Eats Beat

In ‘Hey, Bud!’: Tia’s tamales, calf fries at J&J’s (?!), and Shake Shack is so-so

bud@budkennedy.com

Hey, Bud! Tell me about Tia’s on the Bluff. Does it taste as good as it looks?

—@johnston72 on Twitter

Tia’s is the little, local Tex-Mex restaurant in a once-notorious home at 1301 E. Bluff St. near Cowtown Brewing. It seemed disorganized at first, but it’s grown on me. The holiday special tamale dinner was perfectly seasoned and the borracho beans were a major upgrade. It’s also known for carne guisada and an unusual potato salad.

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Red beans and rice come with pico de gallo at J&J’s Oyster Bar. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

Hey, Bud! Did J&J’s Oyster Bar change managers? That’s always been my coast-raised hubby’s go-to for poboys. Always loved everything about it.

—@tbredjunkie on Twitter

J&J’s cooking varies widely depending what’s fresh and who’s in the kitchen. Right now Angel Mota is cooking some new specials similar to those at Fred’s, including brisket chili or jalapeno-wrapped calf fries. That’ll pack ‘em in during the Stock Show.

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A Shake Shack feast: a Smoke Shack bacon cheesburger with smoked cherry peppers, a hot dog, crinkle fries with cheese sauce, a shake and a custard concrete with Emporium Pies’ Very Berry Pie from Dallas. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

Hey, Bud! What’d you think of Shake Shack?

—AMCruz on Facebook

Nice but nothing out of the ordinary. Cool vibe in Southlake Town Square. The Emporium Pies berry-pie custard concrete was a winner. Will draw big crowds for atmosphere even though there are better burgers in Southlake.

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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 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.
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