Eat & DrinkFeaturesWhat a Dish


By Debbie AndersonMay 26, 2021May 28th, 2021No Comments

Panther City Brisket Elote

By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler

Throughout Texas, vendors outside Mexican markets and grocery stores offer a popular carryout of corn on the cob topped with queso fresco, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Sometimes the kernels are scraped into a paper cup or a cone with all the toppings — for easier eating. Though the street treat is called esquites (meaning corn off the cob) in Mexico, we Texans simply call them elotes — as do pitmasters Chris Magallanes and Ernest Morales at Panther City BBQ. On a whim, the duo elevated their version to an entree, and it’s a bestseller at their Fort Worth smokehouse. Augmenting the corn with loads of cheese and cream, they top it with generous chunks of their post oak-smoked brisket. At Panther City, it’s served by the pint, and they create big pans of it for special events. Easy to make at home, it’s a sure crowd-pleaser.

Panther City Brisket Elote

Serves 10 to 12

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 to 10 ears fresh corn, grilled or roasted (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound chopped brisket, warmed Mexican bottled hot sauce, such as Valentina, Tapatío or Cholula Queso fresco, cilantro, jalapenos and limes for garnish

Note When fresh corn isn’t available or to save time, use 6 (15-ounce) cans sweet whole kernel corn, drained. 

Combine cheeses and whipping cream in a large, heavy pot, bringing to a simmer and stirring till mixed well. 

Cut corn from the cob and add kernels to pot with garlic, salt and pepper; cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat. Turn mixture into a 9-by-13 serving dish, cover with brisket and garnish with generous doses of hot sauce, crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapenos and lime wedges. Serve immediately; add fresh corn tortillas or tortilla chips, if desired. 

Panther City BBQ The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday. In addition, Panther City offers special BBQ University classes for 15 people once or twice monthly. These sell out quickly, so watch social media for updates at and Magallanes and Morales also plan to bring back their popular late-night pop-up, La Pantera Tacos y Mas, and will make that announcement on social media, too. 201 E. Hattie St., Fort Worth, 682-499-5618,