FORT WORTH: The Ranch House
5532 Jacksboro Hwy.
Ft. Worth, TX 76114
Open Thur-Sat 10:30-9
Update: This joint is CLOSED.
2009: After a quick search for information on this joint, I came away with little as its web presence was small. So small I had doubts that it would still be open. Walking into the dimly lit dining room was a jolt on a sunny Texas summer day. The neon did little to help the adjustment, but I bellied up to the bar for my to-go order. As I enjoyed my Budweiser I noticed how few folks were in the dining room, and how many seemed to just be there for a quick drink. I fully expected to take a few bites of what came out of this kitchen and quickly forget that it ever happened.
I could smell the smoke coming through the plastic bag as I walked to the car. Sitting inside, I opened the lid to find four well smoked ribs and thick slices of beautiful brisket. The ribs had a black crust and deep red color below it. The meat was tender if a bit dry, and the pork had a deep smokiness. Brisket slices were lean with little intramuscular fat, but it was perfectly tender and just moist enough. The robust smokiness so permeated the meat, it was hard to tell where the crust stopped and the rest of the meat began. This was simply good meat that didn't need a bit of the dark sweet and spicy sauce.
After visiting nearly 200 joints trying BBQ all over the state, I can often determine the quality of the 'cue before it even arrives on my plate, but this place was different. Despite a meager lunch crowd and a menu full of non-'cue items, this joint delivers the good stuff. Meat smoked this well should simply be drawing bigger crowds.