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Eats Beat: More Jon Bonnell is good news for college football fans

Posted 10:13am on Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2014

Jon Bonnell is full of good news these days, and not just for oysters or gumbo.

His namesake Bonnell’s restaurant, the Waters seafood spinoff and Buffalo Bros. sports grill are riding the boom in southwest Fort Worth.

Now, he has a new fall gig: as celebrity chef consultant for TCU football at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Bonnell and the TCU concessionaire, France-based Sodexo, will work on private suite and club menus and concession items, he said this week.

He’ll have guest chefs later in the season. Fans generally liked ubiquitous celebrity chef Tim Love’s food last year but wanted something different.

“We’ll try to get through the first couple of games and see what people like,” Bonnell said this week.

When TCU’s stadium opened, Bonnell offered to take on the contract in a team with other chefs.

(As for Love, he’s plenty busy. His TV show, Restaurant Startup, premieres July 8, and he’s doing a national campaign with Hellmann’s mayonnaise.)

Elsewhere in Bonnell Nation, Waters drew attention at the Fort Worth Zoo’s annual restaurant festival for its chilled-shrimp bloody mary.

Menus lately have ranged from tortilla-crusted trout to a grilled swordfish with pear mash or a clever “I Can’t Decide” sampler of trout, drum and char.

Many diners stick to Bonnell’s familiar pecan-grilled oysters, shrimp-andouille gumbo and crab cakes. Waters is open daily for lunch and dinner at 2901 Crockett St.; 817-984-1110, waterstexas.com.

Buffalo Bros., Bonnell’s pizza-and-wings hangout, is filled with TCU baseball and World Cup soccer fans, sometimes both at the same time.

“That’s why we have 34 TVs,” he said.

“It’s fun seeing the World Cup crowd. We’re drawing a lot of new customers.”

Buffalo Bros. is serving Molson-battered fried haddock and fries as a special, and has a chicken-enchilada special some days; 3015 S. University Drive, 817-386-9601, buffalobrostexas.com.

• The West Seventh Street dining district continues its slow turn into more of a drinking district.

The Social House gastropub from Dallas will replace Brownstone, offering platters, burgers and salads, but most of all beer.

You can tell by the ads and social media whether a restaurant is more about dining or drinking. If the first line is “$2 off beers” or “Cocktails all the way around,” it’s mainly a bar.

The new Social House will open at 840 Currie St. Current locations are in Dallas and Addison; socialhouseuptown.com.

• Simple but good: fast-food tacos at new Taco Blanco, 6038 Lake Worth Blvd. (Texas 199).

Taco Blanco has the same menu as fast-food taco counters but makes crispy tacos with grated Monterey Jack cheese on premium white corn taco shells. The salsas are fresh (try the hotter green salsa).

It’s a different taste from usual drive-through tacos. Taco Blanco also serves Mexico “street tacos” on corn tortillas.

It’s open for lunch and dinner daily; 817-237-8001.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @BudKennedy

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