Every year, readers ask where to dine Christmas Day.
The list is short, but with one newcomer this year:
▪ Buttons Restaurant in Fort Worth will open at 11 a.m. to serve a holiday buffet for emergency workers and first responders, and everyone can join.
Police organizations asked Buttons to take on the role of feeding police officers, firefighters, medical workers and everyone who doesn’t have Christmas off.
Buttons will serve an expanded version of its weekly Sunday buffet, with turkey, ham, a steamship round and chef Keith Hicks’ Southern-soul side dishes; $32, children $15, 4701 West Freeway (Interstate 30 at Sanguinet Street), 817-735-4900, buttonsrestaurants.com.
▪ The Houston-based Saltgrass Steakhouse chain, maybe the biggest success among midprice Texas steakhouses, will open at 11 a.m. and serve its regular menu until 4 p.m.
Saltgrass pushes the price point with steak dinners for $19-$30, prime ribs, grilled or fried chicken and ribs.
But a Saltgrass dinner doesn’t have to push the pocketbook or waistline. There’s an excellent spinach-kale salad with blue cheese, or a grilled salmon Caesar.
If the family doesn’t want another big meal, a salad with a baked sweet potato is plenty. (For dessert, Saltgrass features a pecan “pie” bread pudding.)
Saltgrass has two locations each in Fort Worth and Arlington, plus Grapevine; saltgrass.com.
▪ For a Tex-Mex Christmas, Los Asaderos in north Fort Worth opens every Christmas.
The Villarreal family’s restaurant is known for green chicken enchiladas, fajitas and some of the hotter hot sauce in town. (The name has changed from El Asadero.)
It’s at 1535 N. Main St., 817-626-3399, facebook.com/asaderos.
▪ Back for another Christmas, Ol’ South Pancake House opens at 7 a.m. and stays packed most of the day.
Ol’ South just added Christmas hours in recent years, but now it’s one of the busiest days. Families come for chicken-and-waffles and German pancakes.
Figure about $15 or less for lunch; 1509 S. University Drive, 817-336-0311, olsouthpancakehouse.com.
▪ Mercury Chop House, a prime steakhouse, is open in its new home on West Fourth Street at Taylor Street, will be serving on the holiday as always.
Mercury Chop House is known for steaks and seafood but also serves grilled chicken and entree salads.
The new home in the Tower has been completely remodeled, with paneling and new decor replacing the harsh interior from previous tenants, and a welcoming bar at the door.
The location is technically 525 Taylor St., but look on the corner; fortworthchophouse.com.
▪ Ruth’s Chris Steak House is the only national prime steakhouse chain opening Christmas Day, and uses the occasion to make new friends.
It’s at 813 Main St., 817-348-0080; ruthschris.com.
▪ Hotels serving include the Omni Fort Worth Cast Iron; the Gaylord Texan Old Hickory, Zeppole Coastal Italian and Riverwalk Cantina; the Grand Hyatt DFW Grand Met; and the Hilton Southlake Copeland’s of New Orleans.
(Most full-service hotels have some sort of dining service Christmas Day, but not business hotels. Check hours and prices.)
▪ Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewpub in Arlington, usually a sports grill, has made Christmas an annual tradition; 700 Six Flags Drive, 817-640-8553.
▪ Florida-based Buca di Beppo opens every Christmas; 2701 Texas 114 East, Southlake, 817-749-6262, bucadibeppo.com.
▪ Time-honored Luby’s will open at 11 a.m. and serve until 5 p.m. at locations in Fort Worth, Arlington and Forest Hill plus five in the Dallas area; lubys.com.
▪ Furr’s Family Dining will open earlier, at 10:30 a.m., and serve later, until 6 p.m., at locations in west Fort Worth and south Arlington and three in the Dallas area; furrs.net.
▪ IHOP’s 20 Tarrant County locations will be open.
▪ Truck-stop restaurants include the Iron Skillet Restaurant in Weatherford and at six other Dallas-area TA-Petro locations.
▪ The new Fuel City Tacos is open 24 hours and will be open Christmas Day, including its popular taco counter; 1715 Haltom Road, fuelcity.com.
▪ Also in Haltom City, First Chinese BBQ continues its Christmas tradition of Cantonese favorites; 5310 E. Belknap St., 817-834-1888, firstchinesebbq.com.
▪ It’s a busy day at Waffle House.