The newest barbecue joint in town is much more.
Start with the name: Oak Acres BBQ & Bistro.
Add that it serves breakfast six days a week, including not only the usual tacos or biscuits-and-gravy but also Belgian waffles and candied-bacon French toast.
And note the lunch specials.
Sure, the menu has pecan-smoked brisket sandwiches, ribs, burgers and catfish platters.
But it also has — brisket paninis? Swedish meatballs? Shepherd’s pie?
“It’s meat dishes from the Old World to the New World,” said “Chef Sage” Sakiri, a fine-dining chef trying his hand at a casual grill and having a lot of fun in a landmark restaurant at 1700 N. Las Vegas Trail north of Loop 820 West.
He’s the newest operator in a 55-year-old barbecue roadhouse that looks decades older.
Originally Oak Acres Bar-B-Q, it gained fame in recent years as the home of Billy’s Oak Acres. (That was before pitmaster Billy Woodrich moved to west Fort Worth and then to Rufus Bar & Grill, 4608 Bryant Irvin Road.)
Now, as Oak Acres again, it’s a breakfast and lunch cafe with much more to offer than a typical barbecue restaurant.
“I’ve always wanted to do barbecue with my own twist,” said Sakiri, owner of the busy River Bend Cafe in east Fort Worth and also owner of a burger grill and a fish-and-chips restaurant in a Roanoke brewery-food hall.
It’s not really that unusual for an Eastern European chef to barbecue.
Immigrants founded some of Fort Worth’s first restaurants, meat markets and barbecue stands, including the Riscky family from Poland and Theo’s Saddle & Sirloin (now Riscky’s Steakhouse) by the Yordanoff family from North Macedonia.
“In eastern Europe, we’ve been cooking over wood for centuries — deer, game — we have a love and craving for smoked meats,” Sakiri said.
He wants to start serving smoked prime rib soon and add weekend dinner hours, along with dishes such as smoked oxtails.
“My dream is to have like a boutique barbecue restaurant with different cuts,” he said.
OK, so this isn’t a simple Texas-style stand-in-line-for-brisket place.
But try the pecan-smoked chicken salad, Sakiri’s twist on Fort Worth’s newest favorite dish. Or the smoked chicken platter.
Notably, the side dishes are fresh and flavored with a chef’’s touch. Green beans, slaw and even the paprika-seasoned pintos show effort far beyond those in a typical barbecue restaurant. The cornbread is house-made.
And unlike most barbecue restaurants, Oak Acres actually serves salads: a wedge, a Caesar or a candied-bacon-pecan house salad.
At breakfast, there’s a giant “Long Horn” brisket burrito and a “Lake Worth skillet” with bacon, eggs. peppers and cheese over biscuits, or a “Texan-French” toast with candied bacon and strawberry salsa.
The patio and garden will open as spring weather arrives. Oak Acres has both online ordering and curbside pickup.