The Great Taco Showdown of 2013 is here.
New Torchy's Tacos and a Digg's Taco Shop have invaded Tarrant County, giving Fuzzy's Taco Shop its toughest competition yet.
Torchy's, which sprang six years ago from an Austin trailer park, will open Dec. 20 near Forest Park Boulevard in Fort Worth, with Southlake and Arlington stores to follow.
Torchy's is known for its diablo hot sauce and spicy salsas and quesos, and for keep-Austin-weird tacos like the "Trailer Park" (green chile-fried chicken) or this month's "Naughty Santa" (grilled shrimp with chorizo and jalapeño).
Fort Worth diners may be reluctant to cross party lines and choose "The Republican" (a jalapeño sausage wrap in a flour tortilla) or "The Democrat" (barbacoa with queso fresco and lime on a corn tortilla).
Torchy's also serves a selection of breakfast tacos. The restaurant is at 928 Northton St., near a hotel at Forest Park Boulevard and West Rosedale Street; torchystacos.com.
Digg's Taco Shop is open in Arlington, serving the now-familiar selection of Baja-style fish tacos and burritos with mango-habanero sauce but also offering simple burgers, fries and a full bar with margaritas and swirls.
Joey Milan, long ago an executive with the pioneering Cabo Grill fish taco stand in downtown Fort Worth, started Digg's in a small University Park location with investors from the Cousin's Bar-B-Q family. The company plans to add a Grapevine or Southlake location and then offer franchises, he said.
The new Digg's has a large patio and will offer live music. Tacos, burritos and tortas come with the expected shredded beef or brisket, or premium fillings such as grilled mahi-mahi.
(For the record, Digg's tops the fish tacos with Monterey Jack cheese, not cotija or feta like other taco shops.)
Digg's is open for lunch and dinner daily and late on weekends at 445 S. Pecan St., 817-274-2100; diggstacoshop.com.
Christmas Day dining reservations are vanishing, so book soon.
Six 10 Grille at Fort Worth's Ashton Hotel, one of few table-service restaurants open, will serve a choice of Niman Ranch ham, prime rib or baked sole with soup and salad, and desserts such as eggnog creme brulee; $40.
The Ashton also is offering a special holiday tea Wednesday through Sunday afternoons. 817-332-0100; theashtonhotel.com.
The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, serving a $105 brunch, is also booking reservations this year for brunch in its skyline Crescent Club next door ($60).
The Omni Fort Worth Cast Iron brunch is mostly booked, but space remains at Mercury Chophouse downtown and at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. Ruth's Chris Steak House in Dallas will open Christmas night, but the Fort Worth location will be closed.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538
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