Belenty's Love Vegan Mexican opens August 5 on Blue Bonnet Circle.
The nopales plate.
Healthy green smoothie, just one of many at Belenty's.
The bright interior space.
A vegan citrus pound cake.
The Blue Bonnet Traffic Circle is near TCU but a world away ― still sporting a bit of its mid-century appeal. While the roundabout was installed in 1929, the retail strip centers now flanking it, didn’t arrive until the 1950s.
New signage and parking were installed recently, making these Fort Worth shops and restaurants more accessible. The city has big plans for an urban village that is slowly taking shape. But for now, Blue Bonnet Circle still retains its quirky vintage feel.
Two coronavirus pandemic related restaurant closures left some big holes in the circle. Fred’s Hamburgers shuttered its Blue Bonnet location (no word yet on what will take over that former Oui Lounge space) and so did Rusty Taco. That spot was mostly frequented by college students, who have all-but evaporated ever since they departed for spring break. Rusty Taco still has one Fort Worth location remaining at Ridglea Village.
The vacant R Taco location, at 3516 Blue Bonnet Circle, just down the same strip from the forthcoming Lettuce Cook will become — take a deep breath — Belenty’s Love Mexican Vegan Restaurant. You heard me right, it’s a Mexican Vegan restaurant.
Belenty’s is making its first appearance in Fort Worth. Plans call for it to open as early as next Wednesday August 5. The vegan hotspot has grown its fan-base in Granbury just off 377 since 2018. It’s still the only vegan restaurant in Granbury, and if you can sell vegan to a small Texas town like Granbury, you can probably make it anywhere.
Owner Belen Hernandez is not just a restauranteur. She is a true believer in the power of clean eating and the vegan lifestyle.
“When we made the switch, it changed our life forever,” Hernandez tells PaperCity Fort Worth. “Our whole family has been vegan for the past nine years. Vegan food is amazing.” She has children ranging in age from 2 to 20.
While it might seem like Mexican and vegan don’t go together, Hernandez begs to differ.
“Our food is homemade and you can taste the Mexican flavors in it,” she says. “Actually, a lot of people in Mexico have been vegan for generations, unable to afford meat. . . Their diet consisted of what they could eat directly from the earth. So it’s not a stretch at all.”
Belenty’s will be serving a vast menu, just like the one Hernandez built in Granbury, ranging from taco plates to freshly made smoothies. The new restaurant also will be open seven days a week. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 8 am to 8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 am to 11 pm, and Sundays from 8 am to 5 pm. It will be a sit-down affair at the current 50 percent capacity guidelines, with the food also available for takeout or delivery. The inside can seat 40 people and the patio has room for anther 20.
For breakfast there are dishes such as the scrambled tofu with tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, as well as pancakes and soy sausage, or the cactus plate which features nopales mixed with tofu, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos.
One of the most popular items on the menu is the No. 14 ― Belenty’s portobello asada tacos plate. It features three tacos with grilled portobello mushrooms, onions, cilantro, avocado and a tofu cream sauce. Other favorites include the nachos, which can be served on a bed of gluten free, housemade tortilla chips or freshly fried potatoes, or a variety of burritos wrapped in lard-free tortillas.
“Some of our customers have health issues that they are dealing with like cancers, diabetes and high cholesterol, and we are here to help them,” Hernandez says. “Even preparing special menus for them. That’s the ‘Love’ part of our business.”
Hernandez says, when you switch to a plant-based diet, you can notice a real difference in as little as seven days. She prepares everything (about 90 percent from scratch) in the healthiest way possible, focusing on ingredients sourced from the earth.
The ultimate goal for Hernandez is to spread the Belenty’s Love around the state. She is already eyeing markets like Dallas, Waco and Austin for her next opening.