Compiled by Meda Kessler
Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q
Tucked away directly behind Hop & Sting Brewing Co. in Grapevine sits a trailer where Vaqueros pitmaster Trey Sanchez chops, slices and serves the perfect mix of Tex-Mex and Texas barbecue. This hidden gem is only open Thursday through Sunday, and regulars begin to form a line as they await a taste of some of the best BBQ in Texas. On Thursdays only, you will find a taco-centric menu including brisket birria tacos served with a flavorful consommé for dunking. While 2020 seemed like the year of the birria taco, we’re glad they’ve stuck around. The flash-fried tacos dorados are another favorite. Otherwise, go for the melt-in-your-mouth brisket and worthy sides such as cowboy potatoes, spicy cucumber salad, smoked elote and Texas trail beans. Each is the perfect complement to the smoked meats. Sanchez’s unique cooking style runs deep in his soul and in his family’s history; his father owned and operated Arnold’s Texas Bar-B-Q in East Dallas from 1979 to 1999. Check Vaqueros’ website for hours and specials. Outdoor seating is available at the brewery’s beer garden, and there are tables and chairs near the Vaqueros trailer. — Kimberly Dendy
Hop & Sting Brewing Co. 906 Jean St., Grapevine, 817-488-2337; Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q, 214-532-4244, vaquerostexasbarbq.com
Eggsquisite Cafe hits the spot for lunch and dinner
Only open since November of last year, Eggsquisite is winning over the breakfast and lunch crowd with its varied menu and friendly service. Offerings include indulgences such as the Very Berry French toast topped with creamy mascarpone cheese, a drizzle of vanilla and berry glaze and a bountiful serving of fresh berries. This is a must if you have an early morning sweet tooth. Focusing on healthy eating? Try avocado toast or the Iron Man scrambler made with egg whites and a generous serving of veggies. Cafe recommendations, marked with a heart on the menu, include the chicken and carnitas skillet and a Rueben sandwich. Make sure to include a cup of Segafredo Zanetti coffee or a cookie butter latte. And a definite must is the freshly squeezed orange juice. If breakfast isn’t your preference, the all-day lunch menu also offers a variety of gourmet salads, sandwiches and wraps, burgers and more. Eggsquisite Cafe is family owned and operated, with a total of five restaurants in the area. Open daily 7 a.m.-3 p.m., the cafe serves breakfast and lunch menu items all day. — Kimberly Dendy
260 N. Kimball Ave., Southlake, 682-477-4411, eggsquisitecafe.com
BreadHaus is still fresh-baked
And just like that, it’s been 25 years since a young couple took a gamble on a local passion for European-style breads and baked goods. Mark and Petra Lively opened their bakery — originally as Wildflower Bread Co., later rechristened BreadHaus — on Main Street in historic Grapevine. Almost immediately, they drew an audience that appreciated their artisan baking.
“We found quite a community that wants these everyday whole-grain breads and the traditional specialty items that you’d find in a small bakery in Germany,” says Mark, a native Texan; Petra comes from the Rhine Valley town of Koblenz.
After leaving their original space, now occupied by a French bakery, the Livelys built a spot on the outskirts of downtown in 2000 and changed the name a year later. With more space for both the kitchen and retail section, they added to their repertoire of breads and sweets, all crafted from organic flours, grains and seeds. They have a big following among health-conscious customers who search out authentic sourdough-based breads. Their hearth breads — hand-shaped and baked on the floor of a European oven — are free of dairy and eggs, with no added sugars or fats, a boon for vegans. “About 80 percent of what we produce is plant-based,” Mark says, adding, “It’s really mostly sweets that contain butter or eggs.”
Popular bread choices include Oma’s Multigrain, made with wheat, rye and oats, with sunflower, flax and sesame seeds, a daily offering; and Jewish rye, a light sourdough with caraway seeds, made on Saturday. Cranberry-pecan whole-wheat bread is available Friday and Saturday, and traditional chewy German pretzels are always on offer.
Sweets run the gamut from lemon, apricot-pecan and berry cake bars to Bundt cakes, pies, cookies and a multitude of scones. Summer items include fresh peach streusel. To avoid disappointment, stop in early. “We use no preservatives, and bake items to be enjoyed the same day, or maybe the next,” Mark says. “Regular customers arrive early because most everything sells out every day.” — June Naylor
700 W. Dallas Road, Grapevine, 817-488-5223, breadhaus.com
• Jane, a coffee and wine bar, is replacing the former Protein Fit Kitchen in the Park Village shopping center. Locally owned by Mo and Nosheen Noorali, the coffee shop portion of the restaurant is expected to be open by the end of May, with the full wine bar, which also will include craft cocktails, in operation by June. Look for a seasonal, rotating menu focusing on cheese and charcuterie boards, small bites, salads and more. The coffee will be provided by Philadelphia roaster La Colombe. The name comes from Jane Street in New York City’s West Village, where Mo Noorali once lived. Look for an inviting interior and comfy patio seating.
Park Village, 1151 E. Southlake Blvd., meetatjane.com
• Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles of Southlake plans to fill out a change of address card at some point, as the restaurant announced plans in April to leave its current location at the corner of North Carroll Avenue and State Highway 114 for a spot in Grapevine Towne Center at 114 and William D. Tate Avenue. No date has been given for the move. facebook.com/lolosDFW
• After closing in 2018, only to reopen under new ownership a year later, Southlake’s Johnny B’s Burgers and Shakes shut its doors again in April, bidding the community farewell and expressing thanks on its website.