WO?K Labors Up Some Promising Brisket

Years ago, the spot next to the 7-Eleven at the edge of Deep Ellum on Elm Street used to hold Sambuca. That bar and restaurant moved to Uptown and the space has laid dormant for more than a decade. Then, four weeks ago ago a bar named WO?K opened, forcing bloggers everywhere to pull out their ASCII manuals to hunt for special characters. And now that I have learned to make a backwards R, I will tell you more about the wonders of WO?K.

WO?K sports a modern sports bar feel, with televisions everywhere and a flashing new-age jukebox at the rear. A waitress dressed in a short skirt, knee-high stockings and a dog collar waited on customers inside the bar room, and a website for the restaurant offers babes, booze and baby back ribs. It's sort of like industrial/emo Hooters with much better food and slightly more interesting outfits.

I can't endorse the "sugar cookie" crust that enshrines the brisket. It's thick, harsh and eats like sweetened ash. I also think the melting sugar forms a barrier that keeps the smoke from penetrating the meat as much as it could, which is a shame, because what lurks beneath that caramel exterior is absolutely perfectly smoked brisket. The fat is soft and palatable and the beef is moist and tender. With a simple salt and pepper bark, what I experienced would have made for award winning meat.

Actually I was going to try a few of the other smoked meats (ribs, chicken and sausage are available) but I had to get back to ...

You knew the joke was coming when you declined a second beer because your desk was calling. "You're already at Work," says the bartender, likely countless times a day. This doesn't feel like labor though, and with brisket this promising you might be inclined to have a second look. You know, as long as you're into hot dogs and hotties and such things.

WO?K, 2618 Elm St., 214-699-6959

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