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| Dessert |

As Others Close, Five Restaurants and one Treat Shop Come to Irving

WNB Factory offers a variety of burgers cooked fresh to order, including Korean- and Hawaiian-style.EXPAND
WNB Factory offers a variety of burgers cooked fresh to order, including Korean- and Hawaiian-style.
Mark A. McKee
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Winter months can be quite slow for restaurants, and with pandemic-related challenges continuing, we’re more likely to see closures than openings. Diners in Irving are mourning the loss of beloved Captain Nemo's Steak Submarines, a presence in the city for nearly 50 years. Terra Mediterranean, home of a popular lunch buffet in Las Colinas has closed too.

But difficult times haven’t slowed new restaurant openings in the suburb. Since December, five restaurants and treat shops have opened their doors with one more coming soon.

The severe winter storm may have disrupted regular hours, so read websites and social media for the latest updates before you check out these great new Irving eateries.

Bam's Vegan Smoothies and Wraps

2301 N. O'Connor Road

You might recognize the name of this one. Chef Brandon Waller ran a popular stand at Dallas Farmers Market for several years serving craveable vegan food. His downloadable cookbooks have been a big hit too.

Waller opened a brick-and-mortar spot in Irving in January with a plan to offer grab-and-go foods along with  smoothies and wraps. At the moment, it’s still in soft opening mode, or maybe pop-up mode is more appropriate, given Waller’s plan to take things slow.

The slow rollout plan was further complicated by the challenges our weather disaster brought, but things are still moving forward. This past weekend, Bam’s served free chili and cornbread and gave out bottled water.

For the most part, the restaurant’s been open starting at 2 p.m. on weekends and running until they sell out. Check their Facebook page for menus and hours.

Jam + Toast

975 W. John Carpenter Freeway and 3351 Regent Blvd.

The family-owned breakfast and lunch spot was doing so well in its first location, it opened a second. The newest location in Las Colinas Village shopping center opened in December.

The restaurant offers hearty breakfasts as well as several sandwiches, salads, burgers and more. Online reviews praise the food and the service, which is fast and efficient for takeout. The “family recipe” crepes get raves.

The house-made jams are raveworthy too with flavors including mango habanero, strawberry fig, blueberry bourbon pecan and savory hot pepper bacon. They’re not prominent on the menu, but can be added to any breakfast or a simple side of toast or fluffy biscuits.

We don't know who Lizzie Lu is, but we like the way she thinks about candy.EXPAND
We don't know who Lizzie Lu is, but we like the way she thinks about candy.
Kristina Rowe

Lizzie Lu Luxury Treats

4020 N. MacArthur Blvd., No. 120

Almost hidden in the Las Colinas Plaza strip center, Lizzie Lu’s has some big surprises inside. The wonderland of sweets makes that famous movie chocolate factory seem understated.

Your jaw might drop when you see the “candy” apples. Green apples nearly as big as your head get more than candy coating. They’re double-coated with things like Rice Krispies treats, s’mores or cookies and cream.

The signature products are candy bark in more than a dozen flavors and a scratch-made butter cake in mini or large sizes. The store also offers saltwater taffy, flavor-coated popcorn, homemade cookies and more.

This one’s not open yet, but the burger and pie eatery from State Fair of Texas vendors Chris and Sherry Howard is almost ready to go.

With a successful restaurant in Forney, the Howards had been looking for a second location for a while when they settled on this spot on the southern end of Valley Ranch. The building has been remodeled with their signature bright yellow flair, so delicious grilled-on-a-flat-top burgers can’t be far behind.

The must-try menu item here is the pie, in half a dozen or more varieties that can be ordered by the slice or blended into a “pieshake.” There’s a wide variety in the rest of the menu with chicken wings and tenders, hot dogs and “totchos,” plus fresh salads and wraps in case you need to assuage your pie guilt.

Keep an eye on the restaurant’s Facebook page for a heads up when the soft opening starts.

WNB Factory

2668 N. Belt Line Road

This Alabama-based chain with locations in Carrollton and Far North Dallas got a warm welcome to Irving when it opened in January. After a few hiccups caused by long lines and an online ordering link that wasn’t working yet, the wings, burgers and more are now rolling off the “factory” lines just fine.

The focus here is on wings and craft burgers cooked fresh to order, so there’s really nothing factory-like about it. Cage-free chicken and certified Angus beef are the stars of the show with seafood items (catfish, flounder and shrimp) available as well.

WNB Factory offers 17 different housemade sauces with traditional or boneless wings. Burgers include the classic kind, specialty Korean- or Hawaiian-style burgers as well as turkey, mushroom and “Impossible” meatless varieties.

Yummy Hut Pizzeria

3401 W. Airport Freeway, No. 132

Yummy Hut Pizzeria opened in January in a strip center spot previously occupied by Giovanni's Pizzeria. Menu offerings are all over the map, literally, which is fitting for a restaurant in Irving, known for its collection of international cuisine restaurants.

Appetizers include the requisite wings of a pizza shop and calamari, a mainstay on many Italian restaurant menus. Sandwiches include a meatball sub and a cheesesteak.

Pizzas are thin crust, and you can order traditional toppings or distinctive offerings like gyro or eggplant ricotta to top your pie. There’s also a category on the menu called Desi pizza, listing butter chicken, shrimp masala and chicken tikka pizzas.

Pasta offerings include a dozen or so traditional pasta dishes like chicken piccata, linguini pomodoro and shrimp fra diavolo.

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