The Porky Fries could be their own entree. Photo by Edward Brown.
Anderson Distillery & Grill, 400 S Oak St, Ste 100, Roanoke. 817-203-0623. Sun 10am-8pm, Tue-Thu 11am-10pm, 11am-midnight Fri, 10am-midnight Sat.


Roanoke is likely a familiar name to most Fort Worthians, even if the population of the quaint town just northeast of Fort Worth city limits is just under 10,000. The fame comes down to restaurants.

The city’s marketing efforts include billboards along I-35 that describe Roanoke as the “Unique Dining Capital of Texas,” and a glance at Visit Roanoke’s website reveals a surprisingly wide range of mom-and-pop dining options for a city its size.

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Anderson Distillery & Grill is the newest addition to the area’s culinary landscape. Co-headed by Corey Anderson, the restaurant/distillery opened several months ago near Roanoke City Hall and is laid out simply, with one large table-seating area, a single longish bar, and a distilling space visible to diners through glass walls.

Located near Roanoke City Hall, Anderson Distillery & Grill offers a unique dining and drinking experience in a city already known for great restaurants.
Courtesy Facebook

In tours, Anderson, a former public school teacher, describes the steps of distilling, from the initial breakdown of grain in a large cylindrical tub to the filtering process and final distilling that supplies the business with vodka then made into whiskey, gin, and other craft spirits.

Liquor infusions are popular, and the back of the bar boasts dozens of jars of vodka blended with fruits, herbs, and other sources of flavoring. My first orders were two shots: jalapeño and apple pie. The chile shot was easy on the heat and heavy on the peppery flavor, like a liquified, boozy bell pepper. The dessert-themed shooter provided cinnamon and ample apple notes, just like the popular baked dish.

My first food order up, the Delux Mac was a hefty bowl of elbow pasta, buttery Gouda, and soft white American cheese. Small bits of pancetta added bursts of salty flavor while sauteed onions and spinach lightened the savory appetizer.

Save room for the Porky Fries. Built on a bed of lightly seasoned cottage fries, the hefty appetizer featured a mound of soft, smoky pulled pork, cheddar cheese, green onions, and generous drizzles of barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, queso, and sour cream. The overall effect was a lovely blend of sweet, savory, and salty.

From around a dozen slider options, I ordered the prime rib, based on the waiter’s recommendation. The thinly cut slices were buttery smooth, and the accompanying grilled onions, Swiss cheese, and garlic aioli enhanced the melange without distracting from the meaty centerpiece.

The Akaushi burger’s juicy, rich patty lived up to the hype of the rarefied Japanese beef. The standard toppings — cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and red onion — were all fresh and pristinely presented.

Simple and carefully plated, the Akaushi burger featured a succulent, super-tender patty.
Photo by Edward Brown

The Salmon Kro-Ket was a seafood-heavy delight. The fish patty was juicy and soft with a crispy fried coating. The single slice of tomato and slathering of mayo kept the overall experience from being too dry.

Fans of small-batch spirits won’t be disappointed with this newcomer. Roanoke may seem like a slog of a drive, but at the right hours, it’s no more than 30 minutes from Fort Worth. The customer service was exceptional, and the quality of the food was on par with what one would expect from Texas’ unique dining capital.

The mild-flavored salmon patty was a delight.
Photo by Edward Brown.


Anderson Distillery & Grill
Prime rib slider $6
Salmon Kro-Ket $6
Akaushi burger $6
Jalapeño shot $5
Apple pie shot $5
Porky Fries $11
Delux Mac $8