In this, we have much in common. She gets to hang around outside savoring the magical aromas emanating from a great barbecue restaurant all day long – and if I could, I’d be doing the same thing.
My love for such dogs began years ago at the fabled Rose’s Hamburgers, in a ramshackle red hut off Greenville Avenue in Dallas. Rose Stivers made the best hamburgers in the city there for half-a-century. Almost every day until his passing, Rose’s husband sat outside with his dog – a big, intimidating Chow-mix. Rose’s faithful customers included a who’s-who of the city’s elite. Luminaries such as Tom Landry, Ross Perot Sr., politicians such as Bob Bullock and Bill Clements. Even musicians such as Don Henley, who secretly paid for Rose’s memorial service when she ultimately passed away. But your status didn’t matter to that dog. If he didn’t like you, you didn’t get in. Therefore, I always made sure to save a bit of hamburger for him as a bribe, just to make sure I got in the next time.
As I learned back in my nightclub days, always take care of the doorman.
I might start doing that with Roxie, too – because I’ll definitely be headed back to Goldee’s Barbecue in southeast Fort Worth.
Only a few weeks old, Goldee’s is the creation of close high school friends. Five in all, who attended Arlington Martin High School. Three of them – Dylan Taylor, Jonny White and Lane Milne – split town after graduation and spent the better part of six years learning barbecue truth in the Texas Hill Country, mostly in Austin. Acquiring their skills in legendary places such as Terry Black’s and Micklethwait’s, the boys have now come home – opening their restaurant on Dick Price Road, right between the town of Kennedale and Alpine Shooting Range. Just across the street is the venerable M&M Corner Store, and a homemade-sign advertising hay for sale at Stegall’s Nursery.
Add in a barbecue dog and the picture is perfect.
Quite literally, so is the food.
I’m not the sort to bag on “today’s young people” for much of any reason, but it’s almost beyond belief that a bunch of 25-year-old buddies could produce barbecue this good. Those of us who love our barbecue probably all have the same mental image of some grizzled ol’ pitmaster shoving embers around back there in the smoke shack – but barbecue owners and chefs these days look a lot more like your kids than one of Ace Reid’s cartoon cowpokes. Craft barbecue is booming, everywhere. One might think the only way you get this good is through years and years of experience, but the smoked excellence of Goldee’s 20-somethings will make you think they’ve been at this for decades.
Let’s get to the specifics, beginning with that brisket.
Take your time and look at that picture. See that strip of meaty magnifience resting lazily across that fork? Is your mouth starting to water yet? It should be.
Soft, tender and juicy, Goldee’s perfectly-barked beef is a burst of peppery wonder. High-end or lean, it’s marvelously marbled through and through – slowly cooked with oak, giving this delicacy a slightly lighter smoke seasoning that doesn’t fight for your attention or overwhelm the delicious taste of the meat. Every flavorful bite melted on the tongue as fast I could shovel one of ’em in, and if I had three hands I’d have choked myself.
Whatever lessons these young men took away from their time in Austin, those lessons were well-learned. Spectacular is an understatement here. Although Goldee’s has a charming indoor seating area, I opted for a picnic table outside in the sun – and I’m pretty sure drivers passing by on Dick Price may have taken the yummy-sounds I was making for mooing.
Goldee’s cheesy jalapeño sausage isn’t “on point” (an over-used term to begin with). It defines the point. I like to try a bit of everything wherever I go, but I could have made a meal of the sausage here alone. Hand-made and and twice-smoked on-site, the La Barbecue Force is strong in these links – and, given that some of Goldee’s fellas spent time taking note in that Austin legend’s hanger room, naturally so. This is right up there with the best I’ve ever had.
Of course, I had to try the pork ribs – but I don’t know if I could have handled more than one. They’re huge. Like everything else at Goldee’s, I found them seasoned and done to tender perfection – a definite “must” for true rib-lovers that had me licking my fingers unashamedly.
Then there are those sides. Oh, my Lord. I like lots of different varieties of potato salad. Goldee’s leans toward the traditional down-home version, and nails it. The beans are a meal on their own. Heavily-laden with chopped Goldee’s brisket, a container of these babies is worth taking home to mama. The only issues are whether to use a spoon or a fork to eat them, and where to get coffee on the way home to keep you awake for the ride. I needed a nap.
By the way, that’s Goldee’s fresh homemade bread there on the tray – and it’s honestly among the most delicious breads I’ve ever tasted. Remember those beautifully browned rolls you coveted as a kid from the school cafeteria? Like that. And if you’re lucky enough to drop by at the end of the week, you may just discover they’ve tapped a keg of Shiner for “Free Beer Friday”. No, I didn’t have any – because then I really would have needed a nap.
Goldee’s Barbecue is open Friday through Sunday from 11am to 3pm, and is located at 4645 Dick Price Road in Fort Worth. The Barbecue Dog says check it out.