During Fort Worth’s second annual Blue Zones Restaurant Week, 20 area eateries are offering special pricing on plant-based menu items that are Blue Zones-inspired — reflecting eating habits in parts of the world where people live the longest and have less chronic disease. Between Oct. 11 and 17, visit participating restaurants for I-can’t-believe-there’s-no-meat entrées like barbecue jackfruit tacos with pineapple slaw, Blue Zones enchiladas, and portobello asada.
As a recap, the Weekly began covering Fort Worth’s quest to become a Blue Zones-certified community in 2014. Blue Zones has the local backing of Texas Health Resources to increase the health, life expectancy, and general well-being in our community. Although the project aimed to modify multiple components of lifestyle, much of the push revolved around promoting a Mediterranean-style diet. Seven years in, Fort Worth is now the nation’s largest Blue Zones-certified community.
BZ-friendly menu items are plant-based but may include goat cheese or an egg. You can add sourdough bread, corn, and whole grain pasta or brown rice. It turns out that adding vegetarian or vegan dishes may actually increase a restaurant’s bottom line. The food’s cheaper to produce, and those of us who are the pickiest eaters or have the most restrictions often define where the rest of our party can go for dinner. Whether you’re allergic to gluten, watching your cholesterol, or entertaining your vegan/Paleo/CrossFit relatives, there’s a little something for everyone on a Blue Zones menu. Most health experts, from cardiologists to liver specialists and gerontologists, are touting the health benefits of a diet that’s rich in healthy fats and veggies and poor in saturated fats, cheap carbs, and meat. During Blue Zones restaurant week, we’re just gonna call it all delicious.
Whether you’re dining in or carrying out, mention Blue Zones Restaurant Week when you order to grab your discount. Eating with a BZ slant isn’t just for Mediterranean food joints, salad bars, or smoothie stores, although those are well-represented on the list this year. The Thai Select family of restaurants across the Fort offers up their dinnertime veggie curry with brown rice, and a few new and surprising restaurants join in the fun this year –– including Mexican spots and even a fast-food chain. A brief roundup of your options this week includes the following.
Ascension Coffee (1751 River Run, Ste. 151, 817-865-3829) is knocking $2 off the Hippie Bowl, full of ancient grains, sweet potatoes, avocado, pickled beets, roasted mushrooms, and more.
Funky Picnic and Brewery (401 Bryan Ave., Ste. 114, 817-708-2739) is taking $2 off the titular winner of the week’s dishes, the Vegan AF Burger.
Our pick for best new restaurant in our 25th Annual Best Of edition this year, La Onda (2905 Race St., 817-607-8605) will give you $3 off the vegan ceviche.
At Los Vaqueros (2629 N Main St., 817-624-1511 and 3201 University Dr., 817-710-8828), it’s $5 for the Blue Zones enchiladas: Mexican-spiced veggies cuddled into corn tortillas with a tomatillo salsa and a side of black beans.
The veggie dog sandwich (just like the real thing with grilled onions, peppers, and jalapenos) is $3 off at Pouring Glory (1001 Bryan Ave., 682-707-5114) along with $2 off the chipotle black bean burger. Pouring Glory also has a menu full of other plant-based goodies, but these aren’t included in the Restaurant Week deal.
Shaw’s Patio Bar and Grill (1051 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-926-2116), a place best known for burgers, offers $2 off a luscious roasted portobello mushroom panini.
Taco Heads (1812 Montgomery St., 817-615-9899 and 2394 N. Main St., 817-420-6299) is knocking $1 off my personal favorite, the roasted corn and avocado taco on a corn tortilla.
Finally, this year’s Restaurant Week might also be called Blue Zones Jackfruit Taco Week because three of the participating eateries feature the little tropical delicacy that looks a little like an avocado and has the consistency of pulled chicken or pork. If you haven’t tried jackfruit, this might be your week. Rebirth of Food (404 Oakland Blvd., 682-230-8774) offers a barbecue jackfruit plate, while Cuisine for Healing (1614 Mistletoe Blvd., 817-921-2377) has jackfruit tacos with pineapple slaw. And Mariachi’s Dine-In (5724 Locke Ave., 682-760-9606) ups the ante a bit with their birria jackfruit tacos.
You can find the full lineup of restaurants and more at Info.BlueZonesProject.com/live-long-fort-worth.