By Didi Ma, NewsCastic
Once upon a time, Dallas had a reputation for having sub-par BBQ (an ugly rumor started by Houstonians, no doubt). However, nothing could be further from the truth as these twelve culinary gems attest. From food trucks to ritzy eateries, these restaurants show the world (and Houston), that DFW great BBQ places come in all shapes and sizes, can be found anywhere in the Metroplex, and their goodies are finger-licking, lip-smacking, melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Behold, the tasty dozen. Enjoy.
Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ (two locations)
Lockhart Smokehouse is a Central Texas-style meat palace using the counter service method: Enter, order from the counter, pay and eat with your fingers. Lick’em after you finish eating and often while you’re at it. Here brisket is king, but you should experience the shoulder clod, too – it’s leaner than brisket with a stronger beef flavor, and you can ask for a sample. This is the only place in DFW where you can get Kreuz Market Sausage, which is served on butcher paper. For a side, the blue cheese slaw or mac n’ cheese are hard to beat. They have a small TX vegetarian menu. Translation – chicken and turkey dishes. Well, this is Texas, and this is a BBQ restaurant, so what were you expecting? Bean sprouts?
Two locations, one in the Bishop Arts Districts, and the other one in Downtown Plano. No sauce needed in either.
400 Davis St., Dallas – (214) 944-5521
1026 E 15th St., Plano – (972) 516-8900
Ten50 BBQ (1050 North Central Expressway, Richardson)
Ten50bbq advertises their cuisine as Texas comfort food done right, but this is Texas comfort food like your mother never made. Their premium meats are roasted for 12 to 16 hours with charcoal they make from hickory, mesquite, oak or pecan woods. Try the pulled pork and prime brisket on the 2 meat plate with two sides, which we recommend be jalapeno beans and potato salad. Finish the meal with a big ol’ serving of banana pudding. Take mom to culinary school.
Ten50bbq offers off-site catering, or you can rent their place for a party or event.
The Slow Bone (2234 Irving Blvd.)
Spectacular meats and phenomenal side dishes. The large menu dares you to try something new each time you eat here. House favorites are the fried chicken, smoked cilantro sausage and brisket. Of the sides, sweet potato casserole, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower gratin and Horseradish cream potato salad are perennial winners. They offer catering and packages to go that serve up to 14 hungry Texans, so make sure you have enough room in your pick up when you pick up your order. You may book the place for a party or event outside normal business hours. The Slow Bone is open for lunch only and doesn’t take reservations.
Baker’s Ribs Deep Ellum (3033 Main St.)
With multiple locations around Texas and Minnesota, Baker’s Ribs is a mainstay on DFW’s restaurant scene. Their smoked sausage links and St. Louis Cut pork ribs are some of the most requested BBQ meat by the half pound. Baker’s Ribs offers plates, sandwiches, family meals and a kid’s menu. Of the sides, we were partial to the herb dill potato salad and green beans with bacon and almonds. The fried dessert fruit pies are worth buying by the dozen, try the peach ones. You can shop online for their BBQ sauce and rub. Offering full catering, including weddings. Deep Ellum location is open six days a week, lunch and dinner. Sunday is lunch only.
Angelo’s Bar-Be-Cue (2533 White Settlement Rd., Forth Worth)
A Fort Worth institution since 1958, Angelo’s rustic setting is decorated with dozens of animal trophies on the walls and a taxidermied bear near the ladies loo. The food is authentic homestyle BBQ and they only use hickory wood to smoke the meat. Sandwiches are served Texas style with mustard, onions, pickles and BBQ sauce – no relish. Plates are served with sauce, beans, potato salad, cole slaw, bread, pickle and onion. Try a combo plate consisting of jalapeno sausage and ribs, the ribs’ meat is so tender it falls off the bones. You can buy their seasonings online, or at many grocery stores around town. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays.
BBQ on the Brazos (9001 E Hwy 377, Cresson)
Huddled in a Texaco gas station about fifteen minutes southwest of Fort Worth, BBQ on the Brazos bills itself as “the best BBQ outside of Austin,” but we think it can hold its own inside Austin, too. Yup, that good. The ribs and the brisket are great, but for an unusual treat, try the smoked turkey. It has born-and-bred-meat-eating Texans driving to this barbecue joint in Cresson to eat turkey. We’re partial to the cornbread salad for the side. Open for breakfast and lunch. Hours are until 3 p.m. or until sold out, so come early. They do catering and events, and sell their Sanford’s Best BBQ Sauce by the jar or the case.
Cattleack Barbeque (13628 Gamma Rd., Addison)
Free beer while you wait, people. FREE. COLD. BEER. And that’s not the best reason to come to Cattleack, not even remotely. The food is. Try their signature sandwich, “the Toddfather,” consisting of brisket, pulled pork and hot link, and named after Todd David, head pit master and owner. If you order just the meats, try the brisket. It’s fatty and doesn’t need sauce. The ribs are tender and moist with a peppery crust. For sides, try the loaded baked beans or the cheesy jalapeno grits. Save room for dessert and get the Crack Cake. It’s addictive. Open only on Thursdays and Fridays for lunch between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., but sometimes they sell out way before 2 p.m. so come early. They do take-out, eat-in (if you’re lucky to find a spot), and catering.
Heim Barbecue & Catering (201 E Hattie St., Fort Worth)
Food trucks don’t get any better than Heim Barbecue & Catering. In one word (OK, three): burnt bacon ends. They are cured and dry-rubbed pork bellies cooked hot for two to three hours. They are chewy and fatty and delicious. The pulled pork sandwich and the brisket are also stand-outs. The two side dishes that really shine are the red cabbage cole slaw salad and yjr potato salad overflowing with bacon, cheese and green onions. Both are yummy. Great banana pudding. The long line at lunchtime keeps getting longer, so make sure you get there early.
Pecan Lodge (2702 Main St.)
What started as a farmer market’s food stand quickly became one of the most beloved BBQ places in Dallas. Try the Three-Meat-Combo, also known as “Trinity” consisting of brisket, ribs and sausage – jalapeno sausage, of course. Another favorite is the “Hot Mess,” a combination of sea-salt crusted sweet potato, shredded brisket with Southwestern spices, chipotle cream, green onions, cheese and butter. Try the cole slaw or collard greens. For dessert, the homemade peach cobbler is always a winner. Expect long, snaky lines. Open for lunch daily. Fridays and Saturdays open for dinner, too. Live music on Fridays. They cater to any size posse. Happy trails, indeed.
Sammy’s BBQ (2126 Leonard St.)
Tender meats and some of the best side dishes of any BBQ place make Sammy’s BBQ one of our fav spots. Country-style and over the counter service keep the atmosphere casual. The chopped beef sandwich never disappoints. The ribs are excellent, tender but not overcooked. The onion rings, potato casserole and zucchini casserole are outstanding. Top off your meal with a slice of pecan pie or a brownie. Lunch only. Take-out or eat-in – sit in their gorgeous patio and enjoy.
Mike Anderson’s Barbeque (5410 Harry Hines Blvd.)
Amazing brisket and sides like the cheesy corn bake with poblano and onion or the garlic and cheddar mashed taters but leave room for dessert. Try the cherry-pineapple cobbler. They got family packs that feed up to 12 good eaters (that’s 12 good Texas eaters or about 20 non-Texans). They do catering and rent their space for events, too. Mike is a friendly host and will come by to chat with the diners himself. Open only for lunch. Good news, folks: The Smoked Jalapeno BBQ sauce is for sale at $5 a bottle.
Smoke Restaurant (multiple locations)
Smoke is Modern Texas cuisine at its very finest, led by chef/owner Tim Byres. The eclectic menu showcases Chef Byres classical training and influences ranging from Pan Asian to the Deep South to (hold on to your saddles, cowboys) sushi. Smoke is definitely not your typical BBQ joint – here you’ll find salads, cheese platters, seafood and brunch dishes, too, all perfectly executed. For lunch, try the Cured Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwich with arugula, brie, Dijon mustard and tempura onion rings. For dinner, we recommend the Coffee Cured Natural Beef Brisket and the more traditional BBQ Pork Spare Ribs with Mac n cheese and pickled green beans. For breakfast, have the blueberry pancakes. Your taste buds will thank us. The extensive wine, beer and cocktail menus are stocked with national and International brands of liquors. Smoke has two locations, one in Dallas and the other in Plano, with slightly different offerings and hours. Open from morning until night seven days a week. P.S: Tim wrote a cookbook that won the James Beard award. Check it out.
901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas – (214) 393-4141
2408 Preston Rd #704a, Plano – (972) 599-2222