Smoke and Chicken Scratch have turned out more than just barbecue and fried chicken.
Chef Tim Byres’ Dallas ventures also are turning out new Tarrant County restaurateurs.
The best-known is former Smoke sous chef Brandon Hudson. He’s about to open Sera Dining, a tapas cafe and wine bar on Forest Park Boulevard replacing Sapristi.
But Smoke alumnus Blake Hodges of Keller is building his own reputation for historic preservation and burgers at Red’s Burger House.
When Hodges set out to open a burger grill, he didn’t just choose Azle. He chose the oldest building on Main Street, a 1900 lodge hall still remembered as a mid-20th-century drugstore.
“We fell in love with this building,” he said Sunday, apologizing that Red’s was so busy it ran out of beef.
The storefront is 113 years old, but the burgers are up-to-date.
They’re made from fresh beef smacked on the grill like a Smashburger, then topped with high-quality lettuce, rich Roma tomatoes, and house-made pickles and sauces.
“We try to make as much as we can by hand here, and not overcomplicate things,” he said.
The simple menu has burgers, chicken sandwiches, a Philly and several toppings for the fresh-cut fries.
The price point is higher than at newbie Planet Burger down the street, but a burger, fries and a drink rang in under $10.
The family of one past tenant, a radio-TV repair shop, brought old radios to display. Customers reminisce about the chocolate malts at the drugstore soda fountain.
Red’s is open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays, lunch Sundays at 117 W. Main St., Azle, 817-406-4602; redsburgerhouse.com.
Wasp on wing
New this week: Little Red Wasp Kitchen + Bar, a new Dain Adam Jones (of Grace) contemporary bar and grill.
The menu is simple: salads, burgers with “Wasp sauce,” sandwiches, and a few plates such as spaghetti, a short rib, Arctic char or a New York strip.
It’s open for dinner now and for lunch and dinner daily beginning Monday, with brunch a couple weeks away; 808 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3111, littleredwasp.com.
New in Hurst: Everything German, at 660 Grapevine Highway, offering everything from spaetzle to schnitzel, plus a Bavarian cream dessert.
It’s open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Fridays, Saturdays for breakfast through dinner; everythinggerman.org.