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:
▪ 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.
▪ 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).
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.
▪ 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.