When Houstonia magazine and D&T Drive Inn hosted a Community BBQ last Saturday, Down House chef Benjy Mason stayed up all night with the pig. Mason also did the nose-to-tail carving honors around five o'clock when dinner was ready. Whole hog with vinegar sauce, beanhole baked beans, and mustard seed potato salad were also served.

D&T Drive Inn's proud owner, Chris Cusak, ran around attending to last-minute opening details. The new D&T Drive Inn joins Down House on Cusak and partner Joey Treadway's growing list of Heights hangouts--there's also a new British-American place in the works that will include chef Richard Knight from Feast.

The barbecue benefit raised over $1,000 for Foodways Texas, the non-profit food heritage organization based at the University of Texas. Deep Eddy Vodka and Saint Arnold's Brewery, which are both Foodways Texas members, were also contributors to the worthy cause.

For dessert, there was a blackberry cobbler contest featuring four contestants. Gatlin's BBQ won the the crowd-favorite award. The blackberries in the cobbler were cooked with cinnamon, and the crusty topping had a touch of salt sprinkled on top. The judges' award went to Frank's Americana restaurant (formerly Frank's Chop House) for a cobbler with a cornbread biscuit topping served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with honey. Ouisie's/ Bird and Bear was runner-up with a butter and sugar cobbler. And many thanks to Flying Saucer Pie Company--they couldn't hang around for the contest, but they dropped off a lot of blackberry pies, anyway--all of which were eagerly devoured.

D&T Drive Inn is actually an old icehouse where people bought blocks of ice before electric refrigerators. Like many icehouses, it became a beer joint after iceboxes became obsolete. When Cusak and company took over, there was a huge water oak tree that had to be taken down because it was undermining the building's foundation. The tree was cured for over a year, kiln-dried and cut into planks. The thick planks now serve as the bar at D&T--they were also used for one of the long tables inside.

Stop by 1307 Enid and take a peek at the new watering hole soon.

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