Fort Worth

Despite Texas Monthly Snub, Here's Why Fort Worth's Heim BBQ is Still One of the Best in Texas

Heim loyalists have been there every step of the way

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It’s been nearly a month now since Texas Monthly picked its top 50 barbecue joints in the state. But a lot of North Texans feel like some of their favorite barbeque joints were snubbed from the big list.

Heim BBQ, the “Mom and Pop, Farm-to-Smoker restaurant,” says they know they’re still one of the best in Texas. It would be an understatement to say that business is booming.

“It’s crazy. But yeah. I never would have thought we would have one restaurant, you know especially three now,” owner Travis Heim said.

Coming from humble beginnings, husband and wife owners Travis and Emma Heim say this all started out of their hatchback in the parking lot of a friend's restaurant.

The couple eventually got a food truck in 2015, and then after overwhelming demand, opened their first standalone restaurant off Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth’s Near Southside district.  

“Said a prayer, opened a food truck, spent all the money we had on deposit and everything, and just went for it,” said Travis.

And the loyalty has been real. Heim loyalists have been there every step of the way.

“We’ve seen families grow, we’ve seen marriages, we’ve seen so many different things, and it’s all because of Texas barbecue," said Emma.    

“For us, our focus is just making the best food we can and we want to pair that with just really great hospitality,” said Travis.

Texas Monthly picked its top 50 barbecue joints in the state, and new Fort Worth restaurant Goldee’s was honored with that coveted No. 1 spot.

Ten other barbecue joints in DFW made the top 50. But, some barbeque aficionados said -- hold on a second, we’re missing some really good spots on this list.

“I know us not making it wasn’t from a lack of effort,” said Travis. “Everyone was really really trying hard. It’s just different.”  

Heim once again became a hot topic among barbecue lovers because they didn’t make the Texas Monthly list. In fact, many fans would agree, Heim “helped put this style of barbecue in Fort Worth on the map" -- words from a Texas Monthly editor himself.

So, what happened?

“We’ve grown so much over the last four years,” said Emma.   

Heim made the list in 2017, but since then they’ve added two more shops.  

“And we know that it’s Texas Monthly barbecue, joints. We don’t really consider ourselves a joint anymore,” said Emma.

Emma thinks the two new shops, a second in Fort Worth, and their first in Dallas, may have knocked them out for consideration this time around.

“And that’s OK,” said Emma. “Right now we’re feeling OK about it. We were devastated at first because those are our friends on that list.”  

It just shows how competitive and how serious barbecue has become in Texas. Who doesn’t love Heim’s often imitated but not quite duplicated signature, “Bacon Burnt Ends?”

“Still 'till this day, there’s people that are coming through that came to the food truck, that came to our pop-ups,” said Emma. “We’re so thankful for those people.”

So it’s safe to say, Heim is no longer that small barbeque joint anymore. Heim Barbecue is growing.

Travis and Emma announced they are opening two new locations. A two-story rooftop opening soon in Burleson, and the other to be announced soon.

The Fort Worth-based restaurant will grow from three to five locations across North Texas.

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