WOЯK Labors Up Some Promising Brisket

Categories: Food News

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The brisket at WOЯK is pretty good.
Years ago, the spot next to the 7-Eleven at the edge of Deep Ellum on Elm Street used to hold Sambuca. That bar and restaurant moved to Uptown and the space has laid dormant for more than a decade. Then, four weeks ago ago a bar named WOЯK opened, forcing bloggers everywhere to pull out their ASCII manuals to hunt for special characters. And now that I have learned to make a backwards R, I will tell you more about the wonders of WOЯK.

WOЯK sports a modern sports bar feel, with televisions everywhere and a flashing new-age jukebox at the rear. A waitress dressed in a short skirt, knee-high stockings and a dog collar waited on customers inside the bar room, and a website for the restaurant offers babes, booze and baby back ribs. It's sort of like industrial/emo Hooters with much better food and slightly more interesting outfits.

I can't endorse the "sugar cookie" crust that enshrines the brisket. It's thick, harsh and eats like sweetened ash. I also think the melting sugar forms a barrier that keeps the smoke from penetrating the meat as much as it could, which is a shame, because what lurks beneath that caramel exterior is absolutely perfectly smoked brisket. The fat is soft and palatable and the beef is moist and tender. With a simple salt and pepper bark, what I experienced would have made for award winning meat.

Actually I was going to try a few of the other smoked meats (ribs, chicken and sausage are available) but I had to get back to ...

You knew the joke was coming when you declined a second beer because your desk was calling. "You're already at Work," says the bartender, likely countless times a day. This doesn't feel like labor though, and with brisket this promising you might be inclined to have a second look. You know, as long as you're into hot dogs and hotties and such things.

WOЯK, 2618 Elm St., 214-699-6959

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The bar at WOЯK

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Expect DJs and a lively crowd on weekend evenings.

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There's no work in sitting on an enclosed and climate controlled patio.


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8 comments
somedudedowntown
somedudedowntown

I love this place. The brisket can be hit or miss (mostly hit, though!). When it hits, it is divine. It is absolutely heavenly. The chicken is godly. Absolutely godly. 

I stopped by for lunch today - disappointed that they are closed on Monday :(


AllKnowingTVguy
AllKnowingTVguy

So many delusional contradictions in this statement:

"I can't endorse the "sugar cookie" crust that enshrines the brisket. It's thick, harsh and eats like sweetened ash. I also think the melting sugar forms a barrier that keeps the smoke from penetrating the meat as much as it could, which is a shame, because what lurks beneath that caramel exterior is absolutely perfectly smoked brisket."

You don't like bark? Bark keeps the meat moist and formed from the rub caramelizing with fat. It's the candy that makes it all come together. You can have a great smoke taste with bark or no smoke flavor with bark. It's all technique.

So in one line Scott Reitz believes the bark "keeps the smoke from the penetrating the meat" and in the next line "beneath the caramel exterior is absolutely perfectly smoked brisket." Which is it?

What the heck is going on in the food writing department lately? Where do I submit my resume?

monstruss
monstruss

everything about this establishment seems out of place in Deep Ellum.

Gipson
Gipson

Always nice to have new options when I'm pre-gaming before a metal show in Deep Ellum, in case I'm not in the mood for Cane Rosso (which is never).

RDSD
RDSD

I got 2 slices of brisket for $14... thick & harsh.

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

Is this the great Kergo's new venture?  Dammit, restauranteurs in Dallas, one word names are not required! And aren't clever in most instances! 

texp
texp

Don't worry, @AllKnowingTVguy. It's just easier if you give up trying to make sense of Mr. Reitz's posts. Pretentious, overwrought writing always trumps logic and meaningful content (and often spelling, grammar, and accuracy). Nothing delusional about your reaction. You probably just haven't been reading long enough to know that this is the norm.  

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator editor

Hello  @AllKnowingTVguy 

I actually love bark -- love it like a junkyard dog. I don’t think any smoked brisket without bark can be considered exemplary, and wish a few more barbecue shacks in Texas would devote time in ensuring a salty, smoky, blackened layer on the exterior of each and every one of their briskets.

But since you enjoy wordsmithing so much I thought I’d point out I didn’t use the word bark until the end of my post when I described exactly what was lacking. Instead I said crust, which I described as thick and harsh -- two things I think most people don’t enjoy in brisket at all. The picture below, which I didn’t use in this post because it just doesn’t look very good, shows quite clearly what is not bark, but a layer of burnt sugar that belongs on no brisket, meat or even plate.

Real bark is made of nothing more than salt, pepper, fat, smoke and love. There is nothing to “caramelize” – that term is saved for onions and crème brûlée. 

The only thing delusional here is your negativity. City of Ate is a fun place -- lighten up. 

https://twitter.com/scottreitz/status/350444163600375808/photo/1

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