BBQ is always a source of consternation. Opinions on the perfect rack of ribs or slice of Texas brisket will always weigh heavy for those that love the smoked meats. There is certainly room for everyone in the BBQ field or we would not see the sad chains that dot the dining landscape. That said, I found a wonderful example of brisket last night in Deep Ellum at Work, which has been in business for the past six months. There I met up with managing partner, Shea Comer and pitmaster Doug Pickering.
For Comer, this is his first restaurant. He previously held posts at various restaurants and taverns, usually behind the bar. Like most in the business, Comer had a hankering for a restaurant of his very own. This is where it gets interesting. Comer met up with his new partners who were just looking to own a bar when he suggested a they do both food and booze. Work was born.
Originally it was to have a cute theme surrounding the workplace. The menus are bound in a cool file folder and the waitstaff wore secretarial themed outfits that they provided themselves. Soon, the idea of the uniforms went to the wayside for a host of reasons, but may make a comeback should they decide to open a second restaurant. It is a cute idea to be sure.
Pickering is also new to the restaurant scene, having only acted as a minor caterer in the past, starting out only using a Big Green Egg. Now he owns a big boy toy, the Magnum Sniper from Pitmaker made in Houston and sells for five grand. What Pickering lacks for time on earth as a pitmaster, he more than makes up for in inherent talent. He has a certain intuitiveness when it comes to meat, and does justice to the brisket. He also makes a very mean burnt end, but only on Wednesday nights where they start lining up just as the doors open. Within a few hours the burnt ends are gone, and you will have to wait another week to sample the moist meat bombs.
Pickering also offers baby back ribs once a week, on Thursdays. On all other days he smokes pulled pork, chicken and brisket. Yes, the delicious and sexy slices of beef.
There are other items on the menu for those not wanting BBQ. For the appetizers check out the wings. Our favorite was the Dublin Dr Pepper sauced wings that have a slight kick to them. Also the Shroom Frites are worth the visit. Think slices of fried portabella made with a basil Parmesan breading served with basil aioli. The brisket quesadillas are also crave worthy.
Sides are taken serious here with an ample bit to enjoyincluding a Tortellini Daddy Mac and Cheese (I only thought I was tired of the dish until this was introduced) bodacious waffle fries (love these) and Elm Street Corn which is their kicked up version of the Mexican street corn sensation, elotes.
The burgers are insanely good and will no doubt make it into our hall of fame list we produced twice a year. These are double-fisted burgers that are almost too much for one person. I managed even tough I had more plates to sift through.
Items listed as commodities include a beautiful plate of fish and chips, bacon wrapped prawns and fish tacos. I saved these items for my next visit, but saw them in the pass through and from looks alone I would order these.
There is a new cocktail menu being introduced next week which will give me reason for a future visit, but the bar makes some pretty tasty cocktails and has a nice local beer selection.
As for me, I need to get back to Work.
Work Bar and Grill | 2618 Elm St, Dallas | 214.699.6959