Month: April 2019

Panther City BBQ in the Texas Monthly Top 25 Barbecue Joints in Texas

Panther City BBQ Top 25 in Texas

Opened: 2018
Pitmasters: Chris Magallanes and Ernest Morales
Pro tip: Check their hours, as the transition from trailer to brick-and-mortar might affect their schedule.

Fort Worth’s Heim Barbecue is the originator of the pork belly burnt end, but when Panther City BBQ took over the lot where the Heim trailer once parked, they did their best imitation. It’s good, but more impressive is how they pair it with a jalapeño, which they cut in half, stuff with cheese, top with the pork belly, and wrap in bacon. There are plenty more smoked meats to love too. A brick-and-mortar on the site should be completed later this year. 201 E. Hattie, 214-532-3657. Open Thur–Sat 11–4, Sun noon–4.

Original article

Fort Worth barbecue restaurant makes list of best new BBQ in Texas

One lucky barbecue restaurant in Fort Worth has earned a spot on a new list by the state’s top BBQ expert. Texas Monthly has released a list of Best New Barbecue Restaurants, and Panther City BBQ is on it.

This popular barbecue trailer on Fort Worth’s south side comes in at an impressive No. 8.

The magazine’s barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn calls the list a “midterm report,” which he’s providing as a way to keep up with what he calls a “staggering” number of openings that have occurred since the magazine published its top 50 BBQ joints in 2017.

This list has 25 entries, most spread across central Texas. The No. 1 pick is LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue, a foodie-ish place where they put kimchi on their sandwiches that opened in Austin in 2017.

As Malcolm Mayhew reported for CultureMap in 2018, Panther City is in the process of upgrading from trailer to real restaurant. Vaughn calls it a good imitation of Fort Worth’s Heim Barbecue:

“Fort Worth’s Heim Barbecue is the originator of the pork belly burnt end, but when Panther City BBQ took over the lot where the Heim trailer once parked, they did their best imitation,” he says. “It’s good, but more impressive is how they pair it with a jalapeño, which they cut in half, stuff with cheese, top with the pork belly, and wrap in bacon. There are plenty more smoked meats to love too. A brick-and-mortar on the site should be completed later this year.”

Panther City also earned a spot on CultureMap‘s 10 Best Restaurants in Fort Worth, as part of our annual Tastemaker Awards.

One other restaurant in the DFW made the list: Smoke Sessions Barbecue, which opened in Royse City in 2017 at 307 W. Texas Hwy 66.

“Chad and Jessica Sessions moved their food truck one town over from Fate to Royse City last year and at press time were moving again, to a spot on Highway 66, where they plan to open a brick-and-mortar,” the list says. “But thanks to flawless smoked brisket, stunning house-made sausages, and an array of satisfying sides made from scratch, it’s worth the trip for Dallasites who are willing to drive an hour or so.”

Vaughn gives praise to Smoke Sessions’ unusual offering of tacos, which they feature one day a week.

“Tuesday is taco day,” Vaughn says. “I like the smoked barbacoa and brisket, both of which are served with pickled onions, cilantro, and crema. But things get wild with the pulled-pork taco. I never thought I’d enjoy a taco with chopped dill pickles and fried onions from a can until I tried it here.”

Vaughn acknowledges that many of the restaurants on the list are trailers and pop-ups. “Our rules require that a place have a permanent address and regular hours,” he says.

This is the second time Texas Monthly has done a midterm barbecue report focused exclusively on new barbecue joints; the first time was in 2015.

“The level of activity in the Texas barbecue scene had gotten so intense that it seemed wrong to make readers wait to hear about the worthy rookies until we released our next Top 50 list, which comes out every four years,” Vaughn says. The next top 50 list comes out in 2021.

“And things have only gotten more intense lately,” he says. “When I compiled my last midterm report, I easily narrowed my picks down to 25. This year, though, it was harder because there was a lot more great new barbecue to evaluate.”

Original article

2 barbecue joints in North Texas make Texas Monthly’s latest list

Expect the crowds at Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth and Smoke Sessions Barbecuein Royse City to swell after today.

Texas Monthly released its list of the 25 best new barbecue joints in Texas, and Panther City and Smoke Sessions made barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn’s list. Every four years, Vaughn puts out a list of Texas’ 50 best barbecue joints, as he did in 2017. The magazine considers this 2019 list a “midterm report” — to highlight the delicious work of new businesses.

“We know that four years between lists is just a long time,” Vaughn says, especially for barbecue joints that opened just after his 2017 list came out, like Austin shop Leroy and Lewis Barbecue, named on the just-released list of 25 newcomers.  

Vaughn writes in the Texas Monthly article that “it seemed wrong to make readers wait to hear about the worthy rookies until we released our next Top 50 list,” which won’t land until 2021.

Texas Monthly also makes a list of the state’s best new restaurants, and in early 2019 it named three local shops, though none of them serve barbecue.

Both Panther City BBQ and Smoke Sessions Barbecue started as food trucks, and both are building permanent restaurants. When they open, they “are going to be able to serve so many more people,” Vaughn says.

He likes Panther City pitmasters Chris Magallanes and Ernest Morales’ stuffed jalapeno, a spicy snack of cheese and pork belly wrapped in bacon. “They’re pretty amazing,” Vaughn says. 

Look at photos of Panther City’s barbecue

  • Panther City BBQ co-pitmasters Ernie Morales and Chris Magallanes prepared a Southside Slammer sandwich comprised of (from bottom) smoked bologna, brisket, pulled pork, jalape–o cheese sausage and topped with pork belly on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • Panther City BBQ co-pitmasters Ernie Morales and Chris Magallanes smoke their meats on a trailer mounted Moberg smoker which is parked next to The Republic Street Bar in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. They have a permanent location being built on a vacant lot on the opposite side of the bar. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • Co-pitmasters Ernie Morales (left) and Chris Magallanes are building a permanent location for Panther City BBQ in a vacant lot opposite of The Republic Street Bar on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • Panther City BBQ co-pitmasters Ernie Morales and Chris Magallanes are turning out barbecue for customers from their trailer adjacent to The Republic Street Bar on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. Folks are able to eat inside the bar. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • Panther City BBQ co-pitmasters Chris Magallanes prepares brisket tacos and sandwiches with Ernie Morales in their trailer adjacent to The Republic Street Bar on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • Panther City BBQ co-pitmaster Chris Magallanes (right) puts out the BBQ sign as they turn out lunch from their trailer adjacent to The Republic Street Bar on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • Panther City BBQ co-pitmasters Ernie Morales and Chris Magallanes serve pork belly poppers from their trailer adjacent to The Republic Street Bar on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • A permanent location for Panther City BBQ is being built in a vacant lot on the opposite side of The Republic Street Bar on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
  • Panther City BBQ co-pitmasters Ernie Morales and Chris Magallanes cut brisket with a blade labeled Vegetarian in their trailer on Hattie St. in Fort Worth, Saturday, April 19, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)Tom Fox/Staff Photographer

At Smoke Sessions, he added them to the list because of pitmaster Chad Sessions’ creativity. Beyond Sessions’ traditional menu of brisket, turkey and beef sausage, he also sometimes sells garlic-Parmesan ribs reminiscent of chicken wings. Vaughn also likes his pulled pork taco: “It’s pulled pork, barbecue sauce, chopped-up dill pickles, fried onions out of the can, and it works,” he says. “It’s really good.”

Original article ›

10 best restaurants in Fort Worth dish out lots of delicious choices

The 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards is our annual event celebrating the best in local food and drink, where we spotlight nominees in categories such as best bars and best chefs in Fort Worth.

The category of Restaurant of the Year represents the pinnacle, where everything comes together: food, drink, service, and atmosphere.

Thanks go to our panel of judges, consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts, who narrowed down the list to 10 finalists.

Winners will be announced at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards party on April 25 at Fashion Industry Gallery. We’ll applaud the winners, sip cocktails, and dine on bites provided by the nominees. Tickets are on sale now.

Here are our 10 nominees for the 2019 Tastemaker Awards Restaurant of the Year:

B&B Butchers & Restaurant
Upscale steakhouse and traditional butcher shop from Houston was one of the first restaurants to open at the Shops at Clearfork, in 2017. Beef is the thing: It serves Texas and Japanese Wagyu beef — it’s one of a small coterie of restaurants in the U.S. offering 100 percent authentic, A5 certified Kobe beef from Tajima cattle — as well as in-house dry-aged USDA Prime beef, all hand-cut in the on-premise butcher shop. It also boasts one of the most extensive brunch menus in Fort Worth.

Blue Sushi
With its atmospheric lighting and enormous, tranquil aquarium full of exotic fish, this W. 7th area sushi bar and restaurant is perfect for date nights. Don’t be misled by the glitzy atmosphere — the sushi is amazingly good, and so are the cocktails, all of which  you can get at bargain prices during their extended happy hours. They also offer a lengthy selection of vegan sushi that’s vastly popular not only with vegans but with those who veer away from raw fish. A small patio offers a ringside seat to the W. 7th St. action.

Clay Pigeon
Chef and repeat Tastemaker nominee Marcus Paslay launched his portfolio of restaurants (Piattello, plus a Stockyards restaurant TBD) with this rustic, farm-to-table restaurant that he opened in 2013. Mostly everything on the menu is made from scratch, including a rotating house-made pasta, grilled duck breast with blue cheese grits, and grilled Niman Ranch pork chop. Clay Pigeon was ahead of the curve on craft cocktails and also features an extensive wine list.

Fixe
Progressive Southern restaurant is an import from Austin, from Keith House and James Robert, beloved for its innovative takes on nostalgic dishes such as shrimp and grits, biscuits, and fried chicken. Fried catfish, for example, comes with smoked uni tartar. Freshly prepared biscuits are the big deal here, but pay close attention to the massive fried-chicken sandwich, smeared with chicken-fat mayo, and lobster-crawfish pot pie.

Grace
Fine-dining downtown restaurant is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Fort Worth, with a great bar scene and a menu featuring prime steaks and creative New American fare paired with fine wines in elegant, contemporary decor. Chef Blaine Staniford and owner Adam Jones went on to open an also-popular casual sibling nearby, Little Red Wasp, but they keep things fresh at Grace with special tasting menus including an all-veggie option.

Gus’s Fried Chicken
Memphis-based restaurant featured on Food Channel shows such as The Best Thing I Ever Ate has developed a cult following for its spicy, crispy chicken. Unlike Nashville hot chicken that can deliver an almost painful level of heat, the chicken at Gus’s delivers a more mild tingle. It’s fried in peanut oil and features a crunchy crispy skin. Every meal comes with slightly sweet beans, slaw, and a slice of white bread.

Mercury Chophouse
Former downtown Fort Worth staple has decamped to Arlington where its steakhouse menu and attentive service has won over a new crowd. Located in the space formerly occupied by Cacharel, Arlington’s previous fine-dining experience, Mercury has a classic steakhouse vibe with wood paneling, piano bar, and great views. The menu includes steak, lamb shank, pan-seared foie gras, and seafood.

Panther City BBQ
Since opening in January, Fort Worth’s top barbecue trailer has made a name for itself for its expertly smoked brisket, beef sandwich, pork belly burnt ends, and inventive sides, such as brisket-spiked elote. Panther City will have a permanent home in its own backyard when it opens a sit-down restaurant in a new building going up at its current location at 201 E. Hattie St.

Spiral Diner
Spiral Diner is a trailblazer not only because it’s a vegan restaurant in cattle county, but because it anticipated one o the biggest foodie trends of the decade, as the sales and popularity of vegan food continues to explode. But they’re not great just because they’re a trend. With more than a decade under their belt, they continue to refine their diner food recipes, and have some of the best cakes, pies, and baked goods around. Fort Worth was the original and now they have always-mobbed locations in Dallas and Denton.

Taco Heads
Tacos are taken seriously at this Fort Worth joint, which founder (and Tastemaker Awards nominee) Sarah Castillo founded as a series of food trucks. The concept expanded to catering and brick-and-mortar restaurant after demand soared; she’s since opened a location on Dallas’ trendy Henderson Avenue. Breakfast is the best; order a flour taco filled with eggs, Wright bacon, and aged cheddar, plus a corn taco filled with eggs, garlic-oregano potatoes, and aged cheddar.

Original article ›