Texas has only three major food groups, or so the late Star-Telegram writer Jerry Flemmons used to say:
Barbecue, Tex-Mex and fried.
The Texas Pit BBQ family now covers two of the three essentials. Owner Leon Adams has expanded his Saginaw barbecue empire to include a new catfish cafe and oyster bar on Western Center Boulevard.
"A guy who works here would fry up catfish sometimes, and it was great," said Adams, a barbecue pitmaster since childhood at Angelo's and the Railhead before opening Texas Pit.
"We would always laugh and say, 'We oughta open a fish restaurant.' We finally did."
Texas Pit Oyster Bar isn't a big place. Basically, it's a sports hangout with a lot of TVs and a few tables in a corner space at Western Center and Sandshell Boulevard east of Interstate 35W.
Other oyster bars in the neighborhood have come and gone. But Texas Pit seems to have better fried catfish -- the large fillets are coated with cook David Hernandez's flour-cornmeal breading -- and ice-cold oysters on the half-shell.
Other items include a shrimp brochette, fish tacos and typical seafood po-boys.
This is a catfish cafe, not a Cajun restaurant, so the gumbo doesn't compare to Louisiana hangouts like Bayou Jack's. But try it loaded with Texas Pit sausage.
The atmosphere already seems like an extension of Texas Pit.
"We want to bring folks on Western Center a place that feels just like this," Adams said.
Texas Pit Oyster Bar is taking Friday off this week, but is usually open daily for lunch and dinner at 3349 Western Center Blvd. in Fort Worth; 817-306-0700.
Texas Pit BBQ is open Mondays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner at 324 S. Saginaw Blvd.; 817-847-0400.
What if you could have a brunch buffet every day?
That's part of the holiday wonder at the Zodiac on the sixth floor of the downtown Dallas Neiman Marcus, where generations of Texans have made a special holiday trip for shopping and lunch.
The Zodiac will serve a buffet daily (except Christmas Day) through Dec. 29, featuring Neiman's traditional hot chicken broth and warm popovers with strawberry butter.
Entrees include prime rib, turkey and dressing, pork loin, salmon or roast chicken with coconut curry and couscous.
Yes, that's all served every day, along with 10 salads.
The price: $35, children $15; reservations highly recommended. 1618 Main St., Dallas, 214-573-5800; neimanmarcus.com.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538
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