BBQuest (2018–…): Season 1, Episode 4 - Dallas-Forth Worth - full transcript

Barbecue enthusiast and native Texan Kelsey Pribilski on a quest to find secret menu items local flavors in Dallas-Fort Worth with the help of world-renowned chef and Knife author John Tesar.

- I'm Kelsey Pribilski,

a barbecue enthusiast and native Texan.

I'm crisscrossing the state in search

of local flavors and secret menu items.

With the help of some renowned chefs

and prominent pit masters

there's no telling what we might find.

♪ Still drivin' ♪

Dallas-Fort Worth, two
Wild West cities booming

with upscale activity.

Dusty trails once blazed
by cowboys are now



major highways connecting
this world-class metroplex.

I'm here with John Tesar, a true top chef

with the accolades to prove it.

Over the years, John has been instrumental

in growing this region's reputation

as a foodie destination.

- Welcome to DFW and the Metroplex.

The food scene here
over the last ten years

has really, really expanded.

For years and years and years
I think people just looked

at Texas or Dallas as
a certain type of food.

But we have all types of food.

We still are the epicenter
for steak and barbecue.

- I believe it.



So what made you fall
in love with this place

and really wanna make such a
strong commitment to this town?

- I saw the opportunity in
the landscape here in Texas

for a wide open range of new cuisines,

new ideas, new people.

And while watching that manifest
itself throughout the state

with the advent of
steakhouses and barbecue craze

in America, this is becoming
one of the hottest places

in the country to eat.

- Do you think you have any really cool

barbecue joint to show us?

- I know every pit master in town,

so I'm sure they'll be
welcome and happy to see us.

- Cool, that's what I like to hear.

Do you think any of these
places would be open

to showing us some secret menu items?

- I think if you and I show
up, they'll be really willing

to put something special out for us.

- Cool, all right, let's go.

- Let's go.

- A carnival-like
scene peaking over the horizon

drew us to a pretty unique first stop.

Ferris Wheelers serves up barbecue cuts

for lunch, dinner, and even
late night crowds all week long.

John and I decided to split

some waffle fried brisket nachos.

- John, how are you?

- Hey Doug, good to see you, buddy.

- Good to see you too.

This is a good friend of mine, Kelsey.

- Hey, Doug Pickering, nice to meet you.

- Nice to meet you; thanks for having us.

- I see you've already ordered,

but is there anything else I can get you?

- I wanna see what you really
got going on back there.

And Kelsey's really into
secret, off-the-menu items.

- Kelsey, you're in luck

because I got a few tricks up my sleeve.

I will bring it to you guys outside.

- Cool, sounds good, all right.

- Sounds fantastic.

- I'll see you outside.

- All right, here are the brisket waffle

fried nachos for you guys.

- Thank you.

- Absolutely.

- Holy cow!

- That's decadent.

- Their brisket nachos
but with waffle fries.

I think this is a dream.

- Smoky, juicy, I like it.

- I love this because
it's just such a cool

little hang out atmosphere,

and these are really cool bar snacks

but very unique, but very well made.

- That's why I love Doug

because Doug takes barbecue
and he makes it fun.

A lot of times barbecue is so traditional

because it's in the box.

And Doug kind of breaks
down all those walls.

Who doesn't love a guy
that has a Ferris wheel

in the back of his restaurant.

- Can we talk about the Ferris wheel?

- I'm going for a ride.

- Awesome!

- Hey guys, how are we doing so far?

- Great, this is fantastic.

- It's all really good, but
these are killer, buddy.

- Those are made with a lot of love.

- You can tell.

- So what I've got for you is our

take on a cheese steak sandwich.

We call it our brisket cheese steak.

This is slices of moist,
USDA prime brisket

covered in our house made pico,

along with poblano peppers,

red bell peppers, and onions.

- That's a wow moment right there, Doug.

- Oh, yeah.

- And you take a
bite out of that side.

- This looks pretty dang good.

This is insane.

- You gotta take a bite.

- You gotta get in on this.

- Okay, my turn?

- Um-humm.

Doug, take a seat, let's chat.

- Sit down, buddy.

- John and I were talking about

how cool this environment
is and just family friendly

and fun and how your
menu pairs so perfectly

with the environment.

How did you come up with the
concept for this restaurant?

- Well, it all started
with the Ferris wheel

and then everything else
kind of built around it.

- I love it because it's not
traditional; it's whimsical.

- You always have to have an edge.

You always have to keep
evolving new recipes, new ideas.

- What would you say to a barbecue snob

that wouldn't accept this as barbecue?

I'm just curious.

- I would tell them to take a bite.

- I like that, I like that, perfect.

- How did you get started in barbecue?

- Barbecue's always been a hobby of mine.

Long story short, I
started a little food blog

and the food blog blew up.

I was like, well, I kind of enjoy cooking,

so I started a catering business

from one smoker from my house.

And that escalated into
having to buy more smokers

and I worked with
several restaurant groups

to kind of learn the
ropes of the business.

So I've been building this
menu for about five years now.

- I have literally watched Doug become

an entrepreneur on social media.

- No way.

- And watched him come from Wall Street

with a smoker in his backyard to putting

a Ferris Wheel in his backyard.

Upgrading all the time, Doug.

- Yeah, that's cool.

Well, I have one last
question for you, Doug.

Does that Ferris wheel actually work?

- Of course it does.

- Really?

- You can't have a Ferris
wheel that doesn't work.

- I really came for the Ferris
wheel ride, I'm sorry, Doug.

- Don't insult me like this.

I will get my GM over here

and he will take you guys for a ride.

- I would love that.

- Thanks buddy.

- But I've gotta get back to the kitchen.

I've got work to do, but
so glad y'all made it by.

- Thanks for taking the
time out to talk to us.

- Y'all have on the Ferris wheel.

- Dude, this is unreal.

- Fire up the Ferris wheel.

- John and I headed west in to Fort Worth.

We decided to check out
the Kimbell Art Museum

which houses some of the rarest
works of art in the world.

Only 350 pieces hang on the gallery walls,

but all represent
outstanding merit, beauty,

and historical significance.

- When's the last time
you've been to a museum?

- It's been a while, I'm not gonna lie.

- I love art.

I studied it a little bit in school,

and I have friends in New
York that were artists.

I think food is a craft.

It has a lot in common
with art and artists,

risk-taking, the creativity,

creating something from nothing,

having a vision that you're willing

to put out there for people to see.

This is one of my favorite
Monets, Weeping Willow.

I went to school in Paris.

- No way.

- So I'd cook every day at school

and then afterward I'd go to
the Jude Palm or the Louvre

study a little bit about art.

So it was a two-pronged
adventure in France.

I think what cooking and art really have

in common is passion and you have a voice.

To be able to take color
and light and product

and put it on a plate,
much like an artist would

put on a canvas, and
it's a powerful message.

And I think that we both seek validation.

You wanna create something.

You wanna be noticed for what you do.

And it comes across as
passion or intensity.

And it's very powerful to
have that kind of ability

to control people or
to reach out to people

with just those things, color, light

and a simple white plate,
like a white canvas.

So this next one I
really wanted to take you

to see Caravaggio.

And I think it's the opposite
of what we just witnessed.

Monet was very powerful in hidden messages

and politics and you
got to kinda search it

and relate to it, where
this is very literal.

It's a master piece of art in positioning.

So I look at Caravaggio
as opposed to Monet

and I think that's more
similar to my style of cooking.

It's kind of straightforward.

It's about attention to detail.

Taking that white canvas
and delivering something

to people consistently
that they can relate to.

I love both styles, but
this is more of my style.

- Definitely, that's awesome.

- All right, we've seen great art.

- We have.

- Are you ready to go eat some food?

- Yeah, for sure.

- Let's go.

- Since we were already in Fort Worth

we had to make a stop at Hein Barbecue.

This gem serves up traditional Texas cuts

with a menu that sells out daily.

Hein started small, but quickly outgrew

their original trailer and
into this brick and mortar.

- All right, so we soaked
up all this art and culture.

Now I want you to soak up
some of the best barbecue

I think in the Metroplex.

But I think it's some of the best barbecue

in the state of Texas.

- Wow!

- Travis and Emma, salt of the earth,

started out with a food
truck here in Fort Worth

now have had a restaurant
going onto their second year.

They're about to go to
their second location.

And their beef rib and their brisket,

I think all of their
food is just exceptional.

And Travis is a master pit master.

And he always has to have
something special up his sleeve.

Let's go inside and see what
Travis has in store for us.

- We gotta get in there, yeah.

- This is true Texas
barbecue; you wait in line.

Hey Emma, how are you?

- Hi, how are you?

- Good, this is my friend, Kelsey.

- Hey Kelsey, I'm Emma.

- Nice to meet you.

- We've been bouncing around DFW

and I told her we had
to come to Hein Barbecue

because I think it's some of
the best barbecue in the state.

- Thank you.

- So I love the beef rib,

so we're going to share a beef rib.

- Okay, we can make that happen.

- I may have overstepped a little bit,

but I told her a little
bit about the secret.

- The Hein Burger?

- The Hein Burger, can
we get one of those?

- I can make that happen.

I'll have Travis whip
one special up for you.

- Cool.

- No problem.
- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, we'll bring it
out in just a minute.

Good to see you.

Hey guys, brought you those
beef ribs I promised you.

- This looks amazing.

- Thank you, I hope
you guys enjoy trying it out.

- Holy cow!

- Just gonna take a big bite out of it.

- It came right off the bone.

- Right off the bone.

- Good?

- That is really good.

- Thank you.

- How's it going, guys?

- Hi.

- Little burger for you.

- This is my husband, Travis.

- Hey Travis, Kelsey.

- John, good to see you.

- What is this?

- This is our Super Secret Hein Burger.

You got some local beef in there,

a little smoked brisket
mixed in the patties,

meat and cheese.

- I'm gonna wait
to see your reaction.

- Dude, look at this, okay.

- It's a big
bite, but it's worth it.

- I love the sauce.

- Good, I'm glad you like it.

- This is so great.

- I love the whole burger.

American cheese, right?

- Oh, yeah, gotta have it.

- Creamy goodness.

- Local beef, cheese,

bring your own veggies, it's all you need.

- How did you guys get started in this?

What's the history of your restaurant?

- Well, we started in
about 2015 in a food truck.

We just really had a dream
to open a restaurant,

so we felt like that
was a good way to start.

And then we opened our
brick and mortar here

about two years ago,
everyday cooking briskets.

- That's awesome, guys.

- Thank you.

- Have you guys always been
passionate about barbecue?

Is it a family ordeal?

- Yeah, barbecue is something
that I grew up around

since I was young.

I think I cooked the first
brisket when I was 12 or 13.

My grandfather would do it.

My uncle would cook a lot.

So I just wanted to be like them

and thought it was super cool.

And then Emma and I got
married pretty young

and I would save some
money up and trick her

into eating one of my briskets.

It wasn't good, it was terrible at first.

- It was really good.

- You're very kind.

It kinda grew from there.

We had the opportunity
to open our own place,

and here we are.

- What makes you guys a
little bit more unique

than your average barbecue place?

- Something we like to
say is farm to smoker.

And that's how we approach our business.

So sourcing really good,
local Texas beef is key

to the quality and to
everything we do here.

So we provide that to our customers.

Even though it costs us a
little bit more to make it,

hopefully people enjoy it.

- Absolutely, thank you.

- That is a thing of beauty.

- Well, this was delicious.

I'm gonna get back into this,

but I know you guys are busy.

You have a line out the door.

- More to cow town.

- Thank you guys, you guys enjoy.

- That salt and pepper
is Texas right there.

- Beyond barbecue,

there's another unique
Fort Worth experience

that makes the city worthy
of its cow town nickname.

The Fort Worth Stockyards
Historic District

is one of the last remaining
Stockyards in the country.

In the late 1800s cowboys
regularly drove cattle

through these streets.

A practice that still
takes place here today.

- When I first moved from New York

this is one of the first places I came

because I really wanted to feel
the heart and soul of Texas.

- Really?

- This is cow town,
cowboys, pickup trucks,

and longhorn cattle.

- You're so big.

- They're beautiful though.

This is real Texas history.

This is why you come to Fort Worth.

This is cow town right here
walking down the street

right in front of you.

- Next John
took me to 18th and Vine.

This place fosters an upscale
yet approachable experience

where you can sip craft cocktails
and eat with your hands.

- Are you ready for a drink?

- I am ready.

- Hi there.

- How are you, sir?

- I'm terrific, what can I do for you?

- I think I'm
just gonna let you make

whatever you recommend.

- Tell you what, this summer day

I've got two perfect drinks for you.

- Thanks.

- I always like when
the bartender takes care us.

- Indeed.

- So I brought you here
because I wanted to show you

a restaurant that was famous
for its Kansas City barbecue.

- So why Kansas City barbecue
while we're in Dallas?

- Well, as you learned in the stockyards,

Dallas is a huge
transportation hub for commerce

and for travel, tourism,

kind of in the center of the country.

- Yes.

- So back in the 1800s
those initial cattle drives

lay the foundation for
Kansas City barbecue.

- All right, what do we have here?

- I have two of my specialty drinks.

We have the Mexicutioner.

My second drink I have
here we call the Pink Moon.

And here you are.

- Thank you.

- You're very welcome.

- Cheers.
- Cheers.

- Okay, how's your cocktail?

- Oh, it's delicious.

Along with a jalapeno there
is a little poblano in there,

and I like that little smokiness.

It really makes the
tequila taste like miscal.

- Welcome to 18th, how
are you doing, I'm Scott.

- I'm Kelsey, nice to meet you.

- Well, I'm glad you guys are here.

- Come on, join us.

- What would you guys like on the menu?

- Why don't we start out with
something a little light,

maybe that brisket Caesar salad you make.

I love that dish.

- That's a good call.

What's better on a salad than a brisket?

- I agree.

- Anything else on the
menu jump out at you guys?

- I was looking at burnt ends.

- The real Kansas City barbecue.

- Pretty good, we can do
those too, absolutely.

- But also, I don't know if
John has told you or not,

I'm kind of on a quest
for secret menu items.

Is there anything that you can incorporate

that's kind of like Kansas City style?

- Why don't we incorporate the burnt ends

in a secret menu item?

Let me work on those salads for you guys

and I'll be right back.

- Have you met Matt at all?

- I've not met Matt.

- So Matt is a pit master
and Scott is the chef.

I'm excited to see the collaboration

between the classically trained chef

and the Kansas City pit master.

- Me too, it sounds like
a very unique combination.

And I've never had Kansas
City style barbecue before,

so this is a first for me.

- Here's your brisket Caesar salads.

- Thank you, chef.

See, this is what I was telling you,

like it's barbecue outside the box.

Traditional ingredients
but put into a cuisine.

- It's fun, we take traditional
Caesar and build upon that

with our barbecue sauce,
a Caesar dressing,

- Oh, barbecue sauce
in the Caesar dressing?

- Yes, we make a Caesar
dressing from scratch,

but we use the barbecue
sauce as a base, if you will.

So we build upon the flavors.

- Never would have thought
to put a Caesar salad

with a nice slab of brisket,

but I'm into this right now.

So what's the difference between

the way you guys smoke
brisket for Kansas City style

and the way you do for Texas style?

- Yeah, just geographically
there's different wood

that's indigenous to the
different regions of the county.

Texas has oak, hickory, and mesquite.

There's no mesquite in Kansas,

so you're gonna see more oak and hickory.

And then as you move in
certain regions of the state

you'll see more fruit wood.

So you'll see different
kind of flavor profiles

with the different kind of smoke wood.

Here comes Matt.

- All right, guys, thanks
for coming in today.

So what we've got here
is our basie sandwich

with a little twist.

Typically our basie sandwich
is a chopped brisket.

Pickled jalapeno with a little
melted pepper jack cheese.

However, today we made it with our

signature burnt ends for you.

- Awesome. Well, it was
very nice to meet you.

Thank you so much for this.

Holy cow, okay.

Oh, that's great.

That sauce is awesome.

Is that your original sauce?

- It is, yeah, it took about
10 years to get that sauce

dialed in, but I love it.

We always use it to complement the meat,

not just doused all over it.
- How did you guys meet?

How did the concept for this restaurant

come to fruition?

- So I grew up in Kansas City,

married a Dallas girl.

I missed barbecue that tasted like home.

For me barbecue is very romantic fare.

My wife said stop talking
about it and figure it out.

And then we kept cooking,

always working towards having a shop.

And then I got the opportunity
to cook some ribs for Scott

and it really just
kinda started a barbecue

conversation together.

- Wow, what makes you wanna be involved

to come in the barbecue world?

- It was interesting because, one,

it was a different flavor profile set

than I had tasted growing up in Texas,

in Texas style barbecue.

So it was interesting to have the ribs

and have the different flavors.

Also it being a different
cooking technique

it was something fun we could play off of.

So we could take barbecue, the verb,

and do interesting things with it.

Whether it be appetizers or
composed dish and entrees.

So to be able to take a composed chef dish

and incorporate a barbecued
item was really kinda exciting.

- I wanna hear a little bit
more about these burnt ends.

What are they exactly?

Why are they such a Kansas City specialty?

- Burnt ends incredibly
flavorful, meat candy.

Brisket's got two muscles.

It has the flat and the point.

We actually take the point,

we'll cut it up, and then
we will re-season it.

A little sauce, a little brown sugar.

Then we'll actually kick
it back to the smoker,

allow that fat to render
through with all the flavors

and the barbecue sauce and
a little bit of cherry wood.

- So explain to me
Kansas City's philosophy

about using sauce on barbecue.

- Well, I think you want something

that's really going to
complement that meat.

And a great barbecue sauce does that.

It's got some tang.

It'll cut that smoke.

And it always ought to
be served on the side.

Let's put it that way.

- So you don't coat, you dip?

- Exactly.

- Thank you guys so much for taking time

out of your day, for having us,

for giving this awesome meal to us.

We'll let you guys get back to work

and I'm gonna get down on this sandwich.

But thanks for taking the time.

- Thank you.

- Good seeing you, Scotty.

- About to get down.

- There you go, you've been waiting.

This is really good.

- We've tried some of
the most unique barbecue

DFW has to offer and found some delicious

secret menu items along the way.

We had the brisket queso cheese
steak at Ferris Wheelers.

- My personal favorite, the
Hein Burger at Hein Barbecue.

- Yes, and the burnt ends basie
sandwich at 18th and Vine.

- So we've had all of
this amazing barbecue,

but you're here in my restaurant, Knife.

- We are.

- And we are famous for
our dry-aged steaks.

I have a special box that
dry-ages these steaks

anywhere from 30 days to 240 days.

You wanna go pick out a couple of ribeyes

and come cook with me?

- I would love that.

- All right, let's check out the box.

- Let's go.

- All rightie, here we are, Kelsey.

This is where it all happens.

Let me put on my little chef garb here.

I always feel more chef-ly
when I put an apron on.

- You look more chef-ly.

- Okay, when you come on in

I want you to take a deep breath

like it's that first cup of coffee

you have in the morning.

And I think you're gonna have
a very unique experience.

A flavor of beef I don't think
you've ever smelled before.

So the whole process starts,

this is a fresh cut of meat.

You can see these are put in this week

or at the beginning of this week.

And then they'll start to dry out.

And then eventually at like 150, 240 days

they'll start to envelop.

And this is what gives it
that sweet, nutty flavor.

That hopefully you're gonna taste.

This is like the state fair and you won.

You get to pick from any shelf you like.

- Okay, this is pressure.

This one is speaking to me.

- Ah, bigger is better.

- Yes!

All right, we're hauling it out.

- We're taking the whole thing.

Hope you're hungry.

- I am very hungry.

- All right, so you
picked out your ribeyes.

I cleaned them up a little bit.

I cut them.

I'm a firm believer, like
all the barbecue guys,

a lot of Texans, salt and pepper is

all I ever put on my steak.

And just like a very simple barbecue rub.

And then we just put it in this.

That salt and pepper
gets all crunchy on top,

and that's what makes it taste so good.

This steak, when you
take a bite out of it,

you're gonna know you're eating a steak.

- I cannot wait for this steak.

Also, can I just take a moment to say

part of me, I'm internally freaking out

because this is insane.

- My pleasure to have you here.

And moving to Texas, being here 12 years,

Dallas has been nothing
but fabulous to me.

And oddly enough I cooked
seafood for most of my life,

but five years ago I really got

into the steak and the meat world.

And it's paying off.

It's just an amazing place
to be right now in Texas.

Okay, Kelsey, the moment has arrived.

Your ribeye is ready.

You can see all that beautiful maillard.

That's not burnt.

You want that crust.

Because there's like two inches

of really rich protein in there.

The way I serve it is just take
it right off that big bone.

Before you do that,

we have a little bit of red wine.

Nice Cabernet.

- My favorite.

Oh, yes.

- You dig in, go for it.

- Okay.

- I'll eat with my fingers, is that okay?

- I think that is perfectly fine.

- Oh, this one's good.

- It's blowing my mind that
it's just salt and pepper

because the crust on this is phenomenal.

- Yeah, you have to have that crust.

- Well, chef, thank you so
much for showing me around.

This is by far the best
steak that I've ever had,

and I'm so happy to
have been in the kitchen

while you created this amazing meal.

- Cheers.
- Cheers.

- Over the last few months,

I explored Texas's biggest cities.

I had unbelievable barbecue

and met some of the state's
most influential chefs.

Stay tuned, the barbequest continues.

♪ Still drivin' ♪

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