The “Cowboy in the Kitchen” is back in town.
Chef Grady Spears, a cowboy-cuisine pioneer who had a few rough rides in recent years, will open a chicken-fried steak cafe by summer in the historic Stockyards.
The tentative name: Horseshoe Hill.
The tiny cafe on the hilltop at 204 W. Exchange Ave. is at least 65 years old and has gone through a parade of operators in recent years, most recently Sabroso Sabrosito.
“It’ll be small and simple,” Spears said this week.
He’ll do chicken-fried steak a half-dozen ways, from his classic with cracked-pepper cream gravy to varieties with chili con carne, queso or mole, and maybe topped with an egg or an enchilada.
The menu will also include a daily dish, such as a stew or Frito pie. Prices will be about $10-$15.
When I peered through the dusty window at Sabroso this week, I thought about the tiny Gage Hotel dining room in Big Bend where Spears was first pressed into service as a cook.
“I thought that, too,” he said. “It’s about the same size, just two square rooms. I want it to be that simple.”
It’ll open for lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays.
I found Spears at lunch at Enchiladas Olé, which is another story.
Owner Mary Patino Perez will mark Valentine’s Day by adding wine to the menu at her tiny Oakhurst-area enchilada shop, gaining fame for her home-cooked touch and rich, thick sauces.
Enchiladas Olé also operates stands inside John Peter Smith Hospital, 1500 S. Main St., and serves breakfast and dinner inside the JPS Pavilion across the way at 1575 S. Main St.
The original location is open for lunch Mondays and Tuesdays, lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Art and pancakes
Yolk, Chicago’s award-winning breakfast cafe, has come to Dallas’ arts district.
The breakfast-lunch cafe features pancakes, omelets, scramblers and plenty of coffee. It’s like having a great brunch restaurant seven days a week.
Tips: Don’t miss the red velvet pancakes or the strawberry-orange juice.
Diamonds are for Dallas
The old-fashioned AAA Diamond Awards list one five-star restaurant in all of Texas: the French Room in the Adolphus Hotel.
The local four-diamond winners, all in Dallas or Irving: Abacus, Cafe on the Green, Fearing’s, Hotel St. Germain, the Pyramid Restaurant in the Fairmont and the Mansion on Turtle Creek, plus soon-to-close Bijoux.
Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538