Eats Beat

Nashville hot chicken lands in the Fort Worth Cultural District at brewpub-pizzeria

Fort Worth brewery opens with free beer

After a fight with the federal government, and then a fight with Fort Worth, Dallas-based Deep Ellum opens Funkytown Fermatorium on University Drive near the West 7th district and Fort Worth’s cultural district with free beer.
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After a fight with the federal government, and then a fight with Fort Worth, Dallas-based Deep Ellum opens Funkytown Fermatorium on University Drive near the West 7th district and Fort Worth’s cultural district with free beer.

The Great Hot Chicken Showdown is coming to University Drive, and Deep Ellum Brewing Co. already scored.

A new hot chicken restaurant, the Cookshack, is slowly taking shape and will open in a former chicken stand.

But Deep Ellum beat the Cookshack to serve the first hot chili-oil chicken sandwich on University.

It’s one of the best in the short history of Fort Worth hot chicken.

When Deep Ellum Brewing Co opened last winter, it offered only a short menu of pizzas. But owners promised more soon with help from a former chef from Cane Rosso.

Sure enough, Deep Ellum delivered a new menu this month with burgers, salads and appetizers along with 11 pizzas.

The burger menu leads with an “Ordinance” (key ingredient: bacon jam), but the eye-catcher is the chicken sandwich with pickle and pickled onion.

This is really “Nashville” hot chicken, which spread to Texas a couple of years ago. Some restaurants were using chili peppers in the breading, others added chili oil to the cooking oil.

Deep Ellum’s Fort Worth version hot chicken is fried perfectly, dripping with chili oil and served on a bun with a pickle and pickled onions. It comes with fries ($12).



One of the restaurant’s new appetizers is elote-topped tater tots., an order of tots draped in corn and cotija.

The new menu also includes a double-chocolate brownie, a blackberry-peach crostada or a butterscotch budino made with Funkytown Brown Ale.

Deep Ellum Brewing — it’s called the Funkytown Fermatorium — is open for lunch and dinner daily; 611 University Drive at West Sixth Street, 817-873-3322, deepellumbrewing.com.

(The Cookshack will open this summer at 500 University Drive.)

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.

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