Dallas has plenty of barbecue restaurants, but you're going to find the same proteins and sides, prepared in the same way, everywhere you go. Each barbecue joint has its own rubs and preparation methods, but ultimately, Dallas' pitmasters don't offer much outside of brisket, ribs and sausage.
That's because no form of barbecue beats Texas-style barbecue. However, a new joint planned for Oak Lawn will offer smokeheads a little more variety. As CultureMap reported this week, a new Kansas City-style barbecue joint called 18th & Vine is in the works. The restaurant will open in the space originally intended for the ill-fated Herrera's relocation.
The name of the restaurant, 18th and Vine, refers to Kansas City's historic jazz district, which is also home to some of the city's best barbecue. According to CultureMap, owner Matt Dalman is a Kansas City native, and moved to Texas when he and his wife married. Dalman has been in the restaurant business for years and currently operates a catering company in Dallas.
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Most Texans only know Kansas City barbecue by that bottle of barbecue sauce their moms kept in the kitchen. True Kansas City barbecue is much more nuanced than KC Masterpiece, but you will find a thick, molasses-sweetened sauce on top of most meats. If you're tired of eating your barbecue with mediocre, too-spicy Texas sauce, 18th and Vine may offer up a solid alternative.
Kansas City's most delicious contribution to the barbecue world is burnt ends, also known as "meat candy." We'll have to see how the Kansas City burnt ends compare to the delicious hunks of charred beef that Lockhart Smokehouse sells out of every week, but wider availability of burnt ends in Dallas is something we can all celebrate. Pork ribs also have a special place in Kansas City barbecue history, another protein that is woefully underrepresented in Dallas.
It looks as if 18th and Vine will be a good place to party while dining on smoked meats. A post on the restaurant's Facebook page announced that the restaurant is currently seeking DJ bookings for the space's planned patio, and Dolman told CultureMap that he plans to book live bands. If you've got a turntable or can round up a guitar-playing friend or two, it's worth noting that the gig apparently pays in slabs of ribs.
Dolman has not announced a concrete opening date for 18th and Vine, but did say that the restaurant would be open sometime in Spring 2015.