As a Texan, we know barbecue. Anyone from Texas has a little bit of BBQ sauce pulsing through their veins and it is a wonderful thing. 18th and Vine (located at 4100 Maple Ave in Oak Lawn) which opened in October 2015 gives us Texans the opportunity to try authentic Kansas City BBQ in the comforts of the great Lone Star State.
The Pit Boss, Matt Dallman brings his labor of love in the form of delicious hickory smoked meats to diners tables. If you are lucky enough to catch him on a busy night, you can’t miss him sporting his KC Royals cap.
The Chef, Scott Gottlich who hails from Dallas, puts together a concise list of entrees and sides that don’t stray far from the barbecue theme but adds an unexpected surprise to your dining options.
Now lets dive into the nitty gritty of what is KC BBQ. First up, cocktails. The drink menu offers a little something for everyone. Handmade cocktails, superb wines and local beers are carefully selected for pairing with your Q.
The litmus test for any barbecue joint no matter where their roots are from is the brisket. 18th and Vine crushes their take on Burnt Ends. These little delectable pieces of meat candy not only have the crust we desire, but have a tender and juicy center that might have you talking about these a week after licking the plate clean. Paired with house made pickles and onions, they are a must try!
Want to know who makes the best fried okra in DFW? Look no further than here. Hand battered strips of okra deep fried to a perfect golden crunch, WOW! Go ahead, order one for the table, or one for each guest. You may not want to share these with anyone once you get your hands on them!
Now that you have experienced some of the house favorites, get your night started the right way with an order of the pit-fired oysters. Notoriously known as the most potent aphrodisiac, the Rockafeller style smoked oysters set the mood for what is about to happen, a KC meat festival all up in your mouth.
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the main event! BBQ is the name of the game here at 18th and Vine, and it takes the ‘que game up a notch. The pit boss Matt offers up meats a la carte, but he recommends getting Matt’s Picks which gives you the opportunity to sample three meats he hand picks daily for your dining pleasure. Tasty Brisket, juicy chicken, homemade sausage and fall off the bone ribs. Served family style, this is the best bang for your buck to try authentic KC hickory smoked BBQ. Don’t forget to try the two sauce options, a traditional BBQ sauce and a KC staple, a vinegar based sauce that is unbelievably tasty!
If you’re thinkin’ maybe it isn’t the best idea let Matt put you into a smoked meat induced coma, explore what Chef Scott has to offer. Pay special attention to the beer and wine pairing for each entree! Some of the items on the menu include a Brisket Stroganoff that marries house made pasta with house smoked brisket.
If you are super hungry, go with the Pork Chop and BBQ Pork Belly. Thick and juicy pork chop served on a bed of sweet potato mash decorated with a tender chuck of pork belly. Everything about this dish is in perfect harmony.
Batting third for 18th and Vine is an unbelievable BBQ Braised Beef Cheek. (Not quite sure which ‘cheek’ they used…) Akaushi beef cheek sits on top of a creamed spinach base. Absolute perfection on a plate, y’all.
Still hungry? You better be! Dessert here cures any sweet tooth craving. Homemade apple pies and vanilla ice cream pair well with a piping hot cup of KC roasted coffee.
Tips & Tricks: Call ahead to see if there will be live jazz playing from The Roost, which is the upstairs Jazz lounge. Happy Hour takes place from 4pm to 6pm daily. Tuesday is Texas beer night with $3 pints of local beers from 4pm to close. Ask questions; the staff is very knowledgeable and will be your tour guide through your KC BBQ vacation.
My meal was complimentary and my thoughts and opinions are my own.