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Eats beat: Lee's is melting hearts in North Tarrant

Posted 8:08am on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013

Grilled cheese: It's not just for food trucks anymore.

The new Lee's Grilled Cheese sandwich shop is a hit on North Tarrant Parkway, bringing Lee's truck customers to a strip shopping enter for hot sandwiches with nine different cheeses and first-rate fries.

Two years ago, Lee Perez and friend Keith Lee Weber started rolling as a truck with a mission: "Bringing world peace one grilled cheese at a time."

Now, the new Lee's serves an expanded menu of nine specialty sandwiches led by the "Backbreaker," pulled pork barbecue with mac-and-cheese and cheddar.

In the first few days, Lee's was selling so many turkey-bacon-cheddar sandwiches or "Big Kahuna" bacon-pork-pineapple-cheddar sandwiches that the restaurant often ran out of bacon. One day, Lee's even ran out of mac-and-cheese.

"Considering we're a small mom-and-pop restaurant up against all the Chipotles and Paneras of the world, the response has been great," Perez said.

"The people who know the truck from in town are coming up to see us." He's planning a second location in central Fort Worth, he said.

And yes -- if you really just want a grilled cheese on the artisan Texas-sized toast, it's $3.99.

But branch out to a Cuban with ham and pork, swiss cheese, pickles and dijon, or that turkey-bacon-cheddar.

The new twist at Lee's is the fries, cooked in peanut oil the way they are at Five Guys and other new burger shops.

Lee's is open daily for lunch and dinner at 5040 North Tarrant Parkway, on the corner at Park Vista Boulevard west of Watauga; 817-479-3220, leesgrilledcheese.com

There are plenty of Starbucks Coffee stands.

But only one has a kolache bakery next door.

The Starbucks in Hillsboro has an enticing neighbor: Country Czech Bakery, moving from town to serve fresh kolaches, sausage rolls and doughnuts next door to the famous coffee shop.

Country Czech Bakery has the flavor of West without the extra drive. Kolaches come in a dozen different flavors, and the sausage rolls are made with Nemecek's sausage from West.

The bakery also offers pies to order. It's open daily, mornings through midday; 102 N.E. Interstate 35, 254-580-2898.

Highland Park Cafeteria offers a double special Sunday night: free chicken potpie and a presentation on the new Bush library, opening about May 1 at SMU.

Chicken potpie is one of former President George W. Bush's favorites, so it's part of the presentation by library Director Alan Lowe.

It's a public event; 1200 N. Buckner Blvd. (Loop 12), 214-324-5000, highlandparkcafeteria.com.

Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538

Twitter: @eatsbeat

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