In the barbecue world, a pitmaster’s pedigree can be a point of pride. Where they grew up and learned the smoked-meat ropes may add credibility to a new barbecue establishment and its up-and-coming crew.
Few barbecue joints in Texas draw as much praise as some of the heavy hitters in Austin. It’s a city overrun with great ‘cue. Pitmasters training at some of Austin’s top establishments have gone on to run successful and acclaimed restaurants, not only in Texas, but across the country.
With the Dallas-Fort Worth barbecue continuing to boom, it’s no surprise that promising pitmasters would decide to call this area home. And soon, Fort Worth will welcome Goldee’s Barbecue. The restaurant, located at 4645 Dick Price Rd. (at the edge of Ft. Worth and Kennedale), is aiming to open by mid-to-late May.
Here’s why this is something to get excited about: Goldee’s is brought to us by three high school friends, Dylan Taylor, Lane Milne, and Jonny White. Although they each grew up in Arlington, they spent years cooking together in Austin and training at some of the most celebrated restaurants in that part of the state.
Dylan Taylor began his career in barbecue at Terry Black’s in Austin, then went on the work at La Barbecue with the legendary John Lewis and Esaul Ramos (now at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio). Taylor claims he learned “a lot of the nitty gritty details behind cooking barbecue” at La Barbecue. Later, he went on to help at Truth BBQ in Brenham, which he describes as “the toughest job I’ve ever worked because we slept at the restaurant and worked 18 to 20 hours a day.”
Lane Milne trained at Freedman’s in Austin with Evan LeRoy (now at LeRoy and Lewis) and Chris McGhee. Afterwards, he spent a few years at Micklethwait Craft Meats and supervised a lot of the sausage production.
Lastly, Jonny White began cooking barbecue at the south Austin barbecue trailer, Valentina’s Tex-Mex Barbecue. He went on to train at perhaps the most famous barbecue restaurant in the world, Franklin, where he learned every aspect of the business—preparing sides, cutting meat, and eventually manning the pit room and cooking everything from brisket to beef ribs.
After putting in their time at these reputable barbecue restaurants, the three friends decided it was time for them to go their own way. They wanted to open a barbecue restaurant closer to home, and came across their current spot in Fort Worth. They chose the name Goldee’s as a homage to an old golden Ford F250 that Taylor bought to pull around his first pit.
Everything at Goldee’s will me made in-house, and they’ll be serving a fairly traditional central Texas-style menu with brisket, ribs, turkey, and a few signature sausages. Sides will include beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and banana pudding. But they will also be baking their own white bread (something you don’t see very often anywhere in Texas), making their own pickles, and pickling their own jalapeños.
“At its core, our menu is pretty simple and straightforward, but that’s the kind of barbecue we enjoy, and have been working to perfect,” says Taylor. “Beyond the core menu, we’re looking forward to running specials once we get settled in. We all like experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes and tweaking old ones to see what we come up with.”
Again, look for Goldee’s Barbecue to open its doors sometime in May. And if you follow the Texas barbecue scene as closely as I do, it should be pretty obvious at this point why this is exciting news for our part of the state. And unless I’m half-dead in the hospital or unjustly locked away in prison, you’ll likely see me in line at Goldee’s on opening day. Come say hi.