Every four years or so, Daniel Vaughn and his team of barbecue cohorts at Texas Monthly publish the TMBBQ Top 50, a veritable who's who in Texas barbecue. When the latest list was published in 2017, we were happy to report that DFW laid claim to 10 of the top 50 spots in the state. That said, it's a wide net we cast to cover all of DFW, stretching north to Hutchins in McKinney and south to the tiny town of Whitney, home at the time to Flores Barbecue.
We do our best to check out the far corners of the area in search of good barbecue, and thankfully, Flores Barbecue has made our jobs a little bit easier. Earlier this year, they closed up shop in Whitney and moved 60 miles north to Fort Worth. By next spring, Flores plans to open a brick and mortar spot, but for now, the operation runs from a food truck parked at the Trailhead at Clearfork, just west of the TCU campus. Operating from a trailer is nothing new for Flores, which originally started as a trailer in San Marcos before relocating to Whitney.
Summertime temps pushing close to the triple digits will make anyone a little loopy, and looking in hindsight at our order, you'd probably think we're delirious from the heat. In Texas, everyone knows that brisket is king, but we ordered a two-meat tray ($16) with turkey breast and jalapeño sausage, and added coleslaw and beans for our sides. There was a method to our madness, though. We've heard of the Hispanic twist that Flores' owner Michael Wyont sprinkles through his Texas-style barbecue, and we were eager to sample the Flores brisket piled into one of Wyont's homemade tortillas.
With our tray sufficiently loaded, we picked the shadiest of picnic tables adjacent to the trailer and jumped headfirst into our food. Let's start by talking turkey, because one bite of the succulent and smoky breast served by Flores will have you asking yourself why you're only eating the bird at Thanksgiving. Somehow, the slices of white meat with the golden peppery skin never seem to dry out, even as we hopscotched our bites across the tray. Slightly less impressive was the jalapeño-cheddar sausage. The flavor was decent but overshadowed by the brilliant turkey and the massive brisket taco.
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Oh yeah, that taco. For $5, we were served an overstuffed tortilla filled with chopped brisket, drizzled with Flores' spicy sauce and crema, then topped with crumbles of cotija cheese and a sprinkling of cilantro. Taken on its own, Flores' brisket shines with perfect Texas smokiness and an impressive bark. Stuffed into the tortilla that's thick enough to stand up to all the fillings, the brisket taco is nearly a two-handed affair and one of the best things we've spent a five-spot on in recent memory.
Flores' brilliance extends to their sides. We were impressed with the savory borracho style beans that swam in a sauce that was neither too thick nor too thin, as if crafted by Goldilocks herself. And Flores' vinegar-based slaw gets kicked up a notch with both red and green cabbage, shredded carrots and pepitas for an added crunch to each cooling bite.
Flores Barbecue's trailer felt lightly patronized on our recent Sunday visit, which is a shame. As we perched on the banks of the Trinity River, looking at the Fort Worth skyline in the distance, and enjoying bite after flavorful bite of Flores' barbecue, the summer heat slipped away from our minds, if only for a little while. Flores' magical barbecue has that effect on us and reminds us of the simple joys that can be found even in the throes of the summer heat.
Flores Barbecue, 4801 Edwards Ranch Road, Fort Worth. Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.