By Teresa Gubbins | Culture Map
UPDATE: Katy Trail Ice House owner Buddy Cramer said that they did not serve barbecue from the trailer. “We sold only hot dogs and brawurst,” he said. “The landlord asked us to not sell barbecue in consideration of Pecan Lodge.”
Celebrated as one of the top five barbecue joints in Texas, Pecan Lodge is the crown jewel of the Dallas Farmers Market. So why does the market’s new management seem to treat it like scrap metal?
On Saturday August 31, visitors to the market spotted a puzzling sight on the market concourse: A trailer from restaurant Katy Trail Ice House, serving hot dogs and brats. barbecue. What made it seem especially aggressive was the location — right outside Pecan Lodge’s door.
According to a Katy Trail Ice House manager, the trailer was there for an “event” for the weekend, set up by owners Buddy Cramer and Joe Tillotson.
“It’s a Labor Day two-day event,” he said. “We’re doing our Shiner brats and hot dogs. We do our barbecue in the truck too.”
Cramer did not respond to emails or calls, but Diane Fourton, who co-owns Pecan Lodge with her husband Justin, was flummoxed. “I don’t understand why they’re doing this, I don’t know what to say,” she said.
Cafe Momentum chef Chad Houser didn’t mince words when he tweeted the above photo with the caption, “Look what’s parked outside Pecan Lodge today. Pretty classless.”
Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn chimed in with, “Dallas Farmers Market is great at saying how bad they want to keep Pecan Lodge. Then they bring in more BBQ vendors.”
Vaughn previously wrote about the contradictory stance of DF Market Holdings, the new operator of the Farmers Market, toward Pecan Lodge. Although the company claims to want to keep the popular restaurant at the market, its actions speak otherwise, including an abrupt change of hours that the Fourtons learned about from a customer.
The Katy Trail operation isn’t the first competitor that DF Market Holdings has allowed; a mom-and-pop set up a smoker at the shed near one of the product sheds. DF Market Holdings’ Blair Black brushed it off, telling Vaughn, “We put [the barbecue vendor] there with absolutely no consideration of Pecan Lodge or anyone else.”