Fort Worthy: Why do we have the cattle drive?
Restaurants bring out the beef for Stock Show season.
After 20 years, H3 has given its menu a new look with larger steaks (a 1-pound sirloin and a 24-ounce porterhouse) and a red-velvet cake dessert baked to order.
H3 is known as a reliable Stockyards stop for chicken-fried steak, wood-grilled burgers and weekend breakfasts.
Now it also offers an item for the barbecue fan: hickory-smoked prime brisket “burnt ends,” tossed in house sauce.
It’s the same brisket H3 serves on sandwiches at lunch. The lunch menu also adds a smoked turkey sandwich and a new side dish: creamed corn with smoked sausage.
There’s also a new spit-roasted pork lunch, and a steak sandwich.
The dinner menu adds the larger wood-fired steaks to a menu that already offers smoked sirloin, a 12-ounce Niman Ranch pork chop, prime ribs and pork ribs.
The new red-velvet cake dessert is served only at dinner, in a souvenir take-home tin.
There’s also a new skillet-baked chocolate brownie with ice cream and Texas Yellow Rose whiskey-caramel sauce.
If you’re a longtime customer, you remember the days when the bar was packed for “buffalo sweat” margaritas at Booger Red’s Saloon.
Diners surround the bar now. On weekends, Hunter Brothers packs in the crowds from mornings before the Fort Worth Herd cattle drive well into the evening.
It’s open for lunch and dinner weekdays, breakfast through dinner weekends at 109 E. Exchange Ave.; 817-624-1246, h3ranch.com.
(The Stockyards has several reliable steakhouses, including Cattlemen’s next door, the Star Cafe, Riscky’s Sirloin Inn, Horseshoe Hill Cafe and the timeless M&M Steak House nearby. The Stock Show lasts three weeks, so there’s time to try them all and also get a Hookers Grill onion burger.)
Steaks at the Stock Show: Reata
The Stock Show grounds open Friday morning, and that means Reata at the Rodeo and La Espuela Mexican Cantina are open again to serve rodeo-goers.
The two restaurants are operated every Stock Show by Reata, the anchor Southwestern restaurant in Sundance Square downtown.
Reata at the Rodeo is inside the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall. It’s basically a small Reata open daily for lunch and dinner, featuring a charbroiled rib-eye, a tenderloin, a bison rib-eye and other non-livestock dinners such as grilled salmon or mahi mahi.
Reata’s signature tenderloin tamales are on the menu, along with the banana pudding and chocolate bread-pudding tamale.
La Espuela, in the Moncrief Building, is a counter-service stand with enchiladas, tacos, tamales and a general Tex-Mex menu.
The downtown restaurant will feature a surf-and-turf dinner this weekend with beef cheeks and scallops ($43.95).
Reata at the Rodeo is open daily inside the exhibits hall, 3400 Burnett-Tandy Drive at Gendy Street, 817-336-5766. La Espuela is in the Moncrief Building, Burnett-Tandy Drive at Rip Johnson Road.
Chili, chicken-fried steak at Fixture
South of downtown, Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge is offering a special $25 Stock Show menu.
It’s a three-course lunch or dinner starting with chili or a salad, followed by either chicken-fried steak with green beans or Fixture’s “Santa Maria” steak with blue cheese. Dessert is a choice of bear-claw bread pudding or caramel-banana pudding.
Chef Ben Merritt formerly worked at chef Tim Love’s Woodshed Smokehouse. Later this year, Merritt will open his new Biscuits, Burgers & Brews on East Rosedale Street near Texas Wesleyan University.
Fixture is open for lunch and dinner daily, brunch through dinner weekends at 401 W. Magnolia Ave.; 817-708-2663, fixturefw.com.