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 Monthlys top four Texas barbecue elite.
Its a breakthrough for North Texas barbecue, long considered the states 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.
• Cousins Bar-B-Q, the Payne familys original McCart Avenue location known for near-perfect brisket.
• Longorias BBQ of Everman, known for house-made brisket sausage, brisket burgers and jerky. (Although nearby Hickory Stick Bar-B-Q also has its fans.)
• Bartleys 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 Angelos in Fort Worth, Sonny Bryans in Dallas and Clarks 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.
New bones to pick
Two new barbecue restaurants arent eligible for the list, but theyre 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.
• Also new: Back Forty Smokehouse in North Richland Hills, from a former Cousins 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 Fortys smoked chicken was perfect. The menu also offers salads and brisket burgers.