Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pappas Bar-B-Q

DALLAS: Pappas Bar-B-Q
2231 W. Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75220


Open Sun-Thur 11-10, F-Sat 11-11


This purveyor's name is probably familiar to most of you out there from Pappadeaux, Pappasito's and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. This Houston based family of chains churns out some decent quality grub at most every location, so I wanted to see how well they could handle smoked meat, so I traveled to Northwest Highway and I-35 in Dallas where you can find every version of the Pappas family.

The design of the whole joint is aiming towards rustic, but it felt more like cavernous on a Tuesday afternoon at lunch time with only about 1/2 of the tables full. I stepped up to the counter and ordered the "House Special" which is a plate full of brisket, sausage, ham, a large spare rib and two sides. The standard BBQ accompaniments of beans, slaw and potato salad are available, but I couldn't pass up the fresh pea salad with bits of cheddar cheese and the spicy rice, which tasted like a better, meatier version of Tony Cachere's boxed jambalaya. After a few pickles and cherry pepper, I was getting full before I even started on the meat.

Not to worry...I always have room for smoked meat. Salt was the dominant flavor in the ham. This pork must have taken only a quick dip in the smoker. The sausage was better with a multitude of spices. I detected black pepper, red pepper, garlic and what I think may have been oregano. The meat had a fine grind and decent snap. I asked an employee where it was made, and they said the special recipe links came from the home office. The spare rib had been basted with a sweeter version of the dipping sauce, and was not as meaty as expected. The meat was a bit dry and the crust had wilted under the liquid baste. The meat was red, but had little smokiness. The overall flavor was passable, but it needed the sauce. Sliced brisket was the real winner. The beef came from the point as evidenced by the fat interlaced throughout the meat. Luckily, this brisket had been adequately smoked so the fat was well rendered. A hearty crust and a deep red smokeline helped contribute to the deep smoky flavor. The salty rub had permeated the meat eliminating the need for any sauce. Ribs might not be their specialty, but the Pappas family knows how to smoke a brisket.

Rating ***
Pappas Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon


Columbaire said...

I'm glad your experience at Pappas' Dallas place was better than mine.

I can't say enough about the good experiences I've had with members of the family and their places.

Anonymous said...

Their beef ribs, dry, are still the best I've ever had!

King Voodoo said...

Since I live in Flower Mound my BBQ options are limited.

While my wife was out of town my buddy and I looked over your site for our best option for a quick run.

I had not been to Pappa's for years and I tried the combo plate/sampler plate.

The pork rib was great.

The sausage was pretty good.

The brisket was okay, kinda dry.

The ham was horrid. It was so dry that sauce could not save it.

Both of us got the same sides and the potato salad was fairly good.

The beans however were not very good at all. They were "tuff" in an undercooked way.

The sauce was okay but I am one of those people that likes it a little sweet and it was more "peppery" to me.

Anyhow, it was a decent experience so thanks for your review and pointing us that direction.

Next time we are going to venture out a little farther.

Any suggestions and what would be our best bet that is not too far from FM/Lewisville?

BBQ Snob said...

You might want to try Bartley's in Grapevine, as it's been great on a few visits. Dat's Good Cue in Lewisville isn't a bad option either.

King Voodoo said...

Took your advice and left comments about both places under their postings.

I enjoyed this place the most by far out of the three.


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.