Horseshoe Hill, new Fort Worth restaurant from chef Grady Spears, is an instant classic
Grady’s an old friend, so I knew to expect cowboy cooking — chicken fried steak, buttermilk biscuits, locally sourced steaks seared over an open fire. He’d told me the place was small, that the kitchen was more cramped than the backseat of a taxi, and that he cooks by feel rather than detailed recipes. I don’t think he’d know what to do with nasturtium petals and a pair of tweezers if you handed them to him.
I’m glad he doesn’t, because most of us would rather eat his kind of cooking than a plate of swirls and drizzles and smears anyway. Crowds already pack his cramped dining room for the chicken fried steaks, their crackly crust blanketed by creamy black pepper gravy and, if you’re adventurous, topped with a queso-filled chile relleno or cheese enchiladas. He scribes a simple wine list on brown butcher paper hung beside the swinging screen door that separates the dining room from the kitchen. That’s him, slicing a thick dry-aged rib-eye steak from its subprimal slab on the kitchen counter.
At a time when most other chefs are smearing and dolloping and swirling, Spears is busy cooking the kind of food you crave after a long day or before a big night. You owe it to yourself to check out Horseshoe Hill. But be forewarned: Expect a wait for a table. This kind of comfort food deservedly draws crowds.
204 W Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, (817) 882-6405. Open Wednesday – Sunday.