Throughout this week, we're sharing DFW.com contributor Malcolm Mayhew's profiles of five people who are making their mark in North Texas barbecue. Our final installment introduces us to Leroy Wilson, who keeps it simple in his small east Fort Worth joint, Wilson's Bar-B-Q. Our previous installments profiled Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge in Dallas; the family who runs Hickory Stick BBQ in Everman; the woman behind the sign at Mama E's in Fort Worth, and Bryan McLarty, a Southlake man who takes his smoking skills around the region in competition barbecue events.
We give you Malcolm Mayhew's BBQ sampler platter of some of DFW's other palaces of meat.
Angelo's: Disclosure: I used to work at this Fort Worth landmark, open since '58, and every day, I'd get the same thing: sliced sandwich, no onions. So good I never bothered getting anything else. Twenty years later, still haven't. 2533 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth.
Bailey's Bar-B-Q: More disclosure: I've worked my entire adult life in downtown Fort Worth and not a week goes by that I don't pay this tiny red barbecue shack, built in the '30s and now an ant among boots, a visit for a good, cheap pulled-pork sandwich and a can of root beer. 826 Taylor St., Fort Worth.
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que: The Stockyards offshoot of a famed barbecue restaurant in Llano. Brisket is hit-and-miss, but when fatty is on, baby, it's on. 301 Stockyards Blvd., Fort Worth.
Cousin's Pit Barbecue: Haven't tried the airport locations, but if the McCart store is an indication, Cousin's is the best of the local barbecue chains. Get the juicy St. Louis ribs, terrific potato salad and nice, thick Texas toast. 6262 McCart Ave., Fort Worth.
Lockhart Smokehouse: Barbecue in Dallas got a nice boost when this Bishop Arts restaurant arrived last year, brandishing sausage from Kreuz Market in Lockhart and A-plus brisket blackened with thick crust, both smoked over Texas post oak. Go early; Lockhart always runs out of stuff. 400 W. Davis St., Dallas.
Longoria's: Final disclosure: My brother Joey and Longoria's owner Danny Longoria are best buds. Back in high school, they played football together. My brother's the one who told me about the dynamite brisket sausage at Longoria's. I should tell him I love him more often. 100 Christopher Drive, Everman.
North Main BBQ: Open just three days a week, Friday through Sunday, North Main is where you go to fill up on spare ribs and decent brisket, courtesy of an all-you-can-gorge buffet. Bring your own drink; all they serve is tea. 406 N. Main St., Euless.
Off the Bone BBQ: Ever since "barbecue snob" Daniel Vaughn proclaimed Off the Bone as North Texas' best barbecue joint, this converted Dairy Queen has been a madhouse. But the quantity of people hasn't hurt the quality of Eddie and Marilyn Brown's food. Crusty brisket rules here, but try the skin-on chicken, too. 5144 Mansfield Highway, Forest Hill.
Meshack's Bar-Be-Que Shack: Take the name literally: There's nowhere to sit, you shout your order through a walk-up window and the place only takes cash. Smoke-soaked brisket and terrific potato salad make the trip and long waits worth it. Tip a rib to Vaughn for discovering this place. 240 E. Ave. B, Garland.
Mojo's TexMex Smokehouse and Grill: An odd concept -- topping nachos and tacos with barbecue -- works surprisingly well at this little spot in Burleson. Flour tortillas and sauces are made in-house, and the brisket, smoked over mesquite 20 hours then finely chopped, is out of this world. 545 S.W. Wilshire Blvd., Burleson.
Railhead BBQ: Best patio scene in Fort Worth this side of Joe T.'s; you may run into a rock star or your ex's divorce lawyer. Cold beer and good jalapeño sausage. 2900 Montgomery St., Fort Worth.
Riscky's Bar-B-Q: Another Fort Worth barbecue institution. The original location on Azle Avenue dates back to '27. Get the ribs and make small talk with the old-timers. 2314 Azle Ave., Fort Worth.
Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q: This regional roadside chain doubles as a gas station. Quality can be patchy, but no one does a better chopped-brisket breakfast taco, served all day. 451 Interstate 20 E, Arlington.
Smoke: Cheffy barbecue dishes from award-winning chef Tim Byres include an outstanding smoked brisket cornbread hash (brunch only), rabbit sausage and ridiculously huge beef short rib, called "The Big Rib," that takes two to topple. 901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas.
Smokeys Barbecue: Get a sandwich at this east-side joint -- owned by Eddie Deen, of Eddie Deen's Crossroads in Arlington -- just so you can enjoy the house-made buns. Lean brisket is solid with plenty of smoke and flavor. Save room for vanilla buttermilk pie. 5300 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth.
Texas Pit BBQ: Noisy, ya-hoo type of place that serves really good barbecue, especially the chicken and brisket. It's easy to find, too: You can't miss the big yellow smiley sign. 324 S. Saginaw Blvd., Saginaw.
Uncle Willie's BBQ: Some of the best barbecue in Fort Worth comes from this east-side dive run by Willie Brown, brother of Off the Bone's Eddie Brown. Brisket and St. Louis ribs are spot-on. Still waiting to try the chicken and turkey, but they're always out. 1506 Miller Ave., Fort Worth.
Woodshed Smokehouse: True to its name, Tim Love's Woodshed is more of a smokehouse, less of a traditional barbecue restaurant. Over a variety of woods, just about everything on the menu gets smoked, including pork ribs, beef shin and tenderloin. The meat's fine and dandy, but, hey, pass the smoked artichokes, will ya? 3201 Riverfront Dr., Fort Worth.