Though Tillman’s Roadhouse has been an institution in Dallas’ Bishop Arts district since 1992, we’ve all been extra sweet on the place since 2007, when it evolved into a chic hot spot with creative cowboy cuisine—a fun, hip place we could feel proud to call our own. Maybe that’s why its spin-off in Fort Worth, in the trendy new So7 development, provokes an uneasy twinge. Its trademark witty twist on the cowboy motif seems right at home there, from its 12-gauge shotgun door handles, to its handsome outdoor patio with fire pits, to its tongue-in-cheek custom-made horse ribbons in the rest rooms (e.g., first place for best water). Tillman’s Fort Worth, must you fit in so well? Like the Dallas branch, it has the signature hot, salty French fries in a cattle-branded box, as well as Frito pie, made with venison and served with a bag of corn chips so you can do it yourself. It also has a sampler of quesadillas with edges that are crisp and browned, filled with smoky brisket and pulled pork. But what is this? It has a Daily Skillet, a one-pot comfort dish such as shepherd’s pie, with crumbled beef in a bubbly brown gravy, topped with a buoyant mound of mashed potatoes. Dallas doesn’t have that. To add insult to injury, Tillman’s Fort Worth even has a brunch that runs until 3 pm on weekends, with perfectly poached eggs over blue corn pancakes and buttery cinnamon rolls served in an ironstone skillet. But hold your horses: Dallas may be getting brunch, too. Damn straight.
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