Eats Beat: No longer a “cowboy chef,” J.R.’s Phillips remains very Texan

Posted 7:36am on Wednesday, May. 22, 2013

Southlake gets new chain steakhouses.

Colleyville has its own local steakhouse: J.R.’s.

Six years after chef Todd Phillips left Reata and cowboy cooking for fine dining, J.R.’s has become a steady choice on Texas 121.

A new menu offers a choice of eight steaks, leading with a 1-pound, bone-in filet in a blackberry-rosemary demi-glace ($60).

The newest is a dry-aged, 1-pound, bone-in New York strip basted in roasted garlic butter ($40). There’s an $85 “date special” with two steaks, potatoes and a side dish.

Phillips’ Reata past still shows through in the spices, such as the roasted corn-green chile chowder served with the grilled salmon, or the Shiner Bock demi-glace on the regular New York strip.

On the lighter side of the menu, the French onion soup is now served with a goat cheese-crusted sourdough. A new sliced-tomato salad is served with a creamy Gorgonzola.

J.R.’s is promoting an early bird happy-hour dinner special Wednesdays. Diners coming in before 7 p.m. for drinks get 25 percent off dinner.

J.R.’s is open for dinner nightly except Sundays at 5400 Texas 121, south of Hall-Johnson Road; 817-355-1414,

The flavor’s in the grill

The aftermath of Texas Monthly’s barbecue article this month:

A lot of Smitty’s friends in Lockhart are furious.

Once considered the state’s premier barbecue stop, Smitty’s has slumped as a feud broke out between property owners.

Also left off the top 50: restaurants the magazine previously promoted, such as Off the Bone in Forest Hill.

If you missed it last week, Bartley’s and Cousin’s made the state’s top 50, along with Longoria’s in Everman, Lockhart Smokehouse and Pecan Lodge in Dallas, and the rural Hashknife on the Chisholm north of Mineral Wells.

Good Luck turkey

If you’ve made the switch to turkey burgers, an old Fort Worth favorite is ready.

The Good Luck Drive-in, a hospital district stop for burgers and barbecued chicken since 1969, now serves turkey burgers and also breakfasts.

It’s one of few turkey burgers that taste like hamburger. That’s mostly because the Good Luck grill is seasoned with 44 years of flavor.

It’s open daily at 900 W. Rosedale St.; 817-332-5507,

Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat. Get alerts at

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