Dallas, it’s Heim time.
The first Heim Barbecue in Dallas opened Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. on Mockingbird Lane, near Dallas Love Field airport. The new Dallas restaurant marks Travis and Emma Heim’s first restaurant outside of their home city of Fort Worth — and it’s a significant step in the expansion of their barbecue business in North Texas.
“We’ve had a lot of customers who would drive from Dallas,” Travis Heim says. After fielding questions from loyal customers for years, they signed a lease in Dallas in early 2020.
The Heims started smoking briskets in a barbecue trailer in Fort Worth in 2015. In five whirlwind years, they’ve opened three restaurants and were named one of the top 50 barbecue joints by Texas Monthly. They even sell their barbecue sauce at Buc-ee’s now.
Heim is known for its bacon burnt ends, which are little slabs of pork belly, caramelized and smoked. They’re barbecue candy, and if you’re the religious kind, they’re a little bite of heaven. You might just feel like you’re going to church in this house of smoked meat in Dallas, with Heim’s high ceilings giving off some serious cathedral vibes.
Because of the location near the airport and the medical district, the Heims expected to serve hospital workers, businesspeople, local smoked meat fanatics, and travelers grabbing a drink and some barbecue on a layover. Heim will sell breakfast tacos — and will make the tortillas in-house. It has a no-fuss full bar selling cocktails, beer and wine.
Travis Heim says they’ve worked to ensure that Heim doesn’t sell out of meat and that the line doesn’t get too long. Those two problems plague barbecue joints across Texas. And loyal Heim fans have waited plenty long, too.
They built a new smokehouse onto the back corner of the Dallas restaurant, and two Oyler pits can smoke nearly 200 briskets, if needed. The kitchen staff cooks ribs and bacon burnt ends three or four times a day as they run low.
Heim’s meat plates let customers try brisket, pulled pork, sausage or bacon burnt ends with sides like twice-baked potato salad, collard greens or beer-battered onion rings.
Unlike its competitors, Heim has a large and creative menu. It sells hamburgers, loaded potato skins and even corn dogs. Heim’s Big Cat sandwich is the stuff Instagram likes are made of: It’s a half pound of brisket topped with green chile mac and cheese served on a jalapeño cheddar bun. Go big and top it with bacon burnt ends.
What? It’s not like you’re dieting here.
The restaurant takes over the former Mockingbird Diner space. The Heims signed the lease before COVID-19 became a worry, then forged ahead as the pandemic stomped on sales. Their existing restaurants have been down as much as 70% from last year’s sales figures.
The restaurant has a dedicated to-go area and will also sell barbecue via curbside and delivery. For those who want to eat outdoors, the patio has plenty of picnic tables.
The Heims say they’re thankful for their loyal following, especially during the pandemic.
“People have really shown love,” Emma Heim says.
Heim Barbecue opens at 3130 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, on Oct. 22, 2020.