Eats beat: In Arlington, Eddie Deen adapts to the new barbecue

Posted 7:09am on Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2013

Dallas now has a cupcake ATM.

Maybe Tarrant County needs a brisket ATM.

Until then, we’ll have to settle for new, pitmaster-driven barbecue stands like the second-generation Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse in Arlington.

Deen, the East Texas caterer known for Texas Capitol barbecues, has upgraded his brisket to reflect the influence of boutique barbecue shops like Dallas’ Pecan Lodge.

Deen converted a tired Arlington restaurant into an Austin-style stand, and Crossroads now sells out daily of brisket or the San Antonio-based Kiolbassa sausage.

“There’s so much talk now about barbecue, we decided to push the envelope,” Deen said.

He changed to choice Angus brisket and adds a secret, peppery rub. The pork ribs have a cayenne-brown sugar-honey glaze.

The brisket is trimmed more than at Pecan Lodge or new local favorites like Jambo’s in Rendon or BBQ on the Brazos in Cresson. But it still beats chain restaurants.

The new hours are “11 a.m.-sold out” four days a week. A sparse chalkboard menu offers meat, sides and Deen’s homemade buttermilk or chocolate-buttermilk pies.

Deen acknowledged that he’s playing catch-up.

“We’re trying to take quality and do it on a larger scale,” he said, saying critics like Texas Monthly’s Daniel Vaughn are “having a lot of effect on the barbecue business.”

Crossroads Smokehouse is open 11 a.m. until late afternoon Thursdays through Sundays; 1004 N. Collins St. (Farm Road 157), 817-795-6900,

The Table is set

Pacific Table is open.

Chef Felipe Armenta’s new West Coast seafood grill is in University Park Village near Blue Mesa Grill.

The final menu ranges from sushi, oysters and salads to blackened snapper, trout almondine, miso-glazed salmon and sandwiches.

Pacific Table is at 1600 S. University Drive, with a back patio opening onto Rogers Road, 817-887-9995; future website at Armenta is also the chef at The Tavern on South Hulen Street.

State of dining

Grace and Cast Iron at the Omni Hotel are among the restaurants offering special Texas-themed dinners this week to benefit the Tarrant Area Food Bank.

The state-sponsored “Go Texan” week features Texas products. Grace’s $49 dinner ($69 with wines) features Texas pork shoulder with Brazos Valley grits, Fredericksburg squash, Denison mushrooms and a Texas blackberry crumble.

Cast Iron will serve a $34 dinner ($49 with wines) featuring barbecued bison ribs, molasses quail or a grilled fish.

This is a “week” for food trucks, too. A dozen trucks will be at the Go Texan food truck contest Saturday at Martin House Brewing Company, 220 S. Sylvania Ave., Fort Worth;

Back with Bravo!

Bravo! Cucina Italiana, a mid-price Italian restaurant from the higher-end Brio chain, returns to the market Aug. 1 when a new location opens at Trinity Commons on South Hulen Street.

A Bravo! was open briefly in the Arlington Highlands center.

Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538 Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat. Twitter: @EatsBeat. Get alerts at

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