Because there can simply never be enough sandwich shops -- and because DFW, in fact, has a dearth of them -- Fork in the Road has opened in Central Arlington (1821 S. Fielder Road).
Chef-owner Josh Hopkins has worked in many kitchens around the area. He started as a busboy at 14, and after dabbling in ceramic engineering he got serious about cooking. He had gigs at Café Brazil in Deep Ellum and Austin before 20 Feet's Marc Cassel hired him to be the pantry cook at Star Canyon and followed him to The Green Room. It was "the most fun I've ever had," he said.
Hopkins then opened Vortex-Mex, a taco trailer, followed by jobs at Whole Foods, Chamberlain's and Cock and Bull before landing nextdoor to Cassel at Goodfriend. Through it all he had a plan to go rogue with his own sandwich shop.
"The idea to open my own space was a long-time dream, but actually became serious two and a half years ago," Hopkins says. "I started saving and buying equipment as I could afford it. I looked at four or five spots, but they didn't feel right. When a friend told me about the old Jackson's space I looked and it had all the pieces I was missing."
Hopkins worked six days a week to refurbish the spot and opened in early December. The small dining room has fewer than 10 tables and one small window to push out baskets of burgers, fries, sandwiches, salads and bowls of soup.
In addition to build-your-own burgers, the sandwich menu includes The Stuffed Pig with slow-roasted pork on a kaiser roll. The muffuletta has ham, turkey, salami and provolone with a house-made olive salad served on a French baguette. The Nickel G.C. has five types of cheese (cheddar, provolone, Swiss, smoked gouda and feta) on sourdough. And the Jimmy's S&P has spicy Italian sausage with bell peppers, onions and provolone on a ciabatta bun. There's also a house-made red velvet fudge pie.
Daily specials include burgers, soups or whatever Hopkins might feel like that day. He uses fresh and local ingredients when he can.
"I've also chosen to serve bottled sodas made with pure cane sugar," he sais. "We even have a diet soda made with stevia and Bawls energy drink. No HFCS in our house, right down to the Hunt's ketchup on the tables."
Fork in the Road is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.