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[DFW] Cowboys BBQ and Ribs

Has anyone heard of this "place". I just read an article in the paper stating that they would be occupying the old Railhead location on 121 in Colleyville (next to La Hacienda Ranch) in 2/09. Since I'd never heard of it, I googled it and it seems that the current business operates from a web-based "storefront" selling meats and other bbq related products and also tours the bbq cookoff circuit. Just wondering if this may be something to anticipate. I would imagine not, but then perhaps there are surprises on the horizon.

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  1. Yes, Cowboys BBQ will knock your socks off.... it's that good. I know some people at my church who have traveled 50+ miles for his ribs and brisket.

    1. Saw they opened this week, but haven't been. I did find one of those half off deals for the restaurant if anyone is interested.


      1 Reply
      1. re: Brad2

        Brad, thanks for the coupon link.

        Due to the number of vehicles in the parking lot a couple of weeks ago, I thought they were open and happened in during the lunch hour. Well, they weren't, but I got to talking with a guy who's a long term friend of the owner, then the owner also came out. From what I learned, they will have sit down service with menus, ie, no buffet line and I believe there was mention of steak and catfish (?) also on the menu. Furnishings were custom ordered and installed. So, with it being as close as it is, I'll definitely check it out if for no other reason, curiosity, but will give it a few weeks before doing so.


      2. I visted on Sunday, and I have this to say. Owner Mark Gabrick brought in local BBQ legend Dallas Green, winner of countless national BBQ competitions, to start a brand new (we're talking three days old) BBQ joint in the former Colleyville location of Railhead Smokehouse. Because this joint just opened, I'll cut it a little slack since they need some time to work out the kinks. One of these kinks includes having to haul in a portable smoker to sit in the parking lot until their second smoker arrives in a few weeks. On this busy Sunday afternoon, they were understaffed due to some employee call-ins, but the remaining staff kept up their pace to serve the many customers. I sat at the bar which is designed more for standing than sitting. There's little leg room so my knees bumped against the rough-hewn Austin stone beneath the bar. The beer taps along the bar sat tauntingly as this joint waits for their liquor license, so I ordered an iced tea which wanted for some filtered water.

        The menu here gives surprisingly little attention to the traditional BBQ items. Appetizers, salads and steaks seem to be the focus, but as expected, I ordered a plate of brisket, ribs and the waiter recommended sausage. The tender meat of the St. Louis ribs were covered by a dark crust that also hid the layers of fat remaining on the ribs. The meat had a deep red color, and good smokiness with good flavor once the fat was scraped away. The sausage had a medium grind, mild spiciness and a slight snap to the casing. The flavor was pleasing, but lacked complexity. The brisket on the other hand was complexing. The plate arrived with slices so laden with unrendered fat it resembled medium rare bacon. I took a bite for journalistic integrity, then, for the first time in my reviewing career, I sent an item back. The obliging waiter quickly returned with a plate of lean brisket with a delicate crust and moderate smokeline. The slices were moist and tender to the point of falling apart. Outside the crust, the smoky flavor receded into roast beefyness, but the overall flavor was satisfactory. I look forward to a return trip to see if the meat reaches its competition winning potential once this joint's staff and smoker settle in. I also can't wait for a few more of those onion rings.

        -BBQ Snob @ Full Custom Gospel BBQ.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dvaughn971

          Appreciate the thorough review, based on that, I'm convinced to make the trip to Coleyville. Glad to see we've got access to good brisket within a short drive!

        2. If it's just good BBQ you want and it's either Fri, Sat or Sun, head over to North Main BBQ in Euless http://www.northmainbbq.com/ about 10 mins away. That's Dallas Green's full time gig and it won't cost you near as much to get the real deal. You won't get table service or a range of menu items, just all you can eat BBQ for about $10-12. Or pick up to go items ala carte. And oh, yes no bar either, it's BYOB.

          1. I work for dallas for a couple years now and i know mark and evrryone. Dallas is the best i love him and his family and can't wait to get back to dfw to start workin again. the cowboys restaurant is the best if you miss out your missin out

            1. Well, I drove 4 miles, not 50 but it did knock my socks off - just not in a good way. A to-go order, medium sized pile of average brisket served between two pieces of white Texas Toast served cold right out of the bag. BBQ sauce out of the Kraft bottle and two small plastic containers of ordinary pinto beans and cole slaw. All for $15. They forgot the chips that were supposed to be included.
              I'm not a big fan of Dickey's but it is at least as good and half the price.

              1. Not bad at all... i will give them a thumbs-up on their ribs. brisket is just alright--wasn't a whole lot of flavor. If you like the thick, rich, sweet, smoky bbq sauce, then you will like cowboys. Their price point seems to be about right. $12/lb. My biggest dissapointment, you can't order by the pound if you sit down and eat. By-the-pound is to go only. To top that off, you have to order in total-lb. increments. You can't just order a half-pound of brisket and eight ribs. It has to be a half-pound of brisket, half-pound of ribs.

                1. Such a disappointment. After 2 in house dinners and 1 take out, I don’t see myself going back. With the exception of the pulled pork and chicken, the meats (I’ve tried brisket (twice), ham, sausage, pork ribs (twice), chicken (twice) and pulled pork (3 times)), have been flavorless and dry – the pork ribs were okay on one occasion, but as they sat on my plate while I ate other things, oddly, they dried out all by themselves. The brisket was so dry, it was brittle and fell apart. On both occasions, the chicken has been very good and on 2 of the 3 occasions, the pork has been melt in the mouth good – on the take out, the pork was flavorless and dry. As to what others with me have eaten, but I didn’t try, they report: the grilled chicken is very good and would be ordered again; the fried catfish is good, but would not be ordered again, simply because it was fried with a tempura type batter rather than cornmeal; one ordered the beef ribs which were a huge mound of about 5 or 6 ribs – reported as good, but visually, a large amount of meat remained on the bone.

                  As to the service – it was about as bad as it can get. We *supposedly* had Saturday reservations for 16, but NOT. Fortunately, it was for an early 5 pm timeframe, so they were still able to seat us. Drinks arrived promptly, but the meals were served incomplete and piecemeal, with one person not receiving hers until the rest of us were close to finishing. Until requested, there was no tarter sauce served with the catfish, 3 people did not receive their sides of onion rings (probably the best side offered) until near finished with their meals, the cornbread (I guess had to be baked and) didn’t arrive until halfway thru our meals and then with no butter which took another 5+ min. to arrive. It seems there were a couple of other missteps, but those noted are enough to get the point across. In my mind, I’ll make allowances within the first week of a restaurant’s opening – but a month later? Nah.

                  As to a prior poster’s complaint of Kraft BBQ: not sure about that since Cowboy’s bottles and markets/sells their own in both “hot” and “regular”. But along that line, I did ask for “hot” and the waiter said he’d bring both. Only one arrived with him telling me it was hot. It didn’t taste any hotter than from previous visits. I later learned that another member of the party asked for “hot” and was told they were “out”. Soooooo….. someone was lied to. But of all food matters there, I find the sauce the most enjoyable in texture and taste.

                  We left a few minutes after 7, and keeping in mind it was on Saturday, there was plenty of seating to be had.

                  Edit: At best, they seem to be very incosistent even on the same night. On my first visit, our neighboring table said their ribs were great. Ours came, were excessively dry and didn't get a second bite. On the pulled pork, while mine has always been reasonably good, a member of the (second visit) party said she'd been earlier in the week, ordered it and received a pile of pork fat. So looks like it's a flip of the coin. In any case, here's a copy of their menu: http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/menu/1677...

                  Sorry for the lengthy ramble.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    Good report! Another one I can cross my list off going to. It sure is a sad state for BBQ in DFW. I would drive to Colleyville if it was good but seeing how that you tried it on multiple visits (both in and takeout) in a variety of meats it looks like you did your homework.!

                  2. Nice read BBQ Snob, thank you for that review and it is now on my radar. I was thinking the same as a few others, in that proximity , *NORTH MAIN BBQ* in Euless is a gem. I have been there for the lunches, and it is always a buffet style. But never fear everything is fresh and the selection is vast. You will leave with a pure smoke scent about you, so leave the suit coat in the car and bring in a 6 pack! No bar means BYOB, woohoo!

                    The selection at main Street is delightful. Nice ribs, ham, pork, links, chopped and sliced beef, chicken and more. Plus the sides are very homey tasting, no Sysco Foods prepacks here.

                    Wonderful to see some nice BBQ still left, I was just complaining a few days ago about some of the Dallas institutions that have taken a noise dive in recent years.

                    Cheers to all!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DallasDude

                      You are saying Main Street; but do you mean "North Main" in Euless? Sorry I got confused.

                    2. Egads yes, sorry. I know of a Main Street BBQ in another state, my bad and I will correct!

                      Has anyone been to a Riscky's or Angelo's in recent history in Fort Worth?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DallasDude

                        I ate at North Main about two weeks ago and although I love ribs. I found their brisket to be fantastic. I ate the brisket that had been cut into cubes, instead of slices and it seemed to have come off the fattier side and the flavor was tremendous. They put out a really good product over there. It's about an hour round trip drive for me but I sure don't mind making it on Saturday afternoon.

                        1. re: DallasDude

                          Riscky's was just average last time I tried it (October last year), but Angelo's is always good. Their brisket and ribs are a little fatty, but the meat is tender and the smoky flavor always packs a punch.

                          - BBQ Snob @ Full Custom Gospel BBQ

                        2. Geez .... the saga continues. After a mere 2 months, it seems Cowboy's has been sold to a new owner (Andy Caster - anyone familiar?) and will soon be renamed to Daddy Joe's.


                          1. Ate there a couple of weeks ago on Sunday and the place was dead. I could understand why. The meats were dry and the sauce was equivilant to a bad bottled brand. The sides were inedible and cold. The wait staff was polite but spent most of their time standing around gossiping in hushed tones. It was really a little depressing. Beef ribs were listed on the menu, but when I asked the waitress, she acted like she had never heard of beef ribs and told me that they did not serve them. Later found out the the police had recently been called to the place and that one of the principles had brought a gun into the bar area in the middle of a dispute with an owner. Just sold. Hope it gets better.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: toppertx

                              Daddy Joe's is now closed as well. It seems this location might not be so good for BBQ. Three joints have closed there in a little over a year (Railhead, Cowboys, Daddy Jack's).

                            2. And the saga continues to continue.

                              Having nothing to do with BBQ (I'm pretty sure)..... the location's new name will be J.R.'s Grill - I'm *assuming* as it relates to namesake J.R.'s Steakhouse only seconds north. Ultimately, the food will tell the tale, but external structural mods are underway, which should provide a more approachable impression. Given their steakhouse success, this area's need for an upscale "grill", and their solid management at the helm, hopefully they will fare well.

                              J.R.'s Steakhouse
                              5400 Hwy. 121, Colleyville, TX 76034

                              1. It's gotten so, I just don't even bother thinking about BBQ in Dallas anymore. Let alone get excited about a new BBQ joint opening. Thank goodness we have great (non-gringo) taquerias in Dallas to fill the void (somewhat). I'd rather eat a great (corn) tacos al pastor, or barbacoa, etc. than some dried out BBQ brisket any day of the week. And, it's a hell of a lot cheaper, too!

                                1. Sad but true, I haven't found any barbecue in DFW worth the trip or the price. Nothing I've had at any BBQ joint can even compare with the smoky magic that my husband the grillmeister creates in our own back yard. It's a shame because sometimes you want a spur-of-the-moment place to enjoy some good BBQ without doing all the work. We hear so much about the great Hill Country BBQ places in Texas. I wish a restaurant closer to home would take the same pride in all the details to produce great BBQ.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Carrollton Foodie

                                    Have you tried Meshack's? I make the drive from Carrollton to this little shack in Garland all the time, always worth the trip. Certainly beats having to drive to Central Texas.

                                    1. re: air

                                      Thanks for the tip, air. We'll check it out.