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Crank up the heat: Tim Love chili, Gus’s Fried Chicken on the way

Posted 11:43am on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

Chili and “hot chicken” will be warming us up within days.

Both a Stockyards chili parlor and a Southern-style cayenne “hot” chicken restaurant will open this month in Fort Worth, just in time to help shake the December chill.

The 40-year-old White Elephant Saloon will start doubling as an old-time chili parlor next week. Chef Tim Love will offer chili daily, along with burgers from the Love Shack next door.

Fort Worth is funny about chili. This is the city where packaged chili powder was first sold (in 1890, by Pendery’s), so you’d think it would be a signature local dish in cafes.

Instead, the best chili in town might be served at the Kimbell Art Museum Buffet, and then only about one week every month.

Restaurants known for chili include Dutch’s Hamburgers, El Rancho Grande, the M&O Station Grill, the local Pulido’s chain, Riscky’s Grocery & Market on Azle Avenue , River Oaks Cafe and Rodeo Goat, along with Tolbert’s in Grapevine.

Love promises a choice of premium “Texas red” or a specialty chili daily, with toppings, saltines and cornbread.

Chili has been served in the Stockyards for more than 110 years. A 1970s restaurant, the Lone Star Chili Parlor, was a model for Austin’s renowned Texas Chili Parlor.

“I’ve always wanted to bring back a traditional chili parlor,” Love said this week. “I finally decided it would only be fitting to bring it back in the White Elephant.”

The White Elephant already serves Love Shack burgers daily beginning at noon; 106 E. Exchange Ave., 817-624-8273, whiteelephantsaloon.com.

That chicken’s hot

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken will bring Memphis cayenne-spicy fried chicken to Fort Worth next week, tentatively Dec. 19.

It’s the second Texas location for Gus’s after Austin. The Fort Worth address is 1065 W. Magnolia Ave., in a 1940s building on the corner at South Adams Street.

Gus’s is part of the “Kentrification” restoration work near the Kent & Co. wine shop, Heim Barbecue and Melt Ice Creams.

Gus’s, founded 60 years ago in Mason, Tenn., serves spicy chicken fried in peanut oil with a crisp, peppery crust. Other items include typical side dishes such as fried okra or macaroni and cheese, and most locations serve pies such as pecan, chess, sweet potato, chocolate chess and coconut chess.

Gus’s will start private previews next week; gusfriedchicken.com.

Maxi Medi

The pizzas are the same, but the name and the rest of the menu have changed at Beik Mediterranean Grill, the old Inzo Italian in Fort Worth.

“This makes us stand out more,” said owner Tony Khalek, who took over last year from Daniele Puleo.

“There’s plenty of Italian in this area already. Tanglewood would like a Mediterranean restaurant.”

The menu offers a wide selection of salads, kebabs, shawarma and grilled dishes.

It’s open for lunch and dinner daily; 2747 S. Hulen St., 817-924-2749.

The Inzo Italian continues in Roanoke; 101 S. Oak St., 817-890-4280, inzoitalian.com.

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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