Barbecue food trucks springing up in Fort Worth are something everyone's ears should perk up over, ever since Dallas' neighbor to the west had a front-row seat for the rise of Heim Barbecue, which has become one of the biggest players in DFW's smoked meat scene afer popping up in a trailer two days a week in early 2015.
Chris Salone's Last Supper BBQ actually started posting up on East Berry Street the year before, in 2014, but since Salone has a full time law-enforcement career and maintains a presence in the barbecue competition circuit, his trailer's hours of operation haven't always been set in stone. For the moment, Last Supper trades Saturday lunch hours between two Fort Worth locations: the parking lot at Berry and Grove Streets one block west of Interstate 35W, and at the shell of an old convenience store on Horne and Camp Bowie on the west side of town.
Salone says he was in talks to plant brick-and-mortar roots at the second location, but couldn't come to the right number with the investment company that owns the lot. So he bides his time, content to wait for the right spot as he begins to plan for what will follow a 21-year career in Tarrant County law enforcement.
Salone knows his regulars at the Berry location well, almost as well as he knows his way around the Myron Mixon vertical water smoker he drags behind his lifted Chevy 4x4 truck. The water element means steam is added into the cooking mix that starts with a blend of hickory and pecan wood, allowing for a quicker eight-hour cook for a rack of briskets.
Drawing from Salone's experience on the competitive barbecue circuit since 2005, Last Supper doesn't offer an array of sauce options or expertly arranged boutique side dishes. It's a straightforward, plastic-and-Styrofoam, meat-focused experience. Nothing wrong with that. The sausage, sourced from Yoakum, is a highlight among Salone's protein options, as are the St. Louis cut ribs.
But the brisket chili ($4 a pint) is Last Supper's real MVP. It takes a brisket that could use a little more flavor on its own and transforms it into a much-needed dose of warmth and spice on a dull, rainy day. Aside from a batch of the good stuff, Last Supper usually goes through five briskets, around 20 slabs of ribs and 40 pounds of sausage in an afternoon.
It's not the mother lode, but it's enough food to feed neighborhood regulars, and it's enough interest to keep Salone looking forward to the day he can get off the beat and into the kitchen, permanently.
"I can see it, man," Salone says of his future barbecue joint. "Texas red dirt bands on Friday and Saturday, and a soul food brunch on Sunday."
For now, look for the firetruck-red trailer. Last Supper barbecue will be at Horne and Camp Bowie on Saturday, Jan. 21, and East Berry on Saturday, Jan. 28.