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A ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ burger? Kincaid’s winning entry in Fort Worth fest was scary good

In World
April 11, 2024

Kincaid’s Hamburgers is back on top.

A Texas tradition for 60 years, Kincaid’s was named “best burger” by judges at the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival.

The winner wasn’t a traditional Kincaid’s cheeseburger, the kind the Gentry family started making in the mid-1960s when grandfather Ownyel Robert (O.R.) Gentry began grinding beef and grilling burgers as the butcher in grocer Charles Kincaid’s market, 4901 Camp Bowie Blvd.

The judges’ winner was a special burger for the festival: the “Rosemary’s Baby.”

Kincaid’s owners, Jonathan and Christian Gentry, served an all-red bacon burger with rosemary-orange-black-pepper-cream sauce and grape-chili jelly. On top, they added cayenne and chili flakes.

Bacon-cheeseburger from Kincaid’s in Fort Worth

Bacon-cheeseburger from Kincaid’s in Fort Worth

Don’t expect to find one at Kincaid’s.

“This was for the festival — people want something new they’ve never seen before,” Jonathan Gentry said.

“It’s nice to show that we can do crazy stuff too. We’re so used to just asking, ‘Cheese or no cheese?’ “

Festivalgoers also voted for a fan favorite. That prize went to the year-old JD’s Hamburgers, 9901 Camp Bowie Blvd. West.

KIncaid’s Hamburgers’ winning entry in the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival April 6, 2024. It featured bacon and rosemary-orange-black-pepper cream cheese with grape-chili jelly, cayenne and chili flakes.

KIncaid’s Hamburgers’ winning entry in the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival April 6, 2024. It featured bacon and rosemary-orange-black-pepper cream cheese with grape-chili jelly, cayenne and chili flakes.

Cheese or no cheese, Kincaid’s burgers were ranked the best in the U.S. and Texas by magazines and critics in the 1970s and 1980s.

Back then, O.R. Gentry was running the meat market in what opened in 1946 as Pope-Kincaid Grocery. When partner Roy Pope returned to his market on Merrick Street, the newer store became Charles Kincaid Grocery.

Gentry originally made only a few burgers for customers at the end of each day. Not long after the burgers gained popularity, he bought the grocery.

By the 1970s, grocery shelves started giving way to make room for more dining counters. In 1991, after O.R. Gentry sold the restaurant to his son, Ron, tables and benches were added.

Jonathan and Christian Gentry took over along with their mother, Lynn Gentry, when Ron Gentry died in 2021.

“Now the stores are living monuments to my father and O.R. Gentry and Morris Gardner,” Jonathan Gentry said, referring to Lynn Gentry’s late father, the former manager.

“I know my dad would be very proud of us winning,” Jonathan Gentry said.

“And he’d be thrilled that a lot of players in the restaurant business have come and gone, and we’re still holding down the tradition.”

O.R. Gentry, seen Sept. 24, 1980, was the butcher at Kincaid Grocery in the 1960s who started making hamburgers from the day’s extra beef at Kincaid Grocery in Fort Worth. The burgers became nationally famous and Gentry became owner and manager.

O.R. Gentry, seen Sept. 24, 1980, was the butcher at Kincaid Grocery in the 1960s who started making hamburgers from the day’s extra beef at Kincaid Grocery in Fort Worth. The burgers became nationally famous and Gentry became owner and manager.

Change at Kincaid’s comes slowly and cautiously. In Lynn Gentry’s words, “We just want to keep on being Kincaid’s.”

But the menu is slowly growing.

A past festival crowd choice for “best burger” is now on the menu. It’s the Cowtown Deluxe, a bacon-pimiento jalapeno burger.

Hint: it’s even better as a grilled chicken sandwich, maybe one of the best non-burgers at a burger restaurant.

Onion rings were an immediate hit. There are shakes, malts and ice cream floats.

Jonathan Gentry said if the restaurants change at all, they’ll roll back the decor and menu.

O.R. Gentry, seen April 22, 1982, is manager and owner of Kincaid’s Grocery in Fort Worth. He is the father of the famous Kincaid’s Hamburgers which he created in the 1960s when he was the butcher at the store.

O.R. Gentry, seen April 22, 1982, is manager and owner of Kincaid’s Grocery in Fort Worth. He is the father of the famous Kincaid’s Hamburgers which he created in the 1960s when he was the butcher at the store.

“I go through the old photos and menus and it’s fun to see what we used to have,” he said.

They may change the menu boards and decor to look more retro, he said.

Kincaid’s has five locations: west Fort Worth, 4825 Overton Ridge Blvd. in southwest Fort Worth and 3124 Texas Sage Trail in Alliance Town Crossing, plus in Southlake at 100 N. Kimball Ave. and in the Arlington Highlands at 3900 Arlington Highlands Blvd.

The suburban restaurants serve lunch and dinner daily. The historic location on Camp Bowie Boulevard serves lunch and dinner weekdays and Saturdays and lunch Sundays; 817-732-2891, kincaidshamburgers.com.

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