100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 72: Burnt Ends at 18th & Vine

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Put aside your Texas pride for a moment and concede the following: Kansas City invented the burnt end, and for that, we should be grateful. Yes, it's going to have sauce on it. Yes, it's going to be a little sweet.  Yes, you should eat it anyway. Other barbecue spots may have their own Texas take on the dish, but when it comes to finding KC-style burnt ends in Dallas, 18th & Vine is the place to go.

The burnt ends here are done the traditional way; after the whole brisket comes off the smoker, the charred point is cut off, chopped and tossed in 18th & Vine's house-made sauce. A touch of brown sugar goes in and the whole mess heads back to the smoker. The fat in the meat continues to render out while the sugar and sauce caramelize on the already delicious bark, leading to hunks of sweet, salty, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Brined red onions and pickles on the side add a perfect flavor contrast.

You'll find 18th & Vine's burnt ends on the menu as an appetizer, and that's fine with us; the roughly chopped chunks of brisket are almost too rich to eat as an entire meal. Think of them as a gateway drug leading to the delicious barbecue to follow. But we won't judge you if you order more than one.
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Chris Wolfgang has been a contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2015. Originally from Florida, Chris moved to Dallas in 1997 and has carried on a secret affair with the Oxford comma for over 20 years.
Contact: Chris Wolfgang