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Food & Wine: Arlington is a Blaze

February 2016 – Food & Wine Column

Magdalena’s Cocina Mexicana Local

Grand Ave., Suite A

Fort Worth


Malai Kitchen – Thai & Vietnamese

1161 E. Southlake Blvd., No. 220



Blaze Pizza

841 E. Lamar Blvd.



Sonsie House Kitchen

62 Main St.



Magdalena’s Cocina Mexicana Local expanding dinner service.

Chef Juan Rodriguez served as executive chef of Reata for eight years before going out on his own. His newest venture, Magdalena’s Cocina Mexicana Local (named after his grandmother, who encouraged his love of cooking), just marked one year in the catering business. He has just begun with some pop-up dinners around town as well.

Now plans are in the works to offer dinner service too. Expansion is underway at his current location, and Magdalena’s plans to begin offering dinner service on-site by late spring. Rodriguez is also exploring another possible location in the North Side, on North Main Street near El Rancho Grande, which (fingers-crossed) could open for dinner service later this year. His knowledge of interior Mexico’s cuisine and cooking techniques would give other “true Mexican” restaurants a run for their money.



Five years to the day after opening their Southeast Asian restaurant in the heart of Dallas’ Uptown, Braden and Yasmin Wages opened the doors to their second location, in Southlake’s Park Village, on Jan. 31. “We’re excited to bring our modern take on Thai and Vietnamese cuisine and refined service to Southlake’s burgeoning food scene,” says Braden.

This second location will stay true to Malai’s core principles of using the highest quality ingredients available and preparing as much as possible from scratch. As with the original restaurant, all curry paste, Sriracha sauce and coconut milk will be prepared in-house daily. The Wageses have also acquired a sugar cane juicer to add fresh sugar cane juice to the menu exclusively at Southlake. In addition, the Southlake location will expand Malai’s beer program, including five of their house-brewed, Asian-style beers on tap as well as a larger brew room.



Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is blazing a trail across the country and its latest stop is in Arlington. Opening in February in North Arlington’s Parkway Central Shopping Center at 841 E. Lamar Blvd., next to Whole Foods, the restaurant features a 3,200-square-foot-interior with seating for 75 and an outdoor patio that seats 25.

Blaze Pizza is a modern-day “pizza joint” that has been cultivating fanatics for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, fresh blood orange lemonade and addictive s’more pies since it opened its first location in 2012. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of ingredients – all for about $8.

“We’re excited to join the Arlington community and ‘fire up’ our artisanal pizzas here,” said Brian Kelley, managing partner of Saddles Blazin LLC, a Blaze Pizza franchisee that also owns Blaze Pizzas in Frisco, Austin and New Orleans. “We know Blaze will be a favorite among locals with our high-quality ingredients, eco-friendly culture and commitment to Texas craft beer.”



The mother-daughter duo of Diane Harris and Amy Hoepker brings classic Southern family recipes with a twist to their new Sonsie House Kitchen in Colleyville. “There has been a lot of attention focused on the fact that we were the founding family of Celebrity Cafe & Bakery,” said Harris. The menu at Sonsie House Kitchen, or SoHo as the owners call it, is simple and straightforward. The beef SoHo burger, with a bacon marmalade and fried jalapeño strip topping, is highly sought after. “I always encourage our guests to save room for dessert. They really showcase my mom’s baking expertise,” Hoepker said. Harris’ well-known gift for baking is evident. Her light, but decadent, chocolate Pavlova with tangerine cream is a must try, as are her raspberry French macaroons.

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