The AU Review - Panther City BBQ

Each year, James Beard hands me some fresh FOMO on a silver platter. The USA’s most prestigious culinary institution works similar to Michelin but is generally broader in criteria. In the past, I’ve been much more satisfied with something that’s been James Bread-approved rather than just Michelin-approved.

Now, that’s not to say Michelin isn’t reliable, but I’ve found James Beard to be a stronger indicator of quality when I’m dining around the USA. Paying attention to the hospitality body has led me to some fantastic dining experiences. I’m not one for gatekeeping, so here are five of those dining experiences: the ones I still can’t stop talking about…

Panther City BBQ’s Cheese Jalapeno Sandwich in Fort Worth

Oh, Texas BBQ. I can never get enough of the indulgent low-and-slow movement. All that moist, juicy gelatin. Burnt ends. Richer-than-rich mac & cheese. I always crave a salad whenever I’ve spent a few days in Texas. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying legends like Franklin in Austin or Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ in Tyler, but I don’t have as much food FOMO as I used to. Especially since I’ve had the good fortune of stumbling upon Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth.

I was on a press trip in Dallas and Fort Worth in 2019. While my fellow travellers were settling into their hotel after a long day, I decided to go for a walk and let Google Ratings guide me. I’m not usually one for mass-market aggregators, but this time it led me straight to heaven.

Like all good Texan BBQ joints, Panther City is as simple and unadorned as they come. The open-air pavilion looks like an old-school tuck shop in the middle of a picnic area. You wouldn’t guess that they’re pumping out some of the most delicious BBQ you’ll find in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I got the cheesy Jalapeno sandwich, stacked with links and nothing else. Grab the bottle of BBQ sauce, pour it on the bun, and welcome to one of the most flavourful moments of your life.

The spot is apparently famous for brisket elote so I need to go back one day.

If you can’t get to Fort Worth from Dallas (it’s only a short drive), then check out Terry Black’s BBQ in Deep Ellum or, even better, Lockhart Smokehouse in the trendy Bishop Arts District. Both are spectacular.


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