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Eats Beat: High times on Horseshoe Hill

Posted 12:30pm on Thursday, Dec. 03, 2015

Times are good on Horseshoe Hill.

Chef Grady Spears’ new temple to chicken-fried steak has broadened its menu, and seems ready Friday for a busy Christmas in the Stockyards weekend.

When Spears opens a new restaurant, diners mostly know what to expect. Horseshoe delivers with Spears’ fabled chicken-fried steak five ways ($17-$19), with the pepper-gravy “cowboy way” and enchilada-on-the-side “vaquero way” the favorites.

But the menu now includes more familiar Spears chuckwagon-cooking dishes: a braised pork shank with a salt-crusted sweet potato ($24), roast chicken, short ribs and a couple of steaks.

The salad and side-dish choices have also expanded, so it’s completely possible to go to Horseshoe Hill and dine on something besides chicken-fried steak.

Not that anyone does.

“I’m surprised how many people want chicken-fried steak — lots of women come in wanting chicken-fried steak,” Spears said one day this week, serving helpings of biscuits with orange jam.

On the hill atop West Exchange Avenue, not far from Billy Bob’s or Stockyards Station, Horseshoe Hill has become an anchor at that end and a midday attraction.

One of the Stockyards parking lots is devoted to Horseshoe lunch diners.

A patio in back is being converted to a dining room, increasing capacity from 60 to 90.

Horseshoe Hill is open for lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays; 204 W. Exchange Ave., 817-882-6405, horseshoehillcafe.com.

Have Santa bring takeout

Christmas dining choices are few.

The top choice: major hotels, including buffets at the Omni Fort Worth and Gaylord Texan. There’s a menu lunch at the Renaissance Worthington in Fort Worth and at Copeland’s in the Hilton Southlake.

Also open: Mercury Chop House; Ruth’s Chris Steak House; Buca di Beppo in Southlake; and the Petro Iron Skillet Restaurant in Weatherford.

Brake for Tex-Mex

Festive Cardona Foods’ tortilla factory store-cafe in north Fort Worth has extended its hours for holiday buyers fighting Interstate 35W traffic.

Cardona Foods will be open weeknights selling salsa, tamales and Tex-Mex takeout, including the company’s popular red-and-green chips.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. Takeout service continues until 7 weeknights. 850 Meacham Blvd. at Farm Road 156, 817-625-6477, facebook.com/cardonafoods.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @EatsBeat. His column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com.

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