(NOTE: This is a list from a previous year. The NEW list for 2019 can be found HERE)
Barbecue, Barbecue, how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
Ten, to be exact.
Look, I could put together a list of dozens – and you could, too. But, you only want to hear about the best – and being something of a barbecue snob myself, I wouldn’t ask you to settle for anything less.
Let’s start with the premise that I resist chains. That cuts out a bunch of otherwise great places, but there’s no way to properly judge a stand-alone operation against a company that has three or four locations. Chain restaurant quality can vary by location, the age of the smokers, the pitmaster, and whole host of other reasons. Usually the original location is far and away the best. This is not to say I don’t like chains, but I tend to stick to the single location joints as a matter of treasure. You can’t get it just anywhere, you might have to travel a bit, but it’ll be worth what you discover.
Loco Coyote, Glen Rose
Everything on the menu is delicious (the blackberry cobbler) and the setting is fantastic – but this largely gets on my list for portions. How do they even make that much? Feed the football team here.
This little out-of-the-way shack has everything you want in a barbecue stand – plus David Longoria’s secret family recipes. The legendary sausage is how it all started, and the pork ribs are ridiculous.
One90 Smoked Meats, Dallas
I love holes-in-the-wall. This is a hole-in-a-strip-shopping-center. Right there on Northwest Highway just east of White Rock Lake, and there’s not a thing in there you won’t be happy you tried.
Mike Anderson’s, Dallas
Back when code inspectors were more fun places like Mike’s had sawdust on his floor. You know the classic Texas barbecue restaurant, with the mouth-watering buffet line? Mm-hmm. Mike’s.
Louie King BBQ, Dallas
If you’re familiar with the Lower Greenville Avenue of Dallas, it’s in the space where Daddy Jack’s used to be. After only a few weeks open, they nearly lost the whole thing when a smoker caught fire. Thankfully, that didn’t happen — and is it ever worth a visit. You see that big beef rib at the top of this page? Theirs, and the sliced brisket is awe-inspiring.
Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery, Garland
First of all, Garland’s old historic downtown is just plain cool. Intrinsic is right on the square, across the street from a feed store. A feed store. This is not only fabulous barbecue, it’s where God meant barbecue to be served. They also have live music, and magnificent selection of beer. Lots and lots of beer.
Lakewood Smokehouse, Dallas
I can happily recommend just about everything on the menu, including the font and ink. Personal favorites are the pulled pork sandwich, Memphis-style, and the beef rib — but do not ignore the Smokehouse burger.
Off The Bone, Dallas
Right down from Dallas Police Headquarters in The Cedars, on the southside of downtown. I will go way out of my way to stop in. If you could make barbecue this good at home you’d never leave the house. If you do, what time is dinner?
Heim BBQ, Fort Worth
Heim BBQ is so good that in only a few short years, Travis and Emma Heim have gone from a food truck to thinking of expansion. Sadly, that might knock them out of my non-chain lists — but not yet. The burnt ends live up to the rave, and the sliced brisket sammie would be my last meal request.
Pecan Lodge, Dallas
It’s hard to say something that hasn’t already been said. The truth is, the daily line outside speaks for itself. Don’t let that scare you off. At busy times, yes – you’ll wait. Worth it. But at off times, you could slip right in. Really worth it. The picture does not do this barbecue justice.