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THE BEST: Barbecue in DFW Area


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#1 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 06:03 PM

An out of town visitor asked for a Texas barbecue restaurant recommendation and I am not sure of the current state of affairs, since I mostly smoke and grill at home. What's great or at least above average these days? Anything new on the scene?

#2 bobag87

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:05 PM

An out of town visitor asked for a Texas barbecue restaurant recommendation and I am not sure of the current state of affairs, since I mostly smoke and grill at home. What's great or at least above average these days? Anything new on the scene?

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Angelo's in Fort Worth has to be up near the top in DFW. Dallas choices are lacking except perhaps Sonny Bryan's original restaurant. Unfortunately, most of the best BBQ is in small town Texas joints. However, Angelo's is definitely worth the time.

#3 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:58 PM

Indeed. These are wide-open spaces, so I guess we could be considering options within, say, an hour drive outside of the metro area proper.

#4 bmdaniel

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:10 AM

Indeed. These are wide-open spaces, so I guess we could be considering options within, say, an hour drive outside of the metro area proper.

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3 hours to Taylor - might as well drive to Louis Mueller's as try to eat anything in Dallas.

#5 bobag87

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:34 AM

Indeed. These are wide-open spaces, so I guess we could be considering options within, say, an hour drive outside of the metro area proper.

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3 hours to Taylor - might as well drive to Louis Mueller's as try to eat anything in Dallas.

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There are a couple of decent places in Glen Rose west of Fort Worth, but I am not sure they are worth the drive. Unfortunately, the true BBQ meccas of central Texas are a ways off.

#6 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 09:56 AM

Here's a list of some barbecue places that have been mentioned favorably (I have not listed the ones mentioned only unfavorably, or more often as not bad, but blah) here in the past. So updates on these especially are welcome. I am not absolutely excluding chains, but have generally found them to be blah or worse.

I am interested in first hand I-have-eaten-there-(especially recently) accounts rather than second hand recs by reputation. Things change.

Main Street in Euless

Clarks in Tioga

Smokey Joes, on 35 near the intersection of 20

Sony Bryan's original location on Inwood in Dallas (not the chain locations)

Angelo's in Ft. Worth

Railhead in Ft. Worth

Risckys in Ft. Worth

the smoke pit in Ft. Worth

Peggy Sue's near SMU

Bakers Ribs

Rudy's in Denton (chain out of Austin)

#7 bmdaniel

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:47 PM

Here's a list of some barbecue places that have been mentioned favorably (I have not listed the ones mentioned only unfavorably, or more often as not bad, but blah) here in the past. So updates on these especially are welcome. I am not absolutely excluding chains, but have generally found them to be blah or worse.

I am interested in first hand I-have-eaten-there-(especially recently) accounts rather than second hand recs by reputation. Things change.

Main Street in Euless

Clarks in Tioga

Smokey Joes, on 35 near the intersection of 20

Sony Bryan's original location on Inwood in Dallas (not the chain locations)

Angelo's in Ft. Worth

Railhead in Ft. Worth

Risckys in Ft. Worth

the smoke pit in Ft. Worth

Peggy Sue's near SMU

Bakers Ribs

Rudy's in Denton (chain out of Austin)

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I've eaten at Rudy's in Denton and Peggy Sue's in the last month or two. Rudy's is consistently average (not necessarily a bad thing), and Peggy Sue's wasn't particularly distinguished either (but also, not bad).

Back during the college football season I ate at Railhead before a failed attempt to go see Stanford play TCU in the rain; probably slightly below average BBQ, although the "Life is too short to live in dallas" shirt was a big hit with my fiancee.

#8 planojim

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:39 AM

Big Daddy's in Lavon made the top 50 in Texas Monthly's issue some months ago. I went about 9 years ago and wasn't really impressed....but I guess it had just opened. I might give them another shot.

http://www.bigdaddys...q.com/index.htm

#9 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:17 PM

I went to Main Street in Euless once this summer. The brisket was fatty and I gave it a 5 - 6 on a 10 point scale. Two other former (more recent) Austinites were with me, however, and they gave it a 3, but agreed it would probably be a 5 - 6 in this area. I may try again, after all this was only one visit, but would not make a special trip.

#10 planojim

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:15 PM

I ate at Meshack's BBQ Shack in Garland recently and thought it was one of the better BBQ places in DFW. No seating, you order through a screen window.

Tried the brisket and ribs. I preferred the ribs, but the brisket was good as well. The menu is painted on the outside of the building. However, for me, the most interesting item is not on the menu. After I'd ordered, the guy behind me ordered "two roll ups."

When I was handed my bbq, I asked what a roll up was. It's a hot link, with sauce, rolled up in a slice of white bread. I ordered two. Those were the star of the show, and a real bargain at $1/each.

Meshack's address is 240 East Avenue B in Garland.

#11 KD1191

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:52 PM

I haven't been to Dallas for about a year, but at the time I quite enjoyed two of the places mentioned above:

Baker's Ribs in the Deep Ellum area of downtown and Sony Bryan's original location on Inwood.
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#12 Keith Talent

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:04 AM

I've got a five hour layover at DFW airport on Wednesday, does anyone have any recommendations for bbq joints within five minutes of the airport. It's doesn't have to be that good, being from Vancouver bad Texas is still pretty damn good.

Thanks in advance.

#13 planojim

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:48 PM

kieth: Hard 8 in Coppell would probably be your best shot. I've been 3 times, once was real good, the other two just so-so.

http://www.hardeightbbq.com/home.html

#14 Andrew Chalk

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 02:37 PM

I've got a five hour layover at DFW airport on Wednesday, does anyone have any recommendations for bbq joints within five minutes of the airport. It's doesn't have to be that good, being from Vancouver bad Texas is still pretty damn good.

Thanks in advance.


Travel for 5 minutes from the DFW airport terminal and it gets you to DFW airport. The place is larger than Manhatten Island.

And...Is there any molecular gastronomy in Vancouver (B.C.)?

#15 Keith Talent

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 01:14 PM

Thanks- Hard 8 it is. (Assuming lines aren't too long at security and we are on time.)

Vancouver doesn't have any molecular gastronomy to speak of.

#16 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 09:31 PM

Feed store BBQ
530 South White Chapel Boulevard, Southlake, TX 76092
PHONE [817] 488-1445
On-line ordering available

Tony Boulton suggested the Feed Store when I mentioned this eGullet member in desperate need of barbecue. Hope we're not too late, but if we are perhaps some other poor laid over soul at DFW will find guidance here.

So in the interest of altruistic concern, Tony and I set aside our plans for the evening (his - ending war for all time; mine fixing the economy before sunrise) and met at the Feed Store to check it out. First visit for each of us, so I'll have to report again after further field research.

But the first signs are good. We split a combo plate of brisket, ribs and pulled pork and added a couple of sides to the two that come with it.

Brisket - tasty, lean but not dryed out.
ribs - I only had one and thought it was okay, but five would give a fairer representation.
pulled pork - also on the lean side for pulled pork, but tender and tasty.

Sides

Beans with pork - very good
Dirty Rice - good
Fried okra - just about perfect
Green beans - good, only slighty over-cooked for my taste, which runs to al dente

Cobbler - don't miss it. Tonight they offered peach or blackberry and I wore out a spot in front of the counter trying to decide. Pass on the "ala mode" out of a soft-serve ice cream machine.

Un-sweetened -iced tea - very good
Sweetened iced tea - I don't touch the stuff, so you're on your own.

I'll be back.

Note that they take orders on-line, so you may be able to order that way or call and pick it up on the fly if time is too short.

Edited by Richard Kilgore, 06 October 2009 - 09:34 PM.
spelin


#17 Liveitloud

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:02 AM

I work right across the street from Sonny Bryans. It's good food if you don't mind sitting outside. The inside is small and just has some school desks to sit at but the food is really good. Down the street a block or two you could try Mike Andersons. Food is pretty good too. They have loaded potato's that are big as a football full of your choice of meat, cheese, etc...

#18 jsmeeker

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:17 PM

D Magazine weighs in on this topic in the February issue.

The Best Barbecue in Dallas (That’s Not Really in Dallas)

The author lists his 16 favorite spots in the Dallas area. The number one spot is on the southeast side of Ft. Worth!

I have plotted out the top 16 places on a Google Map

You can view right here.

Edited by jsmeeker, 31 January 2010 - 01:27 PM.
added link to a map of the places

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#19 jsmeeker

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 05:54 PM

Earlier this afternoon, fellow eGullet member and host Richard Kilgore and I headed west from the Dallas area to scope out some of the top spots in D Magazine's 'Best BBQ in Dallas (That's Not Really in Dallas)' story. We decided if we wanted to hit top spots. The #1 spot 'Off The Bone' was an obvious place to visit. But we wanted to do more than one place. It's not like a run to Lockhart, but it's still a good drive for lunch. Looking at the handy map I made, I saw that the #3 spot, Longoria's, was just a couple of miles away from Off The Bone. So, that was the plan. Hit the #1 spot and #3 spot


Off The Bone (Rated #1)

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We arrived at Off The Bone about 10 minutes before 1:00 PM. Lots of cars in the parking lot and most of the dinning area was full. But there was no line to place an order. Since we were hitting two spots today, we spilt a two meat plate. In addition to that, we also ordered some fried okra. We took a seat and waited for our order. We must have arrived just before a big rush of people because it took a while to get our food. But that was OK because the ribs were fantastic. Very good smoke flavor. Tender, but not sliding off the bone over cooked tender. Brisket was ok. Again, good some flavor. Tender enough. But a little dry. We didn't specify where we wanted the brisket cut from. Still, it was tastier than anything I have had that wasn't in Central Texas. The ribs alone were worth the drive. This place is the real deal. Oh yeah. The sides. Fried okra was good. Pinto beans were pretty good, too.

Longoria's (rated #3)

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After snapping some pics of the smoker at Off The Bone, we hopped back in the car to head to the #3 spot on D Magazine's list. After some initial troubles, I finally managed to get the address into my GPS. This place wasn't far away, but it's really in an out of the way location. Even though it has a Ft. Worth address, this place is in the town of Everman. It was about 2:00 PM when we pulled up to the building. Only a few people inside. No line. The owner was working the front counter. He asked us if we had been here before. We told him no and he went on his spiel about the place. Mentioned the house made sausage (which I had read about in the D Magazine story and was looking forward to trying). In short order, one of the young workers brought out small samples for us to try. It was clear right off the bat we were going to be happy. Since this place does in house sausage, we ordered a three meat plate to split. We paid and sat down in an adjacent dining area. Two plates quickly arrived. They did a nice job of splitting up the order for us. We dug into the meat. Ribs had a good, peppery, slightly sweet rub on the outside. I liked this. But the smoke flavor wasn't as pronounced. And they could have been a bit more tender. Still, pretty good. Brisket was OK. A bit dry. The sausage, on the other hand, was the shining star here. Really good. Made with ground up brisket. It had good texture. Not too coarse, not too fine. Just right. Juicy, but not dripping with fat. If you like the sausage Central Texas BBQ is known for, you ought to be happy with what Longoria's offers. Sides? Eh.. Not so good. I didn't care of the oil and vinegar slaw and the potato salad was very mayonnaise heavy.

So, what's the overall verdict? Head west from Dallas. The #1 and #3 spots are certainly worth the trip.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
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#20 bobag87

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:36 PM

Thanks for the post on trying these two places out. I look forward to trying them and hope all of us will continue to post on our experiences.

#21 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 10:05 AM

Jeff pretty much said it. The ribs alone are worth a drive to Off The Bone. No, they're worth a drive twice as long. And the lean cut of the brisket was a tiny bit dry, but not dry. I tend to avoid using barbecue sauces, but theirs worked well with the brisket every few bites, adding a little moisture without the cloying sweetness of many sauces. No need to get that sauce any where near the ribs.

Overall, I liked the sides at Off the Bone much better than those at Longoria's. The fried okra was a model for any restaurant that serves the much mailgned vegetable. In contrast to the often over-cooked greasy dish, these morsels were crisp and delicious.

But no one goes to a barbecue joint because they're on a vegetable binge. The ribs at Off The Bone and the brisket sausage at Longoria's are both terrific. I brought home a pound of each.


Thanks to Daniel Vaughn and D Magazine for a great public service for those of us who had long ago given up on finding great barbecue in the DFW area. Okay, given up on finding even above average barbecue in the area.

Edited by Richard Kilgore, 09 February 2010 - 09:50 AM.
spelin


#22 jsmeeker

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:33 PM

Since my trip to Off the Bone and Longoria's, I've made trips to two more of the D Magazine top five places in the DFW area.

I hit # 5, Meshack BBQ in Garland, a few weekends ago. This place really is a shack. You place your order through a window and that's where you get it. No place to eat there at all. I ordered some brisket, ribs, and a sausage. Took the order all packed in a bag and drove home. This place is closer to me than any of the other places in the top 5. But its still a long way for take out food. However, it wasn't too bad. The BBQ was just "ok" overall. Everything I ordered was sauced for me. I didn't know they were going to do this. No real standouts here. Certainly, it's better than Dickie's or Spring Creek or whatever sort of place that I can get to easily in suburban far north Dallas. But I am not sure if it's really worth a repeat visit.

Last week, I drove down to Red Oak to try out Randy's, the number 2 spot. They served meat by the pound, on butcher paper, but also had specials. That day, it was 1/4 lb meat plus a side plus a drink. So, I got that (brisket for the meat), plus added in three ribs to my order. The setup was the common cafeteria style. get the meat. Serve yourself sides. Ask for drink, pay, and take food to your seat. Friendly service. I'm surprised the place wasn't busier. A small marquee under their sign proclaimed it's selection as the number 2 joint by "D". How was the "Q"? The brisket was great. Out of the 4 places I've tried, i was the best in my opinion. Good smoke flavor. Moist and juicy. That made it worth the drive down. The ribs were disappointing. They looked great. Big ribs. Nice smoke ring. Good smoke smell. Good flavor. But they were chewy. Not nearly tender enough. It also seemed like they had been tossed on a hot grill at some point. Maybe after being smoked? I could see clear cross hatch grill marks on them. This also made the outer part even tougher. Really, it was too bad. I think they just needed more time to get the right tenderness. Still, it was worth the trip for the brisket alone. I would go back here to get more brisket and would give the ribs another shot. Maybe it was an off day for them when I was there.

This leaves me with one top five place to visit. That would be #4, Smokies in Ft. Worth. I'll eventually get there. When I do, I think I'll work in Angelo's into the trip west.

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#23 jsmeeker

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:33 AM

If you are tracking this topic, be sure to read up in the "Best BBQ in Texas" topic. I have posted about my recent experiences with two new places in Dallas proper.

http://forums.egulle...52#entry1791152

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