Kent Rathbun Brings BBQ to Dallas’s Katy Path – Texas Month-to-month
Blue Plate Kitchen closed in 2014, and his upscale barbecue restaurant Hickory, in Plano, had been open only a yr when it closed in 2016 (a location nonetheless operates inside Terminal D at DFW Airport with out Rathbun’s involvement). Then Rathbun’s barbecue went underground.
Rathbun’s Curbside BBQ was an admittedly rogue operation when it debuted in late 2020. The principles on cellular meals distributors in Dallas weren’t closely enforced through the pandemic. He solely accepted money for drive-up orders. In early 2021, I visited his smoker in a parking zone close to the Tollway and Northwest Freeway to get a memorably juicy entire smoked rooster.
Rathbun went legit late final yr with the opening of Katy Path Station within the Knox-Henderson neighborhood. The meals trailer started serving barbecue on weekends, however now provides breakfast and lunch six days per week, and dinner is coming quickly. Rathbun’s Curbside BBQ nonetheless exists, however just for weekend bulk-order pick-ups.
Throughout my three weekday meals, the setting was quiet alongside the part of the path tucked into an space surrounded by workplace buildings and residence towers. All of the seating is outside, and umbrellas shade tables on a wood deck with a ramp and stairs connecting to the favored hike-and-bike path. The deck was a present from the Associates of the Katy Path, and in return, the enterprise offers again a portion of its proceeds to the muse. The deck is an ideal cease when you’re strolling the canine or on a run, however as a typical Dallasite, I drove myself to Katy Path Station alone in a automobile and parked throughout the road. A small, free parking zone can be out there, but it surely fills up shortly on the weekends.
On the coronary heart of the operation is a meals trailer. Rathbun defined it differs from a meals truck as a result of vans have to stay cellular and be introduced in for periodic inspection by the town. “We have been the primary meals trailer to be permitted in Dallas,” he mentioned, so it’s extra everlasting, and the well being division involves him for inspections.
The stacks of cut up hardwood and the trailer-mounted smoker are mere ornament. All of the smoking is completed in an off-site commissary kitchen with oak and pecan in Little Purple Smokehouse people who smoke. The smoked meats are all chilled, vacuum-packed, and reheated in a sous vide bathtub contained in the trailer. Rathbun mentioned he acquired the concept from Kyle St. Clair, proprietor of One90 Smoked Meats in Dallas, who serves barbecue similarly. “Every thing stays recent and moist,” Rathbun mentioned, and in addition famous how effectively it really works for portion management. Nonetheless, he’d prefer to truck entire cuts scorching from the commissary kitchen and use an offset smoker on-site as a warming cupboard, although he’s ready on a variance from the town to permit for it.
As I positioned an order on the window, basic supervisor Jack Matusek warned the moist surroundings within the sous vide baggage dissipates the smoke taste on the meat and softens the bark. This was most blatant within the brisket slices, which all acquired a wanted squirt of barbecue sauce. They’re higher inside a sandwich.
I loved the ribs, each pork and beef, extra. The St. Louis–minimize pork ribs have been thick, tender, and well-seasoned. 5 of them come on an entrée plate with two sides for $16. The Wagyu beef again ribs are from Rosewood Ranch, and have loads of meat on the bone—only a tug will get it clear off. The sauce is extra generously utilized to the ribs, however fortunately it’s not overly candy. The tomato base is acquainted, and the tanginess works effectively with the fats.
Smoked salmon, the most costly entree at $19, is among the gadgets that doesn’t get the sous vide remedy. It’s smoked on a cedar plank and chilled, however introduced again as much as serving temperature in a sauté pan with butter and barbecue sauce. This one was a winner among the many usually dry smoked salmon I’ve had at a couple of Texas barbecue joints.
Each entrée consists of slaw and one different aspect, of which there are 4 choices (or a bag of chips). They don’t supply any strategy to pattern a number of meats with out shopping for a number of entrées, so if you would like selection, you’ll quickly have a powerful assortment of slaw on the desk. It’s crunchy with thinly sliced bell peppers and inexperienced apples and a lightweight, acidic dressing. The baked potato salad is served heat, and the beans are candy. The mac and cheese is definitely the only option. Based on Matusek, the cooked cavatappi noodles are sautéed in scorching oil to get some browned edges earlier than a creamy gouda sauce is poured on high. It’s garnished with buttery toasted breadcrumbs. Each serving is made recent, so the pasta isn’t mushy.
Matusek’s background in meat preparation is wider and extra assorted than you’d anticipate from his youthful face. The South Texas native has travelled the world learning butchery and charcuterie with names like Kate Hill in France, Dario Cecchini in Italy, and Renzo Garibaldi in Peru. He took a hiatus from meals to work in his household’s clothes enterprise, however jumped on the likelihood to work with Rathbun when he was provided a place.
Though Katy Path Station has a sausage grasp in its midst, the jalapeño cheese hyperlink is commercially produced by Wagyu X. The juicy sausage is drizzled with a German-style scorching mustard and topped with pico de gallo. I cherished the unlikely mixture. The grilled burger was additionally properly cooked, and served on a toasted bun with the standard toppings on the aspect. Keep away from the pork stomach burnt ends, that are simply saucy chunks of bland, undercooked pork.
Lunch begins at 11, however don’t skip breakfast right here. The cooks mix saucy chopped pork and brisket with fluffy scrambled eggs on flour tortillas for spectacular breakfast tacos. I used to be surprisingly taken with the barbecue sauce and egg mixture, particularly after additionally drizzling on gentle salsa. A jalapeño-cheese-sausage kolache can be out there, as are a number of styles of espresso. I most popular the chilly brew to the bitter shot of espresso.
Katy Path Station fills a necessity in a neighborhood the place Dickey’s is the one barbecue possibility (and it doesn’t matter that it’s the unique). I genuinely loved a couple of quiet meals right here within the good climate we’re at the moment having fun with in Dallas. Matusek mentioned the entire vibe adjustments on the weekend after they’re busy from 7 a.m. to five p.m. There’s triple the employees to serve the inflow, and a bar to indicate off cocktails and beers after lately buying a liquor license. Rathbun mentioned they’ll add night hours after Thanksgiving.
The timing would possibly sound odd given the opportunity of colder climate, however it’s adjoining to the spot the place the horse-drawn carriages decide up and drop off riders in search of a slow-paced tour of the Highland Park Christmas decorations. Fortunately for them, scorching apple cider, scorching cocoa, and scorching barbecue will likely be close by.
Katy Path Station
4825 Cole Avenue, Dallas
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 7–4, Saturday–Sunday 7–5
pit grasp: Kent Rathbun
Methodology: Oak and pecan in an offset smoker
Yr opened: 2022