Travis Heim's passion for meat can be traced to when an early ancestor sneaked into America by way of cattle boat in Galveston, to when Heim attended a barbecue event and chatted up Aaron Franklin, seeking advice on meat-smoking. Soon after, Heim and his wife, Emma, began their meatopian journey by way of backyard pop-ups at their Arlington home, before picking up and heading west to Fort Worth.
After a few weekend stints at Swiss Pastry Shop, a vacant food trailer parked outside of Republic Street Bar magically made itself available to this relative newcomer. For the last month, Heim Barbecue and Catering (201 East Hattie, Fort Worth) has been located here, not far from Rahr Brewery, to whom Heim provides barbecue for tours.
Heim's barbecue teases the possibility of being a heavy hitter in its own regard. He cooked with Austin legend John Lewis during several barbecue events around Texas and South Carolina, and there's a hint of Lewis' influence from his days of manning the pits at La Barbecue. The brisket is delightfully smoky, but not overpowering, and the baby back ribs are solid, too.
When Sam Jones of North Carolina's Skylight Inn came to cook for Texas Monthly's "Dia de Los Puercos" at Four Corners Brewing Co. in November, Heim was there learning, enduring the cold temperature to get a firsthand education on cooking whole hog. You can taste it in his pulled pork. There are bacon burnt ends, too.
For Wednesday dinner and Saturday lunch, you can get a meat punch to your face at Heim Barbecue. For you luxury diners, there are clean picnic tables to sit at while gobbling down the grub. You can also find a wide assortment of beers at the bar next door. Butcher paper on the trailer declares the menu. Items will go quickly, but whatever you do, please try the banana pudding. It's Bill Cosby JELL-O brand free, and that goes a long way in the world of barbecue.