There is a new trend in BBQ. You find a unique individual that truly knows what they are doing and that person starts a food truck or a very simple joint. It is endearing to see the simplicity of the BBQ restaurant because a bbq restaurant doesn’t need much. Then everyone experiences how great the not overly done BBQ is and takes a break from the over complicated part of life. Then EVERYONE discovers the BBQ join and people know its great because you cant get any food unless you wait in line for over an hour. Panther City BBQ is on its way to elite status within Fort Worth.
Fort Worth is slowly growing its BBQ scene to be able to compete with the rest of Texas. Texas requires a lot of intense smoke at a low and slow temperature in order to achieve the peak bark and tenderness. Heim currently has the top spot in Fort Worth but is honestly in a league of its own until Panther City BBQ has pulled up to the scene. Its pulled up to the scene because they operate out of a food truck. I am an expecting father so I am working on my dad joke level puns :).
I had the pleasure of trying this place out with one of my best friends. He told me that I had to give it a try so I trusted my buddies judgement. I pull up to the location and I am immediately struck with a case of deja vu. Panther City BBQ is located off the side of Republic Street Bar. This is a location that is very familiar to the current BBQ king of Fort Worth. I remember one of the last weekends of Heim being a food truck, I waited for three hours outside of Republic Street Bar to get some BBQ for them to run out of food. It was a great day….
But I pursued on following my buddy! We walked up and he distracted me from my failed memory with some incredible news in his own life and we ordered the cowtown platter to try the brisket, sausage, and pulled pork. I should also state that I specifically asked for the edge piece of brisket so that I could truly experience the spice and bark that they get on their brisket and holy hot damn. IT WAS GOOOOOOOD.
They don’t seem to over complicate the rub for the brisket. There is a healthy dose of salt and fresh cracked black pepper coating the entire outside of the brisket. That combined with the post oak wood truly just spoke to my heart. Post oak wood should honestly be considered Texas royalty. The official wood of Lockhart TX which has been dubbed the bbq capital of Texas. Panther City utilizes this post oak wood for their smoking and man you can tell. I learned about post oak wood by taking a BBQ tour through Lockhart with my dad. We decided one Sunday to just drive out there and give all of the top three BBQ restaurants a try. To this day it is still one of my all time favorite memories with my dad. The high heat of the post oak creates a steady smoke and temperature to break down the brisket to become incredibly tender.
In addition, this post oak did one hell of a number on the pulled pork. I was not expecting to like that nearly as much as I did. The sausage was definitely an above average sausage but thanks to the overwhelming quality of the brisket and the pulled pork was overshadowed. Our plate came with two sides which we tried the creamed corn and smoke mac and cheese. The smoked mac and cheese was great. You could taste the smokiness from the BBQ going into it. The creamed corn is also just a weakness of mine. I was so happy to see it on the menu. Panther City BBQ seemed to just keep it simple but also jazz it up slightly. The creamed corn seemed to have a sort of cotija cheese that was included with it that really elevated it beyond just the traditional recipe.
In addition to the sides, the meat came with sides of pickles, jalapenos, and pickled onions. I know that all of these traditionally go with Texas BBQ but I have never really had too much of a taste for them. That is until today. The pickled onions were incredible and gave phenomenal depth to the flavor profile in the edge pieces of brisket. The vinegar broke through the smokiness to create a flavor profile that I will be thinking about for days to come.
All of this incredible flavor and experience without a line! Granted I think that my experience is a little out of the ordinary, but it was still my experience! All I can say is that Heim has some serious competition and I dont see Panther City BBQ lasting too long out of a food truck alone. This BBQ is INCREDIBLE and needs to be experience by as much of Fort Worth as possible. So there you have it Fort Worth! Get out there and eat it!