Eats Beat: J.R.’s ready for Easter, and then comes Gators Cajun

Posted 8:42pm on Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

Johnny Ragland hasn’t opened a new restaurant for — gosh, nearly a month now.

So it must be time for the Colleyville restaurateur to reopen another new-old favorite: the return of Gator’s Cafe.

Much missed as a Bedford bar and gumbo shop, Gators will return next week in Colleyville as a Cajun restaurant with shrimp and grits, catfish Louisiane, redfish and jambalaya.

Gator’s also will have live music weekends, bringing a new flavor and spirit to the Texas 121 location that was formerly J.R.’s Grill.

A couple of menu items stirring interest: chicken-andouille gumbo, Buffalo crawfish tails, cornmeal-battered fried okra and Low Country cornbread.

It’ll open for lunch and dinner daily beginning next weekend at 5220 Texas 121 North; 817-571-1414, CajunCafe

Ragland’s J.R.’s Steak & Grill, his Southwestern prime steakhouse combined with a new bar and casual grill, is now open for lunch and dinner at 5400 Texas 121 North.

J.R’s will open Easter with special brunch items. Or choose from the regular grill menu, offering burgers and sandwiches starting at $8, favorite entrees for $14-$26 and huge salads for $6 or $14 with grilled salmon or chicken.

Most interesting menu item: a “mas macho” chopped steak topped with two enchiladas, chili, guacamole and cilantro.

J.R.’s is open for lunch and dinner daily; 817-355-1414,

• According to a national poll, half the diners going out on Easter Sunday want a buffet, and 40 percent want ham.

Diners can’t seem to agree whether to call it Easter breakfast, brunch or dinner.

But whatever you call it — call early for reservations.

The best availability might be at Vidalia’s in the Renaissance Worthington hotel, which just decided at midweek to serve a buffet after all.

Vidalia’s will serve in the hotel’s Rio Grande Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; $50, 817-210-2222,

Some familiar restaurants will open early for Easter sunrise worshipers.

Blue Mesa Grill’s weekly buffet starts at 9 a.m, featuring enchiladas, adobe pie, breakfast items, brisket and ham; Lincoln Square in Arlington or University Park Village in Fort Worth,

Buttons Food & Music, the prominent Southern Sunday buffet right now, will have some space early or late but call 817-735-4900;

Pacific Table and The Tavern, chef Felipe Armenta’s restaurants, open at 9 a.m. every Sunday and will have brunch ready;

Prime steakhouses open include Del Frisco’s, Ruth’s Chris and Capital Grille, offering eggs Benedict, steaks, halibut or salmon;

Café Modern at the Modern Art Museum has a special $39.95 holiday menu featuring a choice of six entrees including lobster and braised short rib eggs Benedict, a New York strip steak with chile relleno or fried chicken with deviled eggs and potato salad, plus a dessert trio;

Winslow’s Wine Cafe has a buffet with carving and omelet stations; $35.99,

For the most traditional Easter in Dallas-Fort Worth, try the timeless Highland Park Cafeteria, 1200 N. Buckner Blvd., (Loop 12), Dallas;

For other choices, see the midweek column at

More brunch choices across Dallas-Fort Worth can be found on

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

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