They started serving breakfast at Derek Allan’s BBQ in Fort Worth basically out of boredom. Derek and Brittany Crudgington had to be at the restaurant early to get things ready for lunch service and the briskets were already done, they just needed to add tortillas and eggs for breakfast tacos. When I first visited for breakfast in January, those tacos were great. A month later they fired up the oven and brisket biscuit became the breakfast feature. Eventually, the biscuit made it onto the lunch menu, and even onto the restaurant’s merchandise.
Earlier this week, Derek was wearing a “Brisket Biscuit” hat as he stood behind the counter slicing away at a freshly smoked Wagyu brisket. They have had issues with their beef supply since April, but are still dedicated to using Wagyu, specifically Japanese black Wagyu, for all their briskets, beef ribs, and beef sausage. Their primary and secondary suppliers can’t even keep up, so Derek deals with three different deliveries from three suppliers just to have enough brisket to smoke throughout the week.
The sliced brisket is paired with eggs and cheese for the breakfast biscuits. You can make them a bit more filling by adding hash browns, or make them spicy with some red and green chiles. Soon after the breakfast biscuit launched, customers were arriving at lunch and asking for it, so Crudgington prepared a lunch version as well (available Tuesday through Thursday). “It’s the best sauce I’ve ever had with brisket,” he said of the chimichurri that covers the brisket on the sandwich. He starts with a standard chimichurri recipe of herbs, garlic, oil, and vinegar, then adds avocado for body and jalapeño for spice.
At least six ounces of brisket goes on each sandwich. The brisket was as juicy, smoky, and delicious as it was on my first few visits to Derek Allan’s. A biscuit isn’t the first choice that comes to mind for the base of a brisket and chimichurri sandwich, but it works, and I’d agree with Crudgington about how well the sauce goes with smoked beef. It’s got a mayo-like consistency, and floats on top of the smoked brisket until the first bite, when it all mashes together beautifully along with the pickles and onions.
Crudgington seemed almost embarrassed to admit where they source the biscuits. The kitchen has room only for a residential-sized oven, and they don’t have the capacity to make their own biscuits. Food suppliers could only offer premade biscuits of the frozen variety. For now, they’ve gotta make grocery store runs to pick up canned Pillsbury biscuits, which they bake off fresh a few times a day. Every morning, the cardboard is peeled back, and those cans are popped open on the counter. Crudgington estimates they go through about nearly 75 biscuits every morning. They’re less popular at lunch, which is puzzling to him. “That’s my favorite thing that we make,” he said, and, after my first, I’d have to agree.
1116 Eighth Avenue, Fort Worth
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m. until sold out
Pitmasters: Derek and Brittany Crudgington and Trent “TK” King
Method: Oak in an offset smoker
Year opened: 2019