Once thought endangered, Tillman’s Roadhouse is now a Crockett Square success story.
“I know they went through some ups and downs here,” chef de cuisine Kalen Morgenstern, late of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, said this week.
“We just try to focus on food that Fort Worth wants. We take Texas comfort food to the next level.”
Tillman’s is regularly the first restaurant to book up in the West Seventh Street corridor and now also serves the busiest weekend brunch.
A new brunch menu and hours have turned Tillman’s into a sleepy Saturday or Sunday stopover, filling some of the void left when Lambert’s closed.
Top brunch items include chicken-fried steak with poblano gravy, eggs and hash browns ($19), a crabcake eggs Benedict ($15), bison meatloaf ($14) and a stellar buttermilk-fried chicken biscuit with piquillo-pepper jam and sweet pepper slaw ($10).
That fist-sized biscuit also comes with poblano gravy as a $5 side. (As big biscuits go, the only others in their league might be chef David McMillan’s at Bird Cafe downtown.)
There’s also an eye-catching menu item: a $44 “hangover platter” for four with cinnamon rolls, fruit, sausage, bacon, eggs, hash browns and biscuits family-style.
“We plan it for four people,” Morgenstern said, “but I saw one guy get it for himself and he destroyed the whole platter. Groups of six will order two and split everything. It’s just an awesome conglomeration of breakfast.”
The brunch menu also has the familiar Tillman’s salads, burgers and venison Frito pie. Besides the menu, Tillman’s also changed its Sunday hours to 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
“Fort Worth seems to get up a little later than Dallas, come in later and lounge,” she said.
(We’re in no hurry.)
“We had people still wanting brunch after 2, so we decided to go later.”
Morgenstern and executive chef Cody Brandt are a big part of the Tillman’s turnaround.
“We just try to be creative and put our own spin on Fort Worth favorites,” she said.
Found and lost again
At nearby Rodeo Goat, the Chupacabra has gone back into hiding.
After a champion run in the burger showdowns, the guacamole-fried jalapeño-Hatch chile Chupacabra burger has given way to new “burger of the month” contenders.
Rodeo Goat’s new matchup pits designer Jaymes Murphy’s peanut-butter-glazed pork-belly burger against a brat burger. As the story goes, nobody knows when the Chupacabra will return.
New ’cue at Tripps
Aledo barbecue caterer Tripps is now open weekdays as a lunch cafe. The Robertson family serves barbecue by the pound ($10.99) or sandwich ($5.99) with the “Family Sauce,” plus sides and pecan pies.