Let’s just all acknowledge that being in Texas gives one a hankerin’ for really good barbecue. Fortunately, it also gives one access to really good barbecue. In fact, it may be harder to choose which BBQ joint to pick from the bevy of low-lying fruit.
Well, don’t say we’re not here to help. Check out a few of these top-notch BBQ places in the DFW area.
Don’t confuse the Off the Bone in Fort Worth with the one in Dallas. They’re not part of the same family. The important distinction is that you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the know who’d argue that the Fort Worth Off the Bone deserves a spot on any best-of-‘cue list. The place might not look like anyone’s idea of high-end décor (there’s actually a chain link fence), but there’s no mistaking the pecan-and-oak scent of a world-class cast-iron BBQ pit that turns out what really might be the best BBQ you’ll ever eat in North Texas. The loving care and 20-hour slow-cook time doesn’t hurt either.
You might not have heard of Smokey’s yet, given that it’s in the backyard of Off the Bone and is a youngin’ on the Fort Worth BBQ scene. But the proprietor, Eddie Dean, was a longtime (and legendary) Dallas caterer who has known his way around a BBQ pit for a long, long time now. Smokey’s features two pits, so not every bite always tastes exactly the same. Which should give you a good idea the number of ways that ‘cue can be delicious. And no need to be fancy about it ‒‒ much of the food here is meant to be eaten with your fingers, so have at it.
In Grapevine, Bartley’s remains one of the more traditional and historic oak-smoke Texas BBQ joints going. And with good reason. The deliciousness is as much a function of the oak as it is a function of the right cuts ‒‒ none too fat, none too lean, all just perfect for sauce so good you might just start gnawing on your fingers. By the way, the rolls are almost as good as the BBQ.
Don’t like sauce? No worries, Randy’s in the south-of-Dallas suburb of Red Oak has you covered, as it were. Rather than rely on sauce, Randy’s smokes up nothing but absolute top-shelf angus beef brisket and pot roast in a hickory smoke. The sticky, sweet taste sensation that some might think is sauce is actually part of the cooking process. And don’t forget the ribs, because they’re sweet and savory and fantastic.
Ever look down while you walk and see pecans everywhere? That’s because we grow them in abundance here. And while they’re tasty on their own, the wood from pecan trees makes for one memorable ‘cue. Meshack’s in Garland uses nothing but pecan smoke to get a Whoa! flavor into its meats as well as its baked beans. And, by the way, if you thought Meshack’s was closed, it was. It’s reopened, with the same loving care it grew up with before the family shuttered the place in the 1990s.