Originally published on dallasobserver.com
Big things are happening for suburban foodies at the intersection of Alma Road and State Highway 121. Last year, HUB 121 debuted in McKinney with restaurants like Wine A Little and Elwood BFD. Fork & Fire and Valerie’s Taco Shop are the latest to open their doors at the development.
On the other side of Alma, District 121 has broken ground. This $250-million mixed-use development will house restaurants like Bob’s Steak and Chop House, Mi Cocina, Common Table and 400 Gradi. On the south side of State Highway 121 and Alma, a 35,000-square-foot food hall, The Hub, debuted in Allen in late 2022.
We recently got a first look at Fork & Fire’s new location at Hub 121. The scratch kitchen and craft bar opened its first location in the region at the Boardwalk Granite Park in Plano. The farm-to-table restaurant boasts an Argentine wood-fired grill fueled by mesquite wood, handcrafted cocktails, including Stanley Tucci’s Tequila-tini and an abundance of wines and local beers on tap.
The restaurant is cozy, with an electric fireplace and several different seating areas, including a bar and patio area. Recycled white doors and light fixtures hang from the ceiling.
The beverage menu is vast, and although the local beer selection is abundant, the lowest-priced draft beer is $9. We figured our best bet was to go with the tequila-tini. The menu listed three prices, varying with your tequila choice. We went with the mid-tier option at $16. This take on a margarita is served up with hand-squeezed oranges, lime and a splash of agave in a martini glass with a large ice cube. The drink was strong and salty, stiff enough that we didn’t need to order another cocktail.
Signature starters include grilled wings ($16) and fried pickles ($12), and we went with the pastrami eggrolls ($14). These were served piping hot, cut in half and generously stuffed with the tender house-made pastrami chunks, gooey gruyère cheese, crunchy pickles and kraut with a side of Thousand Island dressing to cool it down. If you want to get your hands on the perfectly smoked meat, we recommend arriving early, as both the pastrami sandwich entrée and eggroll appetizer can sell out. We got the last order of eggrolls at 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday.
Signature dishes include house-made pastrami ($17.50), akaushi beef filet (MP) and Faroe Island salmon (MP). After the decadent appetizer, we decided to go with a healthier entrée, the salmon ($28). It’s served with your choice of a long list of sides; we ordered the broccoli mashed and three-cheese ‘n’ truffle mac.
The salmon is seared naked with a dash of smoked salt and lemon and a crispy salmon skin on top. The salmon had a nice smokey flavor and was perfectly cooked, easily flaking under our fork. We skipped trying the crispy salmon skin and dug right into the sides. The mac was a bit bland with no hint of truffle, and even though it looked creamy and cheesy, didn’t taste like a decadent blend of three kinds of cheese. On the other hand, the broccoli mashed — a blend of mashed potatoes and broccoli — was fantastic, sure to convert even the pickiest anti-broccoli eaters.
Overall, the service was prompt and friendly. The speed from the kitchen didn’t leave us waiting hungrily to soak up that tequila-tini too long, and the ambiance and atmosphere were welcoming. We arrived fairly early on a Saturday, and by the time we left the restaurant was a buzz of chatter. It filled up quickly as the dinnertime rush approached.
We’ll be back for happy hour (Monday through Friday, 3 p.m – 6 p.m.), with its $3 beers, $2 off the 25 wines on tap, $7 cocktails and specially priced wings, crostinis and flatbreads. Additionally, there’s a Saturday and Sunday brunch until 4 p.m.
Fork & Fire, HUB 121, 7540 State Highway 121, No. 150, McKinney. Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.