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Just a few hours in Dallas

I'm a Southern California foodie and BBQ Junkie coming in for just two days for a wedding (Friday and Saturday in mid-July). Looks like I'll only have time to hit up two spots (possibly a third, if the logistics are right). I've looked around the board enough to know that Sonny Bryan's doesn't live up to its national reputation, but I sure would like to have some real deal Texas BBQ. I'll be renting a vehicle, staying right by DFW and the wedding wil be in Flower Mound. I'm willing to make a bit of a drive for something legit, but the closer the better. If there is something that will give me an over-the-top, can't miss Dallas experience outside of the BBQ realm, please throw it my way.

Also, you're welcome for In-N-Out.

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  1. The top BBQ spots are actually in Fort Worth, so head west and do Off The Bone or Longoria's. That shouldn't be too bad of a drive relative to DFW airport. Probably 30 minutes each way for either.

    http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/10/o...

    http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/l...

    Also, while I'm not too impressed with Lockhart Smokehouse (and it's roughly the same drive time as the first two places I'd mentioned), in the eyes of someone coming from out of state, it'd probably be a good experience. Read this to understand the context:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7822...

    7 Replies
    1. re: air

      Well, I'm probably not your average out-of-towner. I'm a true BBQ fanatic, smoking ribs, chicken, pork shoulder and brisket with hickory in my backyard. I've made a BBQ Pilgrimage to Kansas City, with central Texas on the radar. So for someone with discerning BBQ tastes, would Lockhart Smokehouse be worth the 20 mile drive?

      1. re: L.A. Jay

        Now that you say that, I'd stand by Off The Bone and Longoria's being worth your time and effort. Superb ribs and brisket at Off The Bone and Longoria's brisket sausage is phenomenal. Both are as good as it gets in this area; to do any better, you'd have to go to Central TX.

        This EG thread has some good detail on Off The Bone/Longoria's too. If I had limited time I'd put priority on those two. You can easily do both in one go (as shown in the thread) and to me, they both do better BBQ than Lockhart Smokehouse. Please post back with wherever you end up deciding!

        http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/...

        And as far as can't miss, here's what typically pops up in my brain if I had to take someone from out of town to eat somewhere:

        Lucia - Italian, and you'd actually have a high chance of landing a seat if you're going solo

        Bambu - Thai, one of the more unique restaurants in town as they specialize in Isan regional Thai cuisine

        Tei An - Japanese, specializing in handmade soba noodles (generally just don't hear about places doing their own soba noodles

        )

        Maybe Mesa but I wouldn't be surprised if you get better Veracruzan cuisine where you are from. Run searches on all of these restaurants and you'll find a ton of posts about each.

        1. re: air

          Thanks for the links! Wow, those sound and look great! Brisket sausage?? Why have I not heard of that before (Food Network and Travel Channel, you have failed me)? I'll hit both if they're close enough in proximity (I've never been above having multiple lunches--I hit five BBQ joints in two days in KC!).

          1. re: air

            I haven't been to Longoria, but I completely agree about OTB vs. Lockhart.

            1. re: air

              For what it's worth, Bambu just received 4 stars (max is 5) by the Dallas Morning News.

              Although many of us, if not all of us, take their reviews with a large grain of salt, this review was spot on.

              And, to save you a trip to Central Texas, take a drive to Bishops Arts in Oak Cliff and try Lockhart BBQ. Smokey goodness. Be sure to ask them to cut your brisket from the more moist, point cut.

              Also very good in Bishops Arts in Oak Cliff is, Hattie's. Low country style cooking you won't see in LA . I'm personally addicted to their Shrimp 'N Grits.

              http://www.hatties.net

              -----
              Bambu
              1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

              1. re: twinwillow

                You should also stop by Dude, Sweet Chocolate in Bishop Arts. You can graze on a sample or two if you have any room left after the BBQ, and save the rest for home/the trip back. My faves are the blue cheese fudge and hot chocolate/marshmallows.

        2. This is a good article, it's recent and it's written by the Godfather of BBQ, Daniel Vaughn.

          http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/D_Magaz...

          1. 10 minutes from DFW is Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell. The best ribs I have ever had - a true dry rub with no sauce. The brisket can be a craps shoot - pun intended. However, it's probably the best BBQ you'll find near Flower Mound.

            http://www.hardeightbbq.com/

            In Flower Mound, there is an Italian place called Salerno's. I have a friend who claims it's the only decent red sauce he's eaten in DFW - it's like his grandmother's sauce. The Salerno family also has a steakhouse (I forget the name, never been there myself) that has been highly recommended to me.

            There is a local chain called Babe's (location is in Roanoke, pretty close to Flower Mound) that does a classic family-style service with comfort foods like chicken fried steak, fried chicken, and pot roast. Skip the salad, unless you like iceberg lettuce tossed in sugary oil.

            1. Current review on Lockhart Smokehouse from D magazine's Sidedish food blog....

              http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/D_Magaz...

              5 Replies
              1. re: twinwillow

                My trip is in just a couple days, and I'm torn between heading east towards Bishop Arts or west to check out OTB and Longoria's. Also, I read about a newer place called Fat Cow BBQ that will pretty close to where I'm staying. Anyone have a scouting report?

                1. re: L.A. Jay

                  http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2011/02/f...

                  After having Hard Eight last friday and came home to my dad's poor attempt (it is usually very good brisket) from 4th of July leftovers, I will say that even the leftovers were far and above better than Hard Eight. I would definitely avoid Hard Eight.

                  If you have time for a breakfast while in town head up to Loco Cafe or Kolache Haven both in Denton

                  http://www.kolachehaven.com/

                  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Loco-Ca...

                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                    Like I said, their brisket is a craps shoot. But it is less than 1 mile out of the way going from DFW airport to Flower Mound. :-) And the ribs are great.

                  2. re: L.A. Jay

                    Heading westbound for the two in FW is the way to go. The driving distance is equal to going to Bishop Arts (based on where you're staying) but the quality gets a lot higher and you can do a mini tour, hitting two spots in one run.

                2. People think of Texas and they think of BBQ. Sadly, they are wrong, at least when it comes to the Dallas area. There is nothing the Dallas-Fort Worth that can hold a candle to most run of the mill local BBQ joints in small-town East Texas, much less approach the Central Texas BBQ mecca's of Central Texas. It may not quite be a BBQ waste land, but it's damned close.