Eats Beat: El Fenix finally joins the green chile bandwagon

Posted 7:13am on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013

It only took El Fenix Restaurant 95 years.

But finally, it has joined the fun of Hatch, N.M., green chile season.

El Fenix’s first Hatch Chile Festival offers the restaurant’s signature dish in an all-new, all-green way.

Along with its regular cheese enchiladas, El Fenix offers a Monterey Jack-Chihuahua cheese enchilada with roasted Hatch chile. (Or ask for a chicken enchilada — that can be green, too.)

El Fenix also has chicken tamales with green chile, or a fajita platter with green chile. For a drink special, there’s a blackberry mojito.

OK, so it’s not exactly as New-Mexico-true as Blue Mesa Grill’s stacked blue corn enchiladas with Hatch chile pozole, or Chuy’s Hatch Chuychangas.

For El Fenix, change is dramatic. After all, this is a restaurant that was around 10 years before The Original in Fort Worth.

El Fenix hasn’t changed anything else, and the cheese enchilada plate is still $5.99 Wednesdays. The 21 area locations include two in Arlington, plus Burleson, Grapevine and the traditional Ridglea location in west Fort Worth; elfenix.com.

Stockyards Tex-Mex

Another old Tex-Mex favorite is celebrating an anniversary.

Los Vaqueros Stockyards, which opened across the street from then-new Billy Bob’s, will mark 30 years with specials at all three locations next week.

The Cisneros family will offer specials each day at 1980s prices — about $3 — and wrap up with parties Friday and Saturday inside and on the newly canopied patio at the Stockyards location.

If you want the real 1980s flavor, order enchiladas “homestyle,” the old Jimenez way with special chili sauce and lettuce and tomato on top; 2629 N. Main St., 3105 Cockrell Ave., or 29 Crown Road in Willow Park, losvaqueros.com.

Del Frisco’s, Grace for wine

Wine Spectator’s awards are not taken very seriously — because they mostly reward those paying a $250 entry fee — but they do reflect those restaurants serious about promoting wine.

In Tarrant County, two restaurants won the magazine’s “best of” excellence award this year: Del Frisco’s and Grace.

Those restaurants qualified by offering more than 400 wines and distinctive specialties. Only one Dallas-area restaurant, Pappas Bros. Steaks, won the higher Grand Award.

Other locally owned restaurants recognized by the magazine: Bonnell’s, Lonesome Dove and Zambrano Wines, along with Next Wood Fired Grill in Colleyville, Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose and Wild Mushroom in Weatherford.

Chain steakhouses Capital Grille, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Ruth’s Chris were also named, along with Old Hickory Steakhouse and Zeppole at the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat Facebook Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/eats

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