first Fort Worth, then Collin County
A steak and seafood restaurant from North Carolina named Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has made its way to Texas.
The state’s first Firebirds opens February 14, 2022 in North Fort Worth near downtown Alliance near Keller. Much of the northeast corner of 35W and Heritage Trace Parkway is a pile of dirt right now, but HEB has purchased a parcel of land there. A Chuy’s Tex-Mex is already open next to Firebirds.
After opening, the company’s East Coast rapid operators will focus on Collin County, where a Firebirds is slated to open in Plano, near the Frisco border at State Highway 121 and Preston Road.
The company now has 55 restaurants and plans to open four more in 2022.
The restaurant looks familiar – a bit like a Houston, but with more light.
“We felt early on that the Firebirds were a real fit for the customer base here,” Stephen Loftis, vice president of marketing, says of Fort Worth. He calls the restaurant “contemporary-polished”. It’s the kind of place where steaks are served for lunch and dinner, but you can bring your kids.
The most popular dishes on the menu are the lobster and spinach queso ($14.95 all day), wood-grilled salmon ($16.95 lunch, $25.95 dinner) and a rib eye Cajun ($37.95 all day for 16 ounces).
The seven salads on the menu are generously proportioned. Seared Tuna Superfood Salad comes with a dozen pieces of sushi-grade tuna near a bed of spinach and grains dressed in a tangy avocado-lime vinaigrette.
The restaurant also sells seven burgers. The most popular is the Durango burger, an incredibly high stacked sandwich with pepper jack cheese and fried onions. It’s one of many Colorado-themed menu items: Although this restaurant started in North Carolina and is now in Texas, founder Dennis Thompson had a home in Aspen, Colorado, and named several dishes in his honor.
Southwestern au gratin potatoes, made with a smoked tomato cheese sauce, are spicy and creamy. They’re a good match for Cajun rib eye, says Fort Worth chef Sean Martin.
Martin moved to Fort Worth for work and spent most of his career with the Firebirds. He started working for the company as a dishwasher when he was 18. He became sous-chef at this Delaware restaurant, then was promoted to executive chef at two Firebirds in New Jersey, then two more in Pennsylvania. He is just getting to know Fort Worth alongside general manager Michy Cruz, a native of Virginia.
And are these foreigners worried about moving to beef-loving Texas?
No, says Loftis. “We’re just going to bring our A-game,” he says.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is located at 2900 Amador Drive, Fort Worth. The second Firebirds in Texas is scheduled to open in late 2022 at 5430 State Highway 121, Plano.
For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.