My Mini Tour of North Texas Barbecue

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jcbigler, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I spent the week in Fort Worth on business. While there I had the opportunity to eat at three different barbecue restaurants in the North Texas area. 

    On Monday, I had lunch at Lockhart Smokehouse in Plano, Texas. I was driving down from North East Oklahoma, so it was about a 4 hours drive. I decided to stop at the Lockhart location in Plano since the Dallas location was an extra half hour away and I wanted to make sure that I got some of the good stuff. Lockhart Smokehouse (the Dallas location) is ranked as the 14th best barbecue restaurant in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine. 

    You order everything by the pound. They don't have combo plates, or sandwiches, etc..)

    I ordered a half pound of moist brisket and a regular sausage link, potato salad and coleslaw, which is my standard order at pretty much every barbecue restaurant. 

    They have some sauces available, and also plastic wear. But, everything is served on butcher paper. No plates to be seen. And yes, I ate my meat without the aid of forks or sauces. I did use a fork for the coleslaw and potato salad, because, well it would just be uncivilized to use your fingers. I was lucky and got the last cup of potato salad they had. 

    The meat:

    While I was standing in line the guy ahead of me ordered a pound of shoulder clod, which is located above the brisket and is a little more tender naturally. The cutter gave me a sample. It had a deep beefy and smoky flavor, different from brisket and very tasty. 

    The sausage is the German-Czech recipe brought over from the old country more than 100 years ago and is made at Kreuz Market in Lockhart, TX. It was very good. It wasn't bratwurst or regular smoked sausage. It was something completely different. It had spices in it, but wasn't spicy. I loved it.

    The brisket was some of the best I have ever had. Knowing what I was after, I ordered the moist brisket. Some might call it greasy or fatty, but I like to call it rich. It had a thick, very sticky bark that was just as tasty by itself. A deep, mild smoky flavor. It was not as peppery as I had anticipated. But yes, it was greasy enough that it soaked through two pieces of butcher paper and made it translucent.


    The coleslaw was kind of spicy. Not too bad and didn't have an overwhelming vinegar flavor that a lot of places make. 

    The potato salad was something else though. It has a cool, creamy flavor that complimented the sausage and brisket perfectly. It has actual chunks of potatoes rather being being mostly mashed or whipped like most places make it. This was probably the best potato salad I have ever had. 


    Not pictured here, but an honorable mention goes to the Big Red soda. We have recently started getting Big Red here in Oklahoma and my local favorite, Albert G's Barbecue in Tulsa now serves it. I have started to love this stuff and I get it every chance I can.  It's the perfect soft drink for barbecue. 

    Next up: Cousin's Barbecue in Fort Worth and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. 
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
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  2. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Dinner on Wednesday was Cousin's Barbecue. 

    Cousin's is the ranks as the 17th best by Texas Monthly. I went to the location on McCart Ave, which is located int he middle of a strip mall. 

    Made my standard order: the two meat plate; brisket, sausage, coleslaw and potato salad.

    Okay, here's the deal: On a normal day, this place would have been very good. But, my taste buds have forever been seared by the smoky, moist goodness of Lockhart. 

    The brisket was dry, albeit tender with a good smoky flavor. But it had a little more peppery flavor than the Lockhart brisket. The bark was thin.

    The sausage was your run of the mill polish sausage. 

    Potato salad was too mustardy and I couldn't eat most of it.

    Coleslaw was your run of the mill creamy-vinegary coleslaw. 

    I do like Texas toast. 

    I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here. If you're driving by and need a place to eat, it's a solid choice. But not worth the effort to drive in from elsewhere. 

    Next up: Pecan Lodge in Dallas. 
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
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  3. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Dinner Friday evening, after an intense 4 day training class in downtown Fort Worth was Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Texas. 

    Pecan Lodge is ranked as the 2nd best barbecue restaurant in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine, right after Franklin's in Austin. 

    Located in the Deep Ellum community just east of downtown Dallas, surrounded by art galleries, and clubs. It's kind of a pain to get to if you are taking the freeways, and I missed a couple of turns and got turned around.

    Pecan lodge was the most expensive barbecue restaurant I have ever eaten at. And the potions were just a bit small. But very worth it. The atmosphere here was a little odd. Lots of young hipsters. Not sure if this is their usual crowd or just because they had a band playing in their outdoor patio that evening. It was damn busy. I didn't have to stand in line more than a few minutes though and didn't have any problem finding a table at which to eat. 

    I ordered the two meat combo plate with moist brisket, regular sausage, coleslaw and fried okra (they don't serve potato salad, and I didn't think the beans would be a good idea considering I had a four hour drive back home). 

    The sausage was the same style of sausage as served at Lockhart, though with a slightly different flavor profile. I need to find out what this kind of sausage is and figure out where to buy it locally. 

    The brisket was phenomenal. Thick sliced, with a nice bark, very moist, though not as greasy as the Lockhart brisket. It had a strong smoky flavor and didn't need a knife to cut, separated easily with the side of a fork, just the way I like it. The portion was a little small and I would have liked an extra half slice. 

    The coleslaw was good, had a thin vinegary sauce but wasn't over powering. 

    The okra was fried okra. It's hard to mess up anything deep fried. 

    Also, the Big Red soda gets another honorable mention and was the perfect beverage to compliment the barbecue. 

    As it turns out, it looks like I will be making a trip to Austin, Texas over Labor Day weekend. And I WILL be making a stop at both Kreuz Market in Lockhart and Franklin Barbecue in Austin. Stay Tuned...
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
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  4. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Sadly, my favorite barbecue place in North Texas has closed down. 

    Jones Family Barbecue in Denison, Texas was always my dinner stop on the way back from Dallas. The last time I went there in May they had closed down. 
    boboso likes this.
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Justice they look like some real good eats.Thanks for sharing

  6. cats49er

    cats49er Meat Mopper

    I'm green with envy.Very nice report with lots of detail.
  7. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us! I would like to do something similar but Texas is to far away.
  8. When you head to Lockhart go to Black's downtown just off the square.
    boboso likes this.
  9. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You think Black's is better than Kreuz?
  10. boboso

    boboso Smoke Blower

    Anyone from San Antonio would agree with you about the Big Red. We always drink it with Barbacoa. Which is basically greasy bbq beef. Any restaraunt that sells Barbacoa sells a package deal with Big Red. I cant stand the stuff alone, but with greasy meat, its good. Also, I tend to favor Blacks in Lockhart. Cant remember exactly why, but Kruez is very good also. Cant go wrong with either one.
  11. Smitty's  Market and Luling City Market (Jalapeno Sausage) if u come in off 10.
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Still waiting for the Labor Day trip report with pics!
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great post! The Pecan Lodge at the Dallas Farmer's Market was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Places tend to get Trendy and EXPENSIVE, after they are visited by Guy Fieri...JJ
  14. Great post! I need to do this someday.

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