In a quarrel for grill supremacy, Fort Worth retakes a crown

April 1, 2017 - bbq set

Any slow thoughts that Fort Worth will never support a yearly food festival went adult in abandon final night, literally, as a Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival kicked off a fourth year with a sold-out grill celebration.

The initial of a festival’s 5 designed events, “BBQ Showdown” was, like usual, both a showcase and a competition. Fifteen restaurants from around a city, segment and state set adult portion stations on a mud building of Will Rogers’ Watt Arena, charity adult samples of brisket, ribs and other grill edibles to an estimated 1,200 attendees, who, in turn, voted for their favorite.

To many gnashed teeth, 18th and Vine — a white-tablecloth grill grill in Dallas — won final year, violence Fort Worth on a possess turf. This year, Fort Worth can proudly bruise a chest again, as internal pretender Heim Barbecue took a prize behind for a acclaimed bacon burnt ends.


If there were an endowment for longest line, it would have left to Black’s, a storied ‘cue corner from grill Bible belt, Lockhart, Texas. Pitmaster Barrett Black, whose grandfather non-stop a grill in 1932, served glorious wet brisket summarized in a midnight-black crust. But what drew a many cheers was his jalapeño sausage, that he blowtorched.

“I’m regulating maple syrup to caramelize it,” he pronounced between blasts of flames. “It gives it a bit of sweetness.”


While a festival featured many restaurants that have participated before, from Black’s to Cousin’s BBQ to Meat U Anywhere, there were 3 new arrivals: Kreuz Market, also from Lockhart, that served dual kinds of a acclaimed housemade sausage; informal sequence Hard Eight BBQ, whose duck poppers captivated repeat customers; and scarcely 60-year-old Fort Worth ‘cue institution, Angelo’s, that served ribs and classical potato salad.

“We’re unequivocally perplexing to strech out to a subsequent era of grill lovers, a immature ones,” pronounced Angelo’s pitmaster Jason George, a grandson of grill owners Angelo George. “We have a prolonged story in Fort Worth, and we wish to keep that story going.”

Also creation a entrance coming this year was Fort Worth luminary cook Tim Love, owners of 3 of a city’s many renouned restaurants, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Woodshed Smokehouse and Love Shack. Love also serves as a horde of CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup” series.

While his food has had a participation during past Fort Worth Food + Wine festivals, final night noted a initial time Love has privately incited out for any of a events.

“I’ve always had some arrange of conflict, though this year we put all aside so we could make a indicate to be here,” he said, hovering over his showcase dish, a hickory-smoked brief rib in a chimichurri sauce. “I’ve been doing this for a prolonged time, and it’s only so extraordinary to see how a city’s food stage has changed, and it’s unequivocally extraordinary to be a partial of that change.”

Some of a highlights from final night:

Biggest surprise: Culinary students from North Side High delivered what had to be a best side dish: bacon-and- bell-pepper-studded mac and cheese.

Biggest bummer: BBQ on a Brazos, a renouned grill corner housed in a gas hire in Cresson, had to lift out during a final minute; pitmaster John Sanford was sick.

Best ribs: Dallas’ 18th and Vine delivered beautifully baked ribs drizzled in a manly glitter done with Rieger’s whiskey.

Best beef: The best square of beef we had came from internal sequence Cousin’s BBQ. It was a little finish square of brisket, ideally layered with a badge of fat, darkened membrane and wet meat.

Biggest square of good news: Meat U Anywhere, a grill corner open morning, noon and night in Grapevine and Trophy Club, might open in Fort Worth. “I’m looking during a integrate opposite spots,” pronounced owners Andy Sedino. “Nothing’s set in mill and it’s going to be a while, though it’ll happen.”

Biggest wish for subsequent year: The eventuality threw a spotlight on some of a city’s many obvious grill joints. I’d adore to see some-more under-the-radar ‘cue joints attend — Kip’z, Smokey’s, Sausage Shoppe, places that aren’t as good famous though are positively on a same personification margin as a city’s complicated hitters.

The festival continues on Friday with Main Event and Desserts After Dark, and on Saturday with Rise + Dine and Burgers, Brews + Blues. For some-more information, revisit

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