Andrew explores the big and bold flavors of Dallas and Fort Worth. From the traditional to the unexpected, he finds that people in this part of Texas take an adventurous approach to food.
Different regions of Texas are known for different types of barbecue, and fortunately for Andrew, they can all be found in the Dallas Fort Worth area, if you know where to look. Magazine editor and BBQ cookbook author Daniel Vaughn takes Andrew to some of the area's best BBQ joints, beginning with Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ. They specialize in hot and fast Hill Country Style barbecue, including a big pork chop that Andrew says is great! Next, it's the low and slow style of East Texas over at Odom's BBQ where Andrew orders his meal soaking wet with sauce. It's a perfect marriage of meat and sauce! Over at Lockhart's Smokehouse, their specialty is Central Texas style barbecue, which means it's smoked over post oak and has a beautiful black bark. Their beef shoulder clod is nothing short of spectacular!
A shared border with Mexico has influenced the cooking across the state and Andrew gets to experience the traditional South Texas barbacoa when he's invited to cook with Chef Tim Byres. They go to the backyard behind his restaurant where they spend all day roasting a whole cow head in an underground pit. There's also heart and tongue cooked in a pot giving it a flavor Andrew can only describe as superb beefiness.
Andrew is introduced to multiple layers of fine craftsmanship when he meets the Rojas family. In addition to a gun shop where firearms are hand-tooled family patriarch Arturo Rojas, the family owns the Revolver Taco Lounge where all the authentic Michoacan food is made by his wife Juanita and other family members. Andrew enjoys moronga, a blood sausage with goat intestines and heart and birria de chiva, young goat stew. The cooking and flavor combine to make the most perfect expression young goat can have!
In the suburbs outside Dallas, Andrew gets the authentic taste of another culture when he is invited to dinner with a group of immigrants from Thailand. Pastor Ponnatee Nittayapume from the Southern Baptist Church brings Andrew along for a shopping trip where the cooks for the meal, Pat and Amy, pick some fresh ingredients for a meal that includes shrimp paste made with giant water bugs, preserved duck eggs, and chicken feet. It's a treat for Andrew since he gets to dine on some of his favorite Thai dishes that he can't order in a restaurant.
Hunting is a way of life in Texas so Andrew's next stop is at a game ranch where Chef Tim Love takes him hunting. Although they come up empty, Chef Tim brings Andrew to one of his restaurants where they sample some of the game meat on the menu. They eat venison backstrap and a paella made with rabbit and rattlesnake sausage. Andrew calls it superb!
And finally, Andrew gets a glimpse inside the DFW's Russian culture when he visits a Russian banya where he enjoys a sauna, a bath, and some authentic food. After sweating it out and cooling off in a bath, Andrew dines on delights like cured salmon roe and herring in a fur coat, which is diced fish with grated carrots, beets, and eggs. It's salty, fishy, cured, oily goodness that Andrew describes as great. The banya is a great way to end Andrew's trip to Dallas Fort Worth where the food is bold and the people have adventurous spirit!