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Eats Beat: Restaurant Week: giving, and booking tables carefully

Posted 12:27pm on Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014

Reservations are open for DFW Restaurant Week on Aug. 11-17.

Some advice: Choose carefully.

Most restaurants now post their special menus at dfwrestaurantweek.com. Some will offer fascinating $35 or $45 dinner specials in the annual charity promotion.

But a couple of restaurants always use the charity week as an excuse to serve skimpy or short dinners. (A $7 gift from each dinner goes to either the Lena Pope Home children’s agency in Fort Worth or a Dallas hunger charity.)

Look for those restaurants willing to give the Lena Pope Home their very best.

For example, Arlington’s Cacharel has a $35 dinner including either its beloved chocolate soufflé or Bailey’s Irish creme brulee .

In Fort Worth, Bonnell’s Restaurant will serve $45 dinners featuring smoked prime rib, grilled quail or blackened drum, with a dessert sampler.

Downtown, Grace’s $45 menu will feature a 44 Farms sirloin or a pan-seared hake. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, always a busy choice for Restaurant Week, offers a filet, salmon or roast chicken on a $45 menu with cheesecake or banana-bread pudding.

Newcomers Clay Pigeon Food & Drink and Bite City Grill have sharp menus to draw new customers. In Weatherford, the Wild Mushroom Steakhouse serves a special Italian menu.

Choices also include the signature garlic-stuffed tenderloin at Lonesome Dove Western Bistro.

One surprise on the list: a Southlake restaurant named il Calabrese.

That’s the new name for the former Patrizio’s Osteria, the extravagant Italian restaurant under new ownership. The name hasn’t changed yet, but it is expected to switch by Restaurant Week.

Lunch Box stays green

The Lunch Box has changed.

But not enough to upset anybody in Fort Worth, where the west side’s familiar salad-and-sandwich cafe has its first new decor in 40 years.

The lime-green-and-yellow colors stayed, but as highlights in a brighter dining room with green tables and yellow chairs.

The Lunch Box kept that feeling of perpetual springtime. It still serves the same familiar platters or sandwiches of chicken, tuna, egg or pimiento salad and sandwiches with fruit and poppy-seed dressing.

Look for The Lunch Box inside the Village at Camp Bowie behind Jakes Burgers.

It’s now open for lunch daily including Sundays; 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-738-2181, eatthelunchbox.com.

A SoCal Sombrero

Cal-Mex food has landed.

San Diego’s Sombrero Mexican Food, a fast-food chain known for rolled tacos and carne asada fries, is scheduled to open Wednesday in a former fried chicken restaurant on West Rosedale Street.

The Correa family founded Sombrero 30 years ago. The rolled tacos don’t have the national fame of California fish-taco landmark Rubio’s, but they’ll stand out in Texas.

They’re even mentioned in the San Diego band Blink-182’s song Josie (Everything’s Gonna Be Fine).

The “Cali” tacos and burritos combine carne asada with french fries, pico, cheese and sour cream. The restaurant also serves breakfast, including red or green chilaquiles, and a regular fast-food menu of tacos, burritos and salads.

Look for Sombrero at 201 W. Rosedale St., 682-730-1371, sombreromex.com.

Send in the subs

Kansas’ Planet Sub, ranked a “best sub sandwich” favorite in Denver and several other markets, is coming to Texas and will open in Fort Worth at 411 W. Seventh St., on the corner at Lamar Street.

(Yes, it’s another sub shop with a cool gimmick. When you order, Planet Sub gives you a playing card, then calls the cards as orders are ready.)

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/eats. Facebook: “Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat”

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