Food & Drink

Eats Beat: Billy’s Oak Acres ready for early risers

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You always had to get to Billy’s Oak Acres BBQ early.

Now, Billy’s is opening at 10 a.m. four days a week to meet the demand from customers who line up early for pitmaster Billy Woodrich’s brisket, ribs or chicken-fried steaks.

The backroad barbecue hall, located in a 50-year-old tavern near Lake Worth, often sells out of brisket or ribs before closing time, so Woodrich extended the hours for customers making a trip or taking barbecue to go.

Billy’s is now open early Wednesday through Saturday mornings.

Also, the heralded chicken-fried steak will be added to the daily menu beginning next week, Woodrich said. A new chocolate cream pie joins banana pudding and other desserts, and smoked pork chops remain as a midweek special.

Woodrich’s barbecue renown has spread since he opened Oak Acres in a rustic tavern just west of Loop 820 with a long history as a lake-crowd gathering spot and even as the 1980s home of Hip Pocket Theatre.

He now serves Creekstone Farms premium briskets, and recently made a trip to fellow Creekstone customer Franklin Barbecue in Austin.

Plans for a second location on East Belknap Street are still in the works, he said, but he’s been busy dealing with growing business and catering.

Billy’s Oak Acres is open at 10 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Sundays. It stays open through dinner or until it’s gone; 1700 N. Las Vegas Trail (north of Loop 820), 817-367-2200,

(The other newer barbecue stops drawing state critics’ attention are Meat U Anywhere in Grapevine, which opens at 6 a.m. daily; BBQ on the Brazos in Cresson, which opens for breakfast and starts selling barbecue at 9 a.m.; Heim Barbecue & Catering, a food truck on East Hattie Street at South Main Street near downtown Fort Worth on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons; and Jambo’s BBQ Shack in Rendon and coming soon to west Arlington.)

More steak ahead

Some other big-name openings worth watching out for:

▪ Texas Bleu, chef Erin Miller’s new steakhouse in old downtown Keller with wine steward Cef Zambrano,

▪ Horseshoe Hill, chef Grady Spears’ new ranch comfort food restaurant in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

▪ Enchiladas Ole, a Tex-Mex stop that owner Mary Patino Perez hopes to reopen late next week after remodeling,

▪ The newest La Playa Maya Mexican Restaurant in Hudson Oaks, which will open by late June, replacing a Weatherford location.

▪ Dee Lincoln Steakhouse, a new prime steakhouse by former Del Frisco’s partner Dee Lincoln, which is now planing an October opening in Museum Place near World of Beer,

▪ Wild Salsa in downtown Fort Worth and Chop House Burger (the one from Dallas) in City Place, both with opening dates that remain uncertain at this time.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538

Twitter: @EatsBeat