Fort Worth

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30 Years of Railhead Smokehouse

When Charlie Geren opened Railhead Smokehouse in Fort Worth, he had already failed at his previous attempt at the restaurant business. Geren said he had just “lost his ass” in a “steak and beer joint” in north Fort Worth, but decided to partner with a pitmaster friend, Harry Pilcher, to take over an empty beer barn. Thirty years later, Railhead is still a Fort Worth staple, and the spot where Geren gets lunch everyday when he’s in Fort Worth….

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Smoked in Texas: Bacon Burnt Ends at Heim BBQ

Burnt ends aren’t just for brisket anymore. And let’s get something out of the way, Kansas City barbecue fans: don’t get too sanctimonious about proper burnt ends only coming from a brisket; I’ve had ham and sausage burnt ends in your city. Beef belly burnt ends were the special last week at Cattleack Barbecue in Dallas. Pappa Charlie’s in Houston and Killen’s in Pearland both serve a decadent version of burnt ends made from pricey beef…

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Smoked in Texas: The Hillbilly Pacifier

Hans Muller is a second-generation baker in Fort Worth, but he’s no stranger to smoking meat. His lunch menu at the Swiss Pastry Shop includes a smoked cuban sandwich, the Fort Worth Cheese Steak made with smoked prime rib, and he’s now working on a recipe for homemade pastrami. If you’re lucky, the specials board just inside the door might include something smoked like the Hillbilly Pacifier, a dish I found there last week. On…

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Heim Barbecue

For all chefs, there are moments in their culinary careers that forever shape them. Moments when principles are seared into their brain by mentors, books, or classes only to manifest in their cooking techniques for life. For Travis Heim, owner and pitmaster of Heim Barbecue, in Fort Worth, one of those illuminating experiences came early in his career, during a two-week stint at a now closed barbecue joint in the mid-cities of the D/FW area.”They would marinate brisket overnight in…

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King of Barbecue

Walter Jetton, the self-appointed “King of Barbecue” in the fifties and sixties, was a restaurateur and a mega-caterer. He cooked for presidents and heads of state, and his most significant claim to fame (a good one, at that) is being LBJ’s pitmaster of choice. This clout gave him a prominent platform to serve as an ambassador for Texas barbecue, a role he took seriously as he spread the word of his favorite cooking style across the country. Jetton’s rise to national…

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The Sausage Shoppe

It was twenty years ago that Ivy Chambers moved his budding sausage business out of his home and into a bona fide restaurant in Fort Worth. Over the years he added more barbecue items to the menu – brisket, ribs, bologna – and continued to operate the business until handing the reins to his son Alandres in 2009. Then last year, Alandres decided to make a move to a shopping center on the southwest side…