Food & Drink

Glen Rose for barbecue, Joshua for Texas-meets-Tex-Mex

A pork rib lunch ($9.99 special that day) at Roadrunner Smokehouse.
A pork rib lunch ($9.99 special that day) at Roadrunner Smokehouse. bud@star-telegram.com

The new Chisholm Trail Parkway now leads to breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Funtime Cafe in Joshua brings reliable Tex-Mex and home cooking to the tollway, along with weekend breakfast if you’re making a day trip to Glen Rose for barbecue.

Now that Glen Rose has three generations of Hammond or former Hammond barbecue restaurants, it’s become Dallas-Fort Worth’s version of Lockhart, the Austin-area barbecue tour stop.

Nowhere else in North Texas has three barbecue restaurants within 10 miles, like Loco Coyote Grill, Hammond’s BBQ and the original family’s newest venture, Roadrunner Smokehouse.

Roadrunner’s sprawing front porch on Big Bend Trail was crowded with diners last Sunday, many coming for the thick burgers or steaks, as well as the $9.99 pork rib lunch special.

The decor is ubiquitous Texas: corrugated metal, two-by-fours and hunting mounts. It looks like Loco Coyote, the backroad restaurant the family sold, but on U.S. 67 instead of on the “Coyote Strip” near Chalk Mountain.

The ribs are thick and plank-sized in the 50-year Hammond family tradition.

Brisket is cut thick, and the huge burgers and chicken-fried steaks are familiar to diners at the family’s two previous restaurants, both still thriving nearby.

The old-time peanut butter pie was sold out, and the apple cobbler was quick to follow, but a server offered coconut meringue pie or German chocolate cake, both almost as big as a burger.

Roadrunner is open four days a week, serving lunch and dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday and lunch Sunday, with special extended dinner hours this Sunday for the holiday.

It’s at 509 N.E. Big Bend Trail (U.S. 67) in a former seafood restaurant; 254-898-0074, roadrunnersmokehouse.com.

(That’s the family’s newest location and fifth overall. The oldest remain open under other owners as Loco Coyote Grill, 1795 County Road 1004, lococoyotegrill.com, and Hammond’s BBQ, 1106 N.E. Big Bend Trail, hammondsbbq.com.)

Tex-Mex-Tex in Joshua

Funtime Cafe is a siding-and-sheet-metal building with a red metal roof off the Chisholm Trail Parkway at the Farm Road 917 exit. There’s parking in back.

Don’t let looks stop you. Funtime Cafe is a small-town Texas cafe for the 21st century, comfortably blending handmade burgers and chicken-fried steaks with Tex-Mex and tacos de pastor from a former cook at much-missed El Azteca near Crowley.

Look, I don’t know anywhere else that has fried catfish, chicken-fried steaks and brownie sundaes along with tacos barbacoa or huaraches, the Mexico City dish like a giant, platter-sized sope topped with a choice of meat, beans, avocado and cheese.

Funtime also serves breakfast weekends. It was unexpected to find some of the hottest chilaquiles verdes in North Texas, topped with a creamy jalapeño-poblano green sauce.

Did I mention that the cafe’s decor is also ubiquitous Texas: corrugated metal, two-by-fours and hunting mounts? (But Funtime also has country-cute signs such as “I can’t cook tonight — the pan shrunk in the washer.”)

This is the Texas of the future: servers who can pronouce “huaraches” but still call diners “hon.”

Funtime is open for lunch and dinner weekdays (except July 4), breakfast through dinner weekends. It’s at 2305 S. Second Ave. (Farm Road 917), the former Red Roof Barn; facebook.com/FuntimeFood.

Small bites

Quick updates: Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, the Arizona chain with a cult following for all-day breakfasts, fried or smothered chicken, and catfish, is near opening as soon as next week at 1201 Texas 114 E., Southlake; 817-251-2663, loloschickenandwaffles.com.

And 5ive Spice Kitchen, the former Salsa Fuego relocated to a Rendon convenience store-gas station, now has the second name “Fuego Burger.”

It’s at 5595 E. Farm Road 1187, on the corner at Rendon Road (the southern end of Forest Hill Drive); 817-879-9495, although that doesn’t always work.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @EatsBeat. His column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com.

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