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Ooh Friday night in Fort Worth! A little staycation in the next town over that’s filled with places I can’t wait to try. One of those places is Tim Love’s Woodshed. It’s a house of smoke, and they smoke everything. Seriously. Stand still too long and Tim will likely try to smoke you. Another thing to note about Woodshed is that it’s entirely outdoors. So on a breezy night like last Friday, the heaters were in use all over the place.

PLEASE TO NOTE: As you can see from the flag pic on the left, the red light was like Kennys Rogers Roasters red all over our table. I “adjusted” my photos with PS Mobile on my phone post-meal, but all in all they’re still pretty shameful. Please forgive me, blogger gods.

Anyway, Woodshed is a cool spot right on the Trinity with a stage for live music and ample space for folks of all kinds. Dates, families, friends, even annoying college students, or so I’ve been told. On a Friday night in Fort Worth, we didn’t encounter anything particularly annoying, thankfully.

And Woodshed begs to be loved! It has a dog menu, for goodness sake. And Tim Love is a tiny baby chef. A cutie pie, even. One look at the great-looking website and a glance over the menu and I couldn’t wait to taste everything.

It was a nippy night, but the smoke was warm. Let’s start at the beginning.

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Smoked whitefish dip was a win. The camp bread and chips that accompanied it were both delicious.

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These are smoked almonds with chile salt. Ignore the artsy look of them. They were salty, smokey and full of herbs.

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This unique “salad” was full of sweet onions, peppers and farro. It was chilled, and would make a great first course. $8

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The local acorn squash with Tuaca, brown sugar and smoked pepper hollandaise. Sounds incredible, right? Well, it was good, but nothing like how it reads. I didn’t taste Tuaca in the piece I tried, and there was nothing like hollandaise either. Brown sugar I can believe. This was a unique take on squash, but I don’t think I’d come back for it.

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The smartest man among us ordered the chopped beef sandwich with house mustard and pickles. It made the rest of us way jealous.

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This was my unfortunate choice. Every once in a while I decide to be pescatarian for like a day. It’s nice. It’s like being a vegetarian but you can eat fish. Anyway, I suppose Friday was one of those days, because this dish, at a whopping $18 was made up of polenta, field mushrooms and a fried egg. And while that sounds damn good, and it tasted kinda good too, it was just too much of one note. Same texture, same earthy flavors, same richness. Over and over, every bite. About a third of the way through (or $6 if you’re keeping track), I found myself working to finish the dish, trying to give bites away to my tablemates until I gave up. I can’t lie; it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

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Overall, I’d go back to Woodshed. Definitely. But unfortunately, it’s not like it’s ten or twenty minutes away. Fort Worth is another town, and there are a lot of other restaurants to try before I consider going back to Woodshed. If you go, there’s so much on the menu to choose from, but I would recommend sticking to what Texans know best: barbecued meats. Sure you can get fancy with the sausage of the day (when we went it was rattlesnake and rabbit) or order something seductive like the bowl of ramen noodles. But they’re risky. Make sure someone at the table orders up some beef.

Until next time, Fort Worth…

Woodshed Smokehouse  |  3201 Riverfront Drive, Fort Worth, TX  |  woodshedsmokehouse.com

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