ticket? FT33 already the talk of the town

FT33, chef Matt McCallister's first solo restaurant venture, opens this month in the up-and-coming Design District. It's a deliciously comfortable venue with just 33 tables, an ever-changing menu and former GRACE sommelier Ryan Tedder in charge of the dining room and wine cellar. Pastry chef Joshua Valentine can be seen on Top Chef Seattle, premiering in November. "I loved GRACE," says Tedder, "but this was a chance to build a restaurant and a wine list from scratch." Tedder says the tightly curated list has just a fraction of the wines in the Fort Worth restaurant's cellar, but "though we may only have one Vouvray or assyrtiko producer, they'll be the best bottles of Vouvray or assyrtiko at the best price you'll find in Dallas." McCallister is a fanatic about details that matter: pristine ingredients (many he's foraged himself), artful presentations, and wallops of flavor in every bite. He's calling FT33's approach "seasonally inspired modern cuisine," which means you'll find dishes like dry-aged, grassfed Texas rib-eye steaks rubbed with porcini mushroom "dust," and creamy mashed potatoes enriched with vanilla and lemon, but also charred octopus with braised bitter greens, cashew miso and bacon. "I'm taking my cues from everywhere and everything," says McCallister, who first gained acclaim as executive chef at Stephan Pyles' namesake restaurant. "I want to serve the kind of food no one else is doing in Dallas." 1617 Hi Line Drive, Suite 250, Dallas; 214-741-2629 or ft33dallas.com.

• Mary Sparks (formerly Stampede 66 Speaking of Stephan Pyles, the celebrated chef reinvents himself yet again this month with the debut of this splashy new restaurant in Uptown. The restaurant takes its name from a mash-up of landmarks from Pyles' West Texas childhood: The Stampede, a dance hall, and the Phillips 66 truck-stop cafe that his family operated. Stampede 66's menu romps all over Texas, a collection of reinterpreted classic dishes and native ingredients starring Texas farm birds (dove, quail, chicken), meat and game (wild boar, Akaushi beef, venison), Gulf seafood and local produce. Even the tacos and tamales will be showstoppers, their corn masa made from nixtamal ground in-house. Says Pyles, "Stampede is all about the details." Shawn Horne, most recently at Monty's Corner in Fort Worth's Montgomery Plaza, is Stampede's general manager. "Shawn started his career with me at Star Canyon [an early Pyles restaurant in Dallas], so this is a reunion for us." 1700 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas.

• Emporium Pies "Fine pies for fine folk" is how owners and college friends Megan Wilkes and Mary Sparks (formerly Mary Gauntt) tout the casual, hip pie shop they've opened in a converted 1930s-era Victorian-style house in the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff. Sparks, the baker, makes the dough, while Wilkes, the more business-minded of the two, counts it. The pie lineup will change seasonally, but the current rotation of seven selections includes pumpkin, apple-cranberry and Sparks' favorite, the "Drunken Nut," a bourbon pecan pie made with a shortbread crust. All of the pies are handmade from scratch and sold by the slice ($5) or whole (mostly $30). 314 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas; 469-206-6126 or emporiumpies.com. — Michael Hiller

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Tidbits+And+Morsels/1188891/127838/article.html.

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