Hurtado Barbecue Opens This Weekend. Bonus Feature: Texas Twinkies

The new home of Hurtado Barbecue
The new home of Hurtado Barbecue Lauren Drewes Daniels
This Saturday, Hurtado Barbecue is set to open its first restaurant in Arlington’s Urban Union District, a mix of restaurants, breweries and shops set in refurbished industrial buildings.

Hurtado is particularly adept at marketing on their Facebook page. The pictures of wagyu tomahawk steaks and brisket tacos are likely to induce hysteria from any mild-mannered carnivore.

Brandon Hurtado started his barbecue business as a side job at breweries, and his popularity quickly skyrocketed. For the last few months, he has been operating on the weekends on the front lawn of his brick and mortar at 205 E. Front St. while the inside was getting in game-form. Every weekend, the lines are long, but people just keep coming back for more.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

“Sold Out”
We all hate the taste of rejection, especially when it looks so dang delicious, but so far that’s a big part of this scene. Hurtado’s is not a giant operation. They cook as much as they can, people gobble it up, and it’s gone. As the day goes, they’ll mark stuff off their butcher paper list, and you’re left to see what you missed. It’s tough, but work through it.

The Grand Opening Event
With the stage set, we can now move onto the big day. The official grand opening is this Saturday, Feb. 22, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’s BYOB, and they’ll have free samples “all day.” The full menu is available until they sell out.

Side note: In preparation for the grand opening, they’re closed on Friday, Feb. 21.

New Restaurant, New Schedule
Hurtado Barbecue will now be open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. until they sell out. (You seeing the pattern here?)

click to enlarge The El Jefe Platter - HURTADO BARBECUE
The El Jefe Platter
Hurtado Barbecue
Order Online
If you want to make sure you get some food, pre-order online. The minimum is 3 pounds, and you must pay in advance. But, not during the grand opening weekend, which is an equal opportunity anxiety weekend.

The Hurtado Style of Barbecue
Brandon Hurtado’s barbecue pays homage to his Mexican heritage, but the base is a Central Texas-style of barbecue. For example, carne asada sausages were on the menu one weekend, tamale sausages another. There’s also heat in their own spice blend, which they sell at the restaurant.

The Pits
With the new digs came new pits. Hurtado recently received Primitive Pits from Georgia, which according to their website utilizes “computational fluid dynamics to understand how to execute even convection with a standard of + or - five degrees across any of our commercial pits.”

click to enlarge Texas Twinkies - HURTADO BARBECUE
Texas Twinkies
Hurtado Barbecue
The Menu
Options can fluctuate a bit from day to day. They write it all out on a giant piece of butcher paper and scratch things off as they go. The El Jefe Platter is a great way to get acquainted; for $30 it comes with a whole smoked quail, one-third pound of brisket, spare ribs, pork belly burnt ends, sausage and choice of one side. Sides are Hatch chile mac, spicy charro beans, serrano coleslaw and smoked elotes.

The Texas Twinkie
Hurtado has their own brand of Texas Twinkies, which are jalapeños stuffed with brisket and wrapped in bacon then slathered in sauce. The cream element, you ask? Well, that’d be pimento cheese. And Hurtado has already posted that they will have Texas Twinkies for their grand opening  weekend until they (Ready for it?) sell out!

Hurtado Barbecue, 205 E. Front St., Arlington. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. until sold out.  
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.