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Eats Beat: Pecan the new flavor for DFW barbecue

Posted 1:17pm on Thursday, May. 16, 2013

DFW has a new king of barbecue.

Pecan Lodge, a take-out stand in the Dallas Farmers Market, has become the first Dallas or Fort Worth restaurant ranked among Texas Monthly’s top four Texas barbecue elite.

It’s a breakthrough for North Texas barbecue, long considered the state’s weak link compared with Central Texas.

Also making the Top 50 list in the June issue:

• Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District, a meat counter run by Kreuz Market relatives from Lockhart.

• Cousin’s Bar-B-Q, the Payne family’s original McCart Avenue location known for near-perfect brisket.

•  Longoria’s BBQ of Everman, known for house-made brisket sausage, brisket burgers and jerky. (Although nearby Hickory Stick Bar-B-Q also has its fans.)

•  Bartley’s BBQ in Grapevine, an outpost of oak-smoked flavor in a sea of Gaylord suburbia.

• And Hashknife on the Chisholm, a rough-hewn stand on U.S. 281 north of Mineral Wells.

The new list moves the epicenter of Texas barbecue to Austin and away from Central Texas farming towns such as Lockhart, Luling and Taylor.

In a region long known for old-timers like Angelo’s in Fort Worth, Sonny Bryan’s in Dallas and Clark’s Outpost in Tioga, Pecan Lodge is still new. Corporate-world escapees Diane and Justin Fourton originally opened a small catering service, then started serving lunch four days a week.

A year ago this month, a Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives visit spurred crowds that now often number in the hundreds. The waiting time can be up to an hour.

Go early, maybe 10:30-11 a.m. on a Thursday or Sunday; 1010 S. Pearl Expressway, Dallas, 214-748-8900, www.pecanlodge.com.

New bones to pick

Two new barbecue restaurants aren’t eligible for the list, but they’re both drawing crowds.

•  The Slow Bone is new on Irving Boulevard at Wycliff Avenue in Dallas, near Interstate 35E across Wycliff from the first-rate Off-Site Kitchen burger grill.

The Bone is owned by Jack Perkins of Dallas’ Maple and Motor burger grill. Most of the praise so far has been for the side dishes such as a featherlight fried okra, hush puppies or Brussels sprouts.

The brisket and ribs are workmanlike. The Bone is open daily for lunch and early dinner at 2234 Irving Blvd., Dallas, 214-377-7727, facebook.com/TheSlowBone.

• Also new: Back Forty Smokehouse in North Richland Hills, from a former Cousin’s partner and manager, Mark Payne.

Payne is still tweaking the recipes and temperatures for the very different Southern Pride smoker, and a first try this week seemed rushed.

But the Back Forty’s smoked chicken was perfect. The menu also offers salads and brisket burgers.

It’s open for lunch and dinner daily except Sundays at 8021 Main St. in Old Town Smithfield, 817-428-2225, facebook.com/BackFortySmokehouse.

Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538 Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat Twitter: @EatsBeat Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/eats

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