Happy Hour Just Got Happier!

Dear Liz,

Cool Beans. Our Smoky Black Beans. Sometimes we take our core recipes for granted. Thirty years ago, when we opened our sister concept, Blue Mesa, they were a novelty. Like all our food, this popular ‘sidekick’ gets its bold and colorful avor by cooking a variety of fresh ingredients from scratch. In the case of our beans, we start by smoking fresh tomatoes and onions and sautéing fresh garlic. We then make a basic mirepoix stock and add the beans, the smoked ingredients, and enhance the avor even more with brown sugar, cider vinegar, cumin and Mesquite salt. And to spice things up, we add some pickled and roasted jalapeños. And our Smoky Black Beans are completely vegetarian (no lard or meat stock used).

The prep intensity of our kitchens is a fact of life. It can be overwhelming – particularly for new cooks. As recently as a few weeks ago, we asked a consulting chef to observe and evaluate one of our kitchens. Afterwards she asked us, “Have you considered outsourcing some of your key sauces?” Many multi-unit restaurant companies purchase sauces and other food products from outside vendors. Often these recipes can just be heated and served. She pointed out that this approach would save us labor and ensure greater consistency. No question, when a restaurant cook versus a manufacturer makes food, there will be some variance. The recipe made by cooks can vary between cooks and between seasons, depending on seasonal changes in fresh produce.

We explained to her that despite these issues, the core value underlying the Blue Mesa brand is our bold and colorful avor prole, built on a foundation of hand-made food using fresh, high quality ingredients. And cooking to order. We look to better systems to control quality and consistency – very detailed recipes, and what we call JITCO (‘just-in-time, cook-to-order’). We train our cooks to prepare recipes in small batches, so that only the amount needed for each day is prepared – or even better, for each meal. Less is more.

Jim tells the story that when he pointed out that his beautiful, linen suit wrinkled easily, his mother explained, “It’s the charm of the garment.” That’s how we see the variation in the hand-made quality of our food preparation – the result of our fresh cooking approach. It’s the perfect state of bean.

Don’t forget dad!


Sunday, June 18th from 9am-3pm


More sweet potato chips!

Jim, Liz, Dave and Angela

Thank you to our TNT family.

 See below for a list of some of more tenured staff that truly are the ones who make it happen every day.


Harrison Hurd, smooth talker,  and Kyle Hayes, bar master extraordinaire,  both started here at TNT as Bussers and have worked their way up to hourly managers.  Harrison has been with us for 3 years and Kyle for almost 6 years.  They keep us laughing and in good spirits.



Eric has been with the company for over 6 years. He started as a server at Blue Mesa Fort Worth before moving to TNT when we opened in Dallas. From serving, catering, bartending, and training, Eric does it all and consistently gives great service to our guests. We have relied on Eric to be an all-star employee and he has delivered!


Cheryl started at TNT the day that we opened. It was clear from the beginning of staff training that she was going to be a TNT lifer. Starting out as a server, Cheryl’s hard work led to her being promoted to a management role, including leading our brunch on Sundays. Her infectious energy and positive attitude make people want to work with her and guests want to come back to see her. Thank you Cheryl!



Grant McGill has been with us in San Antonio since January of 2015. He is our Lead Server, Trainer, Shift Leader, and erstwhile Shift Manager.


Maria Torres just recently celebrated her 1st year with us in San Antonio. A very productive cook, she is especially known for her singing and whistling skills while she works!


After 14 years at her previous employer, La Fonda of San Antonio, Virginia Mata was part of our opening team. She is the best known, most often requested Server on our staff.