Billy’s Oak Acres BBQ isn’t even a year old, and it’s already growing.
Pitmaster Billy Woolrich plans a second Fort Worth location for his barbecue, chicken-fried steak and buttermilk-pie empire on North Las Vegas Trail.
The new Billy’s will open by fall in a former carpet shop at 3003 E. Belknap St. in Riverside, counting in part on a boost from a Spike TV episode of Hungry Investors.
Billy’s Oak Acres went head-to-head with Dallas’ Baby Back Shak to see which small, ambitious restaurant would win outside investors’ help.
Billy’s didn’t win, but Spike TV hosts John Besh and Tiffany Derry drew crowds for tapings.
“It’s all for show, but it was a great experience,” Woolrich said this week.
Among the TV tests: He had to turn out 55 lunches in 15 minutes.
Billy’s regular business has built to almost the same pace. He has added chicken-fried steaks on Sundays along with Thursdays.
The Sunday hours put Oak Acres in a league with Cooper’s, Riscky’s and Spring Creek as the barbecue restaurants for leisurely after-church or family-gathering lunches or brunches.
Billy’s also serves boneless pork chops on Wednesdays. The dessert menu has expanded to include a caramel-apple pie along with buttermilk pie and banana pudding.
If you haven’t tried Oak Acres, it’s in a classic, wood-paneled old Texas roadhouse tavern at 1700 N. Las Vegas Trail, north of Loop 820, near the south shore of Lake Worth.
It’s open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sundays for lunch; 817-367-2200, facebook.com/BillysOak AcresBbq.
• La Choza Fine Food, the Santa Fe-flavored restaurant on a farm road west of Lakeside, has added smoked prime rib to Sunday brunch just in time for the spring season.
La Choza is open until 3 p.m. Sundays, serving huevos Santa Fe with red and green chile sauces reminiscent of New Mexico restaurants.
The menu also includes chilaquiles, chiles rellenos, fajitas, pastas and chef Anthony Aguillon’s cakes from his former Anthony’s Place restaurant.
La Choza is open Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner, Sundays for lunch at 7001 Confederate Park Road, No. 106, 817-751-9060, facebook.com/ pages/La-Choza-Fine- Food/276631955762468.
• If you were slow booking that Valentine’s reservation, book now for Easter and Mother’s Day.
Some of the best Valentine’s reports came from Bird Café, where chef David McMillan’s lunch plates and dinner tapas are exceeding expectations from a craft beer house.
Bird’s andouille gumbo and split pea-and-ham soups were winners last week, along with blueberry crumble and Valrhona chocolate ganache cake; lunch and dinner daily, 817-332-2473, birdinthe.net.
Also praised: the Buffet at the Kimbell Art Museum, open for dinner Fridays until 7:30 p.m.; 817-332-8451, ext. 277, kimbellart.org.