The Rough Creek Lodge dining room makes a lunchtime country drive feel like a day’s vacation.
Diners and patrons have become familiar with Rough Creek’s hunting-lodge setting and upscale dinners. But I had no idea Rough Creek also serves an extensive lunch, plus simple, inexpensive salads, burgers and pizzas on an all-day bar menu.
If you’re driving south the back way to Austin or San Antonio, Rough Creek is a lunch stop to consider. At lunch last weekend, the oak-grilled burgers, Caesar with oak-smoked chicken and simple pizza Margherita made us all wonder why we hadn’t stopped there more often.
The dining room’s big bay windows offer a wide-screen view of the 11,000-acre prairie ranch between Glen Rose and Hico, just past Chalk Mountain. (The drive is best on winding Farm Road 51 through the hills from Granbury; if you choose U.S. 67’s road construction, your pleasure may vary.)
Chef Gerard Thompson’s all-day bar menu is better than some fine-dining menus. It features Rough Creek’s signature maple-glazed quail with Veldhuizen cheese grits, along with a half-pound, oak-grilled burger on a homemade bun and a hand-tossed pizza Margherita with garden basil.
Rough Creek’s house charcuterie includes house-cured prosciutto and Spanish chorizo, lamb proscuitto, guanciale, various types of bacon and pancetta.
A new house smoker means more briskets and turkey on the menu, along with housemade smoked sausage. (And of course, the lodge now smells like a serious smokehouse.)
Rough Creek’s regular lunch and dinner menus include steaks, sea bass, swordfish and occasional game specials such as chicken-fried pheasant.
Rough Creek serves breakfast, brunch or lunch, a midday bar menu and dinner daily, opening at 8 a.m. (There’s a one-hour break between the breakfast buffet and lunch or brunch. Dinner ends at 9 p.m.)
It’s at 5165 Erath County Road 2013, listed variously as Glen Rose or Iredell; 800-864-4705 or 254-965-3700, roughcreek.com.
Green chile time
If it’s Hatch green chile season, can football be far behind?
Blue Mesa Grill and El Fenix Restaurants launched their annual green chile specials this week made with fresh Hatch, N.M., chiles.
Pappasito’s Cantina and Central Market will launch Hatch chile season Wednesday. Chuy’s Tex-Mex will follow Aug. 14.
Blue Mesa Grill’s menu will feature new Hatch chile hot-rock fajitas with Hatch-cheese stuffed shrimp ($18). The regular items include Hatch stacked chicken enchiladas or stuffed Hatch rellenos.
El Fenix, a Dallas-based Tex-Mex chain with a century-old legacy, latched onto Hatch chiles a few years ago and now serves Hatch green chile or queso chicken enchiladas and a Hatch chile margarita.
Blue Mesa Grill and El Fenix are Texas chains with several locations.
Two local restaurants, La Choza Fine Food near Lakeside and cozy little Enchiladas Olé northeast of downtown Fort Worth, serve New Mexico green chile year-round and will add seasonal specials.
La Choza, a New Mexico-style restaurant, is open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays and dinner Mondays at 7001 Confederate Park Road (Farm Road 1886); 817-751-9060.
Enchiladas Olé, a homespun restaurant known for craft enchilada sauces, is open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays, lunch Sundays and Mondays at 901 N. Sylvania Ave., 817-984-1360, enchiladasole.com.
One Torchy’s Tacos is about to open, and another is not far behind.
The new Torchy’s in north Arlington is still planned to open in September at 1805 N. Collins St. in the new Champions Park center; torchystacos.com.
The new Champions Park location of Florida-based Burger Fi comes first. It’s scheduled to have a soft opening one day next week at 1807 N. Collins St.
Burger Fi thus becomes the first Tarrant County restaurant serving the plant-based Beyond Burger, a meat-like burger made from peas and beets. It’s sold in the meat case at Whole Foods Market.
(Austin-based Hopdoddy will open a Fort Worth location this fall, serving its new meatless Impossible Burger, made from grains with a meat-like enzyme.)
Back to Torchy’s: The home office is not confirming this yet, but city paperwork has been filed in Fort Worth for construction of a new location at 5030 S. Hulen St. (That’s a former Cotton Patch Cafe.)