Food & Drink

Eats Beat: Plenty of cinnamon-multigrain in these giant pancakes

A giant pancake dominates the table at River Oaks Cafe. (That’s just one.)
A giant pancake dominates the table at River Oaks Cafe. (That’s just one.) Star-Telegram

River Oaks Cafe serves pancakes the size of basketballs.

If that didn’t already lure diners to the 1950s-ish suburban town on Texas 183 in west Fort Worth, now River Oaks has something new.

Now, multigrain cinnamon pancakes come in that big-enough-to-share size, a good match for the hickory-bacon breakfast platters or morning chicken-fried steaks.

River Oaks Cafe changed hands three years ago and immediately gained fame for green chile cheeseburgers and plate lunches, recapturing the 80-year legacy of the old Dusty’s and downtown ancestors Marie’s and McCullough’s.

A new breakfast menu adds a spinach-and-Swiss omelet and a spinach-green chile breakfast taco, the “It’s Healthy But Do Not Tell Anyone Taco.” On Sundays, there’s eggs Benedict.

The lunch menu adds a fiery burger with grilled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese and spices, and “The Superintendent’s” hamburger steak with similar treatment.

A “one-eyed Jack” burger matches an egg over-medium with pepper jack, and there are also new Cuban and Reuben sandwiches and a grilled salmon burger.

The regular plate lunches cost $7-$9. Founders Buck Bybee and Heather Denton came from other successful local cafes.

River Oaks can be tough to find. It’s technically at 4837 Green Oaks Drive, but that’s an access road along River Oaks Boulevard south of Texas 199 near Long Avenue.

It’s one of the few cafes open daily including Sundays for breakfast and lunch; 817-625-7337,

Start of a new Trail

The original Parker Brothers Traildust Steakhouse has returned, this time in a new location on Interstate 35 in Sanger.

The old Traildust expanded across Texas and Colorado, changed hands and eventually flopped, but the first location remained east of Denton until it was recently sold.

Now, a new Traildust recaptures the original backroad-barn flavor and music. The new Traildust is open for lunch and dinner daily at 1200 S. Stemmons St. (Interstate 35), Sanger, 940-365-4440,

Dialing for dinners

Reservations are now open for discount dinners Aug. 10-30 during DFW Restaurant Week.

More than 125 restaurants will serve $35 or $45 dinners and some will add $20 lunches, with 20 percent of the price going to the Lena Pope Home children’s charity in Tarrant County (or, in Dallas, to the North Texas Food Bank).

This year’s list for Lena Pope Home includes 33 Tarrant and Denton county restaurants, covering almost every fine-dining restaurant and steakhouse.

The new Mac’s on Main in Grapevine joins the lineup this year, offering a choice of prime rib, a New York strip, a filet Oscar, salmon, tuna or roughy;

Other menus already viewable online include Cacharel (pecan-crusted chicken, beef medallions or salmon with the signature souffle) and Grace (peach soup, pork or trout and butterscotch pudding).

To see the entire list, check Call or book online and specify it’s for the Restaurant Week menu.

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

Twitter: @EatsBeat