Every week I ask my colleagues for the very best thing they ate recently. It helps me build my ever-growing list of places, dishes and drinks to try, and kicks me out of a creative rut if I ever find myself in one. This week our food team came through with recs for clams in ‘nduja broth found in Fort Worth, a mango sour ale that screams summer, enchiladas sprinkled with “onion ash,” and herbed almonds.
Costeñitas Suizas at Atipico
Atipico, the Mexican import that just landed in the Harwood District, offers an eclectic blend of flavors and cuisines, with dishes like Falafel Rojo, Kurimi Tacos, lamb chops with mint and couscous, plus burgers and Maine lobster rolls. But my waiter recommended the Costeñitas Suizas from the breakfast menu (11 a.m. is a great time to eat), so of course I went with that. It was a delicious and comforting dish of enchiladas with serrano pepper sauce, Oaxaca adobo chicken, and cheese, sprinkled with some onion ash. As you can see from the photo, it was very saucy, which I like very much. – Erin Booke, food editor
Herbed almonds from Kuhlman Cellars
I’m not sure there’s a better afternoon snack than a handful of Marcona almonds and a glass of cold wine in the summer. So, get this: Kuhlman Cellars in the Texas Hill Country is selling its delicious housemade almonds — usually available at the winery — in an almond club, with almonds that arrive on your doorstep every other month. Um, sign me up! The club gets you two bags of Marcona almonds tossed in herbs de Provence, salt and olive oil. The almonds sing with rosemary and thyme and are made with a spice blend purchased in Aix-en-Provence, France, and flown all the way the tiny town of Stonewall, Texas, where they mix them up in the kitchen next to the wine tasting room. Get a bag or two of these for an effortless start to your next party. Or, ya know: They’re also great for solo happy hour in the backyard. — Sarah Blaskovich, senior food reporter
Kuhlman Cellars is at 18421 E, US-290, Stonewall. $31 for wine club members, $34 for newcomers. kuhlmancellars.com/Club/Vina-Vita-Almond-Club.
Clams at Il Modo
I’m a big fan of oysters, and I’ve been known to dive headfirst into a good bowl of garlicky mussels. But when it comes to bivalve mollusks, I just don’t eat a lot of clams. There’s no good reason for this, other than I don’t seem to find them on menus as often as their shellfish pals. A trip to Il Modo in Fort Worth changed that. The antipasti options at this Italian restaurant located within Kimpton Harper Hotel include clams in ‘nduja broth with grilled sourdough, saffron aioli and herbs. The broth is rich and spiked with mild spice from the ‘nduja (a spreadable Calabrian pork sausage), and the saffron and herbs round out the flavors. Once all the clams were gone, I got to work on that buttery sourdough, soaking up every bit of broth. What a productive way to spend five minutes before entrees arrived. – Kevin Gray, contributing writer
Il Modo, 714 Main Street, Fort Worth. ilmodorestaurant.com.
Tiger Lilly mango sour ale at Martin House Brewing
There’s really no argument to be made against Martin House Brewing Company in Fort Worth being the area’s zaniest craft beer operation. Hot dog flavored beer, pickle beer, barbecue sauce beer and a new line of oddball hard seltzers have grabbed headlines nationwide. But this past weekend I found myself enjoying the balanced, bright flavors of Martin House’s Tiger Lilly mango sour. Brewed with honey and vanilla, this specific sour brew is just as successful as many of the other sours that Martin House has also become known for. Weighing in at 8 percent ABV, there’s a nice punch mixed in with the easy-drinking effervescence. The vanilla pops just enough to sweeten the sip, but not so much that the tangy funk of the sour ale is smothered. There’s nothing subtle about Martin House’s approach to brewing and marketing, nor is there anything subtle about this specific offering. The mango sour is a great choice for the beer drinker who loves to keep it local, needs something refreshing and doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Never change, Martin House. You do you! – Kelly Dearmore, contributing writer
Martin House Brewing, 220 S. Sylvania Avenue, Fort Worth. martinhousebrewing.com.
Bánh mì at Quoc Bao Bakery
“This is an insane deal,” said a young guy to his friends in line in front of me at Quoc Bao Bakery. He was talking about the Vietnamese bakery’s buy-two-get-one-free deal for bánh mì sandwiches. Yes, it is an insane deal, especially since the sandwiches are no more than $5.00 each and very, very good. The baguettes are baked in house and everything put into them is fresh and incredibly flavorful. I went to the Garland spot to grab a sandwich for lunch, but the thought of walking out of there with three sandwiches for under $15 took me captive. Next thing I knew I had a grilled chicken bánh mì, a shredded pork bánh mì, a meatball and barbecue pork bánh mì, and a Thai iced tea in hand. I was set for the next few meals. What’s that saying, a bánh mì a day keeps the doctor away? – Claire Ballor, food reporter
Quoc Bao Bakery, 3419 W. Walnut Street, Garland.