TRAVEL HERE: NOT EXACTLY A SUMMER TREAT, TRY IT IN AUTUMN
Since Joe T. Garcia’s is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world, I think any trip to Fort Worth should include a visit to their Fiesta Garden, but Bill doesn’t feel the same way. For one thing, he has an aversion to lines and for another, he thinks variety (not chili) is the spice of life. So last week when we went to the Kimbell to see The Brothers Nain, we tried out the Woodshed Smokehouse. You should too, but let me tell you why you should wait until late September, maybe October.
A Restaurant from Love, Tim Love
As much as I enjoy food, I am not a foodie. I hear friends gush over celebrity chefs, but I can barely sit through an entire episode of any cooking show – with the possible exception of Cake Boss and I don’t watch it for the cakes. I’m positively grossed out by now much the cakes are handled before they are served. However, I dig marketing concepts and business development, so I like Restaurant Startup.
Tim Love isn’t just another celebrity chef, he’s a local legend, so while I’m not the sort to go out of my way for a particular chef, his stamp on a riverside restaurant could sway me in that direction. Since Bill was the one who didn’t want to go to Joe T.’s , I tasked him with narrowing down the Cowtown choices. From his suggestions, I suggested The Woodshed.
What It’s Similar To
My first thought on being seated in The Woodshed was The Katy Trail Ice House & Outpost. My next thought was The Truckyard. It’s not really exactly like either one of those, but there are hints of each. To round out the vibe, I’d have to add Stampede 66.
The Woodshed has some structural similarities to the original Katy Trail Ice House, but the outdoor sections of the Woodshed are more compact like the Outpost. However, the outdoor sections are also more formally arranged, which made me think of Stampede, but outdoors. I only thought of The Truckyard because it was a casual outdoor sort of a place with the same clientele. The food is very seriously related to Stampede.
How It’s Unique
Location, location, location! Sitting adjacent to Trinity Trails, The Woodshed has an idyllic view and vibe. Walking from our parking spot we noticed the multitude of mini-woodsheds with various woods – (hence The Woodshed). Your menu will let you know which wood is used to cook your entree.
The Woodshed claims it’s green, but I’d just call it hot. They don’t have any air-conditioning and this is Texas. We sat right under one of the big fans they brag about, but we were uncomfortably hot. . There are a few trees out on the patio, but not the big shady kind. The Katy Trail Icehouse, Katy Outpost and Truckyard all have The Woodshed beat, hands down, in the comfort department. And it was loud. Not the fan; the restaurant
The most unique thing we saw were HUGE cutting boards loaded up with meat and being delivered to tables. We’re talking a vegetarian would faint at the sight of it. Last week was Father’s Day and I think one of the reasons they were so busy were these carnivorous feasts.
The bottom line for any restaurant is the meal. Bill ordered the chopped brisket sandwich and I opted for tamales. We liked both, but weren’t carried away by either. We agreed they got a little enthusiastic on the hot factor of both recipes, but I guess that’s the Tim Love Schitick.
The Woodshed has been around since 2012 and is still packing them in, so I suppose people like what they have. It just wasn’t our favorite cup of tea – or perhaps I should say, glass of iced tea. We liked the restaurant enough to give it another try, but you can bet your sarsaparilla we won’t be coming back until the weather cools down.
Speaking of beverages, you have your choice. They have a wine list, but we stuck with beer. They have a varied selection of beers, but not as expansive as other places I have mentioned in this review. I noticed margaritas, too.
Bill thought they were a little stingy with the chips on his entree, not that he wanted more to eat, but it looked like the potato chip clique was giving the sandwich the cold shoulder. There was way too much plate for what was served – especially with the meat orgies floating around over our heads.
This is obviously a concept restaurant and I’m not that fond of forced concepts. It seems to me they try too hard to be one thing, but are too cool to just go ahead and be that. Like they have to maintain a certain amount of chic, so you won’t forget they are a trendy concept.
The food is OK, but if they want to be green, they really need to ship in a whole lot of big trees to combat the swelter. Then perhaps the hot taste they insist upon might be more enjoyable.
Bill says we’ll go back some time when it’s cooler. Maybe, but if it’s up to me, I’m sticking with Joe T.’s.