The countdown is on at Derek Allan's Texas Barbecue, opening at 1116 8th Ave., in the Medical District, with Wagyu brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, and craft beer.
According to Derek Allan, who owns the concept with wife Brittany, the restaurant will open sometime in March. "We're about three to four weeks from finishing up the smokehouse," he says.
The couple landed a location that was once upon a time home to Paco + John's. More recently it was a Simply Fit, the meals to-go chain that closed abruptly in July 2018.
One big project Allan took on was building all of smokers himself, right down to learning to weld. It's an extension of his early days when dedicated his weekends to making barbecue as a hobby. From there, it was on to getting his own food truck and building everything out himself.
He even has his own line of rubs for sale, called Dirty Dalmatian Rubs.
"This is just a huge passion of mine, and I get into every aspect of it," he says. "Building the smokers, I enjoy doing it, it saves money, and I can build them how I want. I've researched what everyone uses. Many people use commercial pits with an electrical component. They're not as good as wood. For me, I’m so passionate about it that if I’m going to do it, I will do it the best I can."
He'll open with three smokers; most BBQ restaurants have one.
"The smokers I build are real efficient because I cook vertically," he says. "Typically, people cook on these big horizontal smokers that take up a lot of room. Mine stand tall, so I can double the capacity of what other places have."
He designed a smoker exclusively for sausage which gathers its inspiration from Europe.
"In the UK where sausage is big, they hang sausage from racks," he says. "You hang the sausage over it and cook at a low temperature. They're sausage nerds, but we're also way behind on sausage."
He's also making his sausage from Wagyu beef.
"All of the beef we're doing is Wagyu beef, and we're planning on doing some innovative Wagyu items on the weekends," he says. "With beef, you're always looking for marbling, and the marbling in Wagyu is tremendous. It makes the meat moist and juicy. What I'm trying to do is bring a more serious approach to sausage."