Eats Beat

In Bedford, a tiny soul food-BBQ cafe hits TV stardom

The Thanksgiving 365 — turkey with a stuffing waffle — and sides at Rosako’s Soul Food & BBQ in Bedford
The Thanksgiving 365 — turkey with a stuffing waffle — and sides at Rosako’s Soul Food & BBQ in Bedford Star-Telegram archives

The little soul food-barbecue restaurant in Bedford has gone bigtime.

Rosako Bailey’s cooking and charm put Rosako’s Soul Food & BBQ on the Food Network and now, the Travel Channel.

Soon, he’ll open a second restaurant, Rosako’s Bar & Grill in Lewisville.

Yet this week he was still in the kitchen on Brown Trail, cooking up quarts of Thanksgiving dressing and gravy and dishing up portions of his year-round turkey special: “Thanksgiving 365.”

“People only have turkey at Thanksgiving. and I wanted something where people could have it every day,” he said.

The Thanksgiving 365 was one of the early eye-catchers on his menu. It’s smoked turkey over a cornbread-dressing waffle with giblet gravy.

But that first limited menu has grown to include an amazing selection of home cooking and barbecue, plus Bailey’s inventive “secret menu” and daily specials.

His recent bestseller is a giant baked potato stuffed with more than a pound of jumbo shrimp and a half-pound lobster tail.

“I’m trying to come up with some new creations,” he said.

Eats Beat Ep. 147

DFW Restaurant Week

He’s experimenting with a lobster-and-mac-and-cheese waffle, and a recent special was salmon and shrimp-and-smoked-Gouda grits.

The Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise” taped at Rosako’s last month, doing a show on secret hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

He’s already been a Guy Fieri guest on the Food Network and has a new invitation for another show.

Rosako Bailey welcomes guests to Rosako's Soul Food & BBQ. Terry Evans Star-Telegram archives

With Bailey’s outgoing personality and the restaurant’s location close to DFW Airport, he’s a natural stop for camera crews and for his hometown Indiana friends changing planes.

(Bailey was recently recognized with a Ball State University alumni achievement award.)

The daily specials include plates such as smothered pork chops or oxtails.

Sweet potato cake at Rosako's Soul Food & BBQ. Khampha Bouaphanh

Then there’s Bailey’s selection of four or five house-baked cakes.

For the seniors in Bedford, there’s a weekday seniors’ plate for less than $8.

Rosako’s is taking the holiday weekend off, but it’s usually open for lunch and dinner weekdays and Saturdays, and for lunch Sundays until everything’s gone.

It’s in an old Taco Bell, 2816 Brown Trail at Harwood Road; 817-785-3393,

Jesus BBQ & Tex-Mex in South Main Village took down its bars on the windows.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 16 Texas Legislature sessions. First on the scene of a 1988 DFW Airport crash, he interviewed passengers running from the burning plane. He made his first appearance in the paper before he was born: He was sold for $600 in the adoption classifieds.