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Dec 2, 2009 08:00 PM

Barbecue in Dallas?

I'm a Canadian gal who will be in Dallas on business later this month (first time in Dallas, or Texas for that matter), and I've always wanted to try authentic American barbecue. Any recommendations? I'm staying in the historic district (Commerce Street), but don't mind a short taxi ride somewhere. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Although the city of Dallas isn't especially noted for outstanding BBQ, there are a (very) few places I would personally recommend.
    Baker's Ribs, Greenville Avenue location ONLY! Great St. Louis cut pork ribs and pulled pork. Skip the brisket.
    Smoke. In the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff. A short ride South from downtown. Have the, "Big Rib".
    CT's Real Deal BBQ. It's new and I haven't tried it but I intend to.
    Sonny Bryan's BBQ. THE ORIGINAL LOCATION ONLY on Inwood road! Have the chopped beef on a bun with their incredible onion rings. Iconic Texas BBQ atmosphere.

    9 Replies
    1. re: twinwillow

      Rusty's at Blue north of Toronto has nice bbq. Otherwise, what twinwillow speaks is the truth. The best Texas bbq is a bit south of Dallas. And when did we start calling that area the historic district? Suppose a well meaning hotelier.

      1. re: DallasDude

        Thanks for the suggestions! Can't wait to try some of them.

        Oh, and Google Maps calls the area "historic district" - I just assumed that was accurate! :)

      2. re: twinwillow

        Twinwillow said everything you need to know about Q in Big D. Go to SMOKE for hands down the best barbecue in Texas and maybe in the country. Go to SOnny Brians for old timey Dallas classic barbecue. You will want to take a BATH in Sonny Brians sauce!

        1. re: OCNC

          Man speaks the truth. The meats at Sonny Bryans are so dry, boring, and flavorless, can't eat them unless you smother them with sauce.

          1. re: air

            I don't get the ribs there. They smoke 'em then slice each and grill 'em. Makes for a very dry product.

          2. re: OCNC

            Are you nuts? Smoke? Best in Texas?

            Have you been to Lockhart?

          3. re: twinwillow

            Tried CT's and it was terrible. Greasy, cold and salty. Just terrible.

            1. re: twinwillow

              I was not impressed with SMOKE at all.

              1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                Me either. Can't say I've ever seen pink, med-cooked (smoked? - don't think so) brisket - even for oven cooked. It wasn't as tough as I'd have expected, but certainly chewy. Interesting to say the least. But it's trendy, so it will be a proclaimed success until the next .......

            2. There is a new BBQ spot right in downtown called Dr. Bell's on Main St. (one block over from Commerce) next to a great watering hole called the City Tavern. I haven't eaten there yet but have heard good things.

              If I was gonna take a cab out of downtown for anything, it wouldn't be BBQ in this town.


              1 Reply
              1. re: sike101

                Re: 'sike101'. I've also heard good things about "Dr. Bell's BBQ" and I'm anxious to try it.

                1. don't let all the negativity about dallas bbq deter you, i'm confident you'll be pleased. Compared to the rest of Texas, Dallas has bad 'cue. Compared to the rest of the country/Canada, Dallas has great BBQ (with very few exceptions). I'll second Baker's Ribs which has some of the best ribs in town. I'd also recommend Big Al's on Inwood (i think) for bbq chicken. Lastly, I just tried a joint in Garland called Meshacks that is now my hands-down favorite bbq spot in Dallas. Truly amazing but it's takeout only so be forewarned.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: demigodh

                    Don't mean to ever be negative, believe me. However in comparison to Hill Country style bbq, Dallas is a bit weak. And I was born and raised here.

                    1. re: DallasDude

                      sorry, wasn't trying to call you out or anything. i just noticed the OP is from Canada so there's practically now way she will be unhappy with dallas bbq. I agree though that it's worse (on average) than most other cities in Texas.

                    2. re: demigodh

                      I second Big Al's Smokehouse BBQ. Good ribs, sausage and sides.

                      3125 Inwood Road
                      Dallas, TX 75235
                      (214) 350-2649

                    3. I think you'll be pleased with the BBQ choices offered. After all, you're visiting Dallas, not Austin, not the Hill country.

                      The "original" Sonny Bryans (on Inwood) was mentioned. Please don't be sucked in by name association and hit one of the NON-original franchises going by the same name. That would NOT be a pleasant experience for you. Although it's been years since I've eaten there (Inwood), they used to only serve bbq through the day until they ran out - which was usually early afternoon. I'm not sure about the weekend hours - I think very limited if at all. Perhaps someone else will confirm or you could call.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: CocoaNut

                        Yep! They still close up after the BBQ runs out. Usually about 4:00 during the week. Some days, sooner.
                        And one of the reasons their sauce is soooooo good, is because they add beef drippings from the smoked brisket to the sauce. So, keep the Tum's handy. You'll need it. But, it's worth the burn.

                        1. re: CocoaNut

                          I happened to drive by Sonny Bryan's Inwood location during the lunch hour a couple of months ago, stopped it, and was horribly disappointed in my very dry and tasteless, sliced brisket sandwich. Looking around, there's a reason you see sandwich eating people with sandwich in one had and bottle of sauce in the other.

                          I don't understand how very successful, family pit-master values can be so bastardized from one generation to the next. It just doesn't make sense.

                          1. re: CocoaNut

                            It all started after Sonny died. For years, Sonny rebuffed outside offers to open other locations. He just wanted to stand behind the counter, serve barbecue and yuck it up with customers at a time when you could barely turn around in the place it was so crowded.

                            Whoever inherited the "Sonny Bryan" name sold out to commercial interests and now we are left we this embarassment to Sonny's legacy.

                            1. re: Scagnetti

                              No Doubt!. 30 yr. veteran of Sonny's here. I went a year or so ago and found that not only was the beef terrible, but they had changed the bun. Now, who in the heck messes with the original concoction like that? It was almost brioche-sweet like. Sad BBQ days indeed.