Eats Beat

Peach ice cream, honey-jalapeno pizzas and more: Where to eat near the Peach Festival

‘The trees are loaded with peaches.’ Peach season in North Texas looks to be a great one

A wet spring is helping to make the 2019 peach season this summer a bountiful one for Hutton Peach Farm in Weatherford, as well as other orchards. Peaches are often the highlight of summer in Texas.
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A wet spring is helping to make the 2019 peach season this summer a bountiful one for Hutton Peach Farm in Weatherford, as well as other orchards. Peaches are often the highlight of summer in Texas.

If you’re going Saturday to the Peach Festival, go early.

The gates open at 8 a.m. in downtown Weatherford. If you wait too late, you’ll find fewer peaches and higher temps.

My suggestion: Go early and do some grocery shopping before the crowd hits the new H-E-B Grocery in Hudson Oaks.

If you’re really early, have breakfast at Manny’s Cafe inside David’s Stove Shop, 4019 Fort Worth Highway, or at one of the old-guard Weatherford restaurants like R & K Cafe or Wanda’s.

If you’re looking for lunch stops on the way to Weatherford or back, here are a few of the best:

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The Malt Shop in Weatherford has been open 61 years. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

The Malt Shop, 2028 Fort Worth Highway, is the place to stop for homemade ice cream year-round in nine flavors including peach.

It’s a classic 1958 drive-in where you order at the window. The busiest night is Monday, when burgers are half-price.

Don’t expect fine cuisine, but do expect homemade ice cream, butterscotch shakes and malts that taste like old times. Peach shakes are $2 and peach ice cream is $1 Saturday for the festival.

The Malt Shop opens daily at 9:30 a.m., Sundays at noon; 817-594-2524.

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Homemade peach ice cream is one of nine flavors year-round at The Malt Shop in Weatherford. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

A Southwestern grill named Drake’s Yoke and neighbor Parker County Brewing Co. are the first restaurants of many to come in the new Shops at Willow Park.

Drake’s Yoke, from the same owners as Copper Creek in Weatherford and Abilene, is a sprawling woodfire grill-and-bar with a large patio.

The menu is fairly basic steakhouse fare, featuring a double hamburger ($12) up to a creole prime rib ($29). For appetizers, there’s a combo plate of fried shrimp, brisket burnt ends and greens with balsamic and goat cheese ($10).

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A double burger at Drake’s Yoke in Willow Park. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

The better food might be next door at Parker County Brewing Co., home of Neapolitan-style pizzas at a reasonable $9-$15.

Try the “Javelina Honey” pizza with capicola, honey and candied jalapenos, or the brisket-bacon pizza with arugula.

Both restaurants share the address 225 Shops Blvd., Willow Park.

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Chocolate-pecan pie is a dessert at Drake’s Yoke in Willow Park. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

Drake’s Yoke is open for lunch and dinner daily; 817-598-0844, drakesyoke.com.

Parker County Brewing is open for dinner weeknights, lunch and dinner weekends; 817-757-7777, parkercountybrewing.com.

Downtown Weatherford has Whistle Hill’s Downtown Cafe, a traditional breakfast-and-lunch restaurant on the square, and Zeno’s on the Square, a homestyle Italian restaurant related to outlying Mamma Monica’s.

(Nearby Fire Oak Grill is open only at dinner Saturdays.)

The most popular places in Weatherford are probably Shep’s Place, a burger grill at 816 S. Main St., and neighbor Saltwater seafood.

In Hudson Oaks, on the way out of Weatherford, stop for Cajun food at Boo-Rays of New Orleans, 201 Hudson Oaks Drive, or Tex-Mex at La Playa Maya, 3039 Fort Worth Highway.

For more information on the peach festival, call 817-596-3801 or see parkercountypeachfestival.org or facebook.com/parkercountypeachfestival.

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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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