Reno Red's Frontier Cooking in Roanoke serves comfort food from the Chisholm Trail

Reno Red's offers Texas-style comfort food in Roanoke.

Reno Red's offers Texas-style comfort food in Roanoke.

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KRN May2019 Dining
Image description
KRN May2019 Dining
Cliff Clark’s family has been serving Texas comfort food for generations. His great-great-grandfather started the tradition as a chuckwagon master along the Chisholm Trail, a pathway used after the Civil War to drive cattle between Kansas and Texas. His name and legacy live on at Reno Red’s Frontier Cooking in Roanoke.

After growing up in his family’s restaurants, Clark co-founded Reno Red’s in 1989 as Prairie House. He changed the name in 2012 to honor his relative, whose recipes and cooking styles are used in dishes such as Cowboy Beans and steaks cooked over an open flame.

“It’s just like you would eat out on the trail, cooking for the ranch hands,” Clark said.

The restaurant features comfort food staples, such as chicken-fried steak, fried catfish, barbecue, and its most popular dish, ribs.

On weekends, Reno Red’s offers different types of wild game meat like kangaroo, antelope, elk, buffalo and alligator.

Clark transformed a former gas station garage into Reno Red’s building by covering the walls in reclaimed wood. Inside, he has decorated with items typically found on a farm or ranch, from antique dishes to saddles and spurs.

“When we created it, we didn’t just want empty walls; we wanted people to have an experience … and be able to bring their relatives who weren’t from Texas to a place that represents Texas,” Clark said.

Not much has changed over the three decades Reno Red’s has been in business. However, a new beer garden is slated to open behind the restaurant this fall. Reno Red’s Watering Hole will offer craft beer to be enjoyed at picnic tables or while lounging in old chairs.

In the meantime, diners can still enjoy a cold brew or a signature cocktail such as a Cilantro Margarita at a bar inside the restaurant.
By Korri Kezar
Korri Kezar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 with a degree in journalism. She worked for Community Impact Newspaper's Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto edition for two years before moving to Dallas. Five years later, she returned to the company to launch Community Impact Newspaper's Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth edition, where she covers local government, development, transportation and a variety of other topics. She has also worked at the San Antonio Express-News, Austin-American Statesman and Dallas Business Journal.


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