Nobody has to cook on Christmas.
Two restaurants in Sundance Square and two in Southlake Town Square will open for lunch that day, along with the annual selection of hotel ballroom brunches and 24-hour coffee shops.
The Southlake Buca di Beppo, the family-style Italian chain that started in Minnesota, traditionally opens on Christmas for family gatherings. The restaurant will serve its regular menu; 11 a.m.-8 p.m., 2701 E. Texas 114, www.bucadibeppo.com.
Copeland's of New Orleans is inside the Southlake Hilton hotel, so it will have regular hours, 7 a.m.-11 p.m., and serve its full menu and cheesecakes; 1400 Plaza Place, www.southlakecopelands.com.
In Sundance Square, Mercury Chophouse will open all day and serve its regular prime-steakhouse menu; 301 Main St., www.fortworthchophouse.com.
Ferré, across from Bass Hall, will open at 2 p.m. and serve a three-course Christmas special ($40) featuring a venison rib chop, a rosemary steak, sauteed cod with a shrimp-spinach risotto or a wild boar pasta. The restaurant will also serve its regular menu; 215 E. Fourth St., ferrerestaurant.com.
Most hotel restaurants will be open, including Cast Iron at the Omni Fort Worth, Vidalias at the Worthington and Shula's 357 Grill, a steakhouse inside the Sheraton Fort Worth.
(I'd recommend a reservation, particularly for the busy Omni.)
Other Hiltons, Sheratons and Holiday Inns usually have dining service on Christmas but may not have a special; check your favorite.
For down-home cooking, two Christmas choices seem eternal:
Vance Godbey's Restaurant, a classic Southern "Sunday dinner house" with both turkey and filet mignon on a long buffet, will open at 10 a.m. and serve all afternoon for $17.99; 8601 Jacksboro Highway (Texas 199), Lakeside, www.vancegodbeys.com.
And the Iron Skillet Restaurant, a large 24-hour truck-stop restaurant, will serve a full turkey buffet at lunch and into the night; 2001 Santa Fe Drive, Weatherford, www.petrotruckstops.com.
In Arlington, Humperdink's Restaurant and Sports Bar opens at 11 a.m. on Christmas to serve a turkey dinner for $17.99, paired with Humperdink's brewpub beers if you choose.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Your Life & Food and Fridays in Weekend. Facebook "Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat" Twitter @eatsbeat