Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Big Al's Smokehouse Barbecue

DALLAS: Big Al's Smokehouse Barbecue
3317 Inwood Rd

Dallas, TX 75235


Open M-Sat 11-9

Update: I've found it easier in Dallas to find great ribs than great brisket. Big Al's has always been a favorite rib joint of mine, so I stopped in the other day for lunch. It's tough to order just one meat, so I thought I'd add one some turkey which I hadn't yet tried.

The sides of okra and potato salad were great as always, and the ribs did not disappoint either. They have a thin candy-like coating from a rub that's got to have some sugar in it. They aren't sticky or overly sweet, and the meat is always perfectly tender. After all three bones were thoroughly cleaned, it was turkey time. The meat was from a whole turkey breast, and as it was being sliced you could see the deep coffee brown crust. Each bite had great smokiness, and the meat was moist and well seasoned. I might just make it part of my normal Big Al's rotation.

Rating ***

2010: Big Al's has been around DFW since 1973, and they've just moved into their new place just down Inwood Road from the old location. The building may be new, but the sign, the staff and the menu are all the same, and so is the good quality 'cue.

I ordered up a three meat plate with brisket, beef ribs and pork ribs. Some toothsome and meaty flavored green beans and crispy, unsoggy cole slaw came on the side. A slightly sweet glaze covered the pork ribs, which are always a favorite of mine. The meat needs the slightest tug to get from the bone, and the meat was perfectly moist and tender. The beef ribs had the same glaze with plenty of meat. They had a bit more smokiness than the pork ribs, but required a little more effort to separate from the bone. Brisket slices were thick and delicious with a nice crust and beautiful smoke ring. The meat was tender with well rendered fat on the edges. The only thing lacking was a robust level of smoke.

Given the fact that they've only been in the new place for a week now, I thought it might take a while for them to get into their groove, but this is the same quality protein I've come to expect from Big Al's.

Big Al's Smokehouse BBQ on Urbanspoon


Ben said...

Just got home from Big Al's. The meal was pleasant, though completely devoid of any smoke flavor. I will stop by again in a few months to see if they have hit their stride by then.

Anonymous said...

I had Big Al's for lunch today. The brisket was very good and moist, but it needed a bit more flavor. The ribs were fine on their own, although they were better dipped in the sauce. The meat came right off the bone, though. Their green beans are the best.

Cleve said...

Had lunch there yesterday, albeit more on the order of 2p. UGHH!!! This is my second time to Big Al's in a few months and it is NOT good! Ribs had no smoke, nor the brisket. I don't do SIDES, as that takes away precious room for the meat. Essentially I had jalapenos and sauce for lunch! NEVER AGAIN...

Anonymous said...

Had dinner there yesterday. Couldn't be called "bar-b-q." No smoke in either the porb ribs or the brisket. Green beans had no flavor except a heavy dose of cumin. What happened to this place?

Cap Guy said...

I at Big Al's once a week. One of my favorites. Get the Big Al Sandwich -
Two meats on a po-boy bun.....

Anonymous said...

Prefab frozen institutional okra that everybody uses is "great"? I don't think so.

Rib Bone said...

Ate there on March 11, 2013, for lunch, arriving about 11:30 AM. (Having not followed my better judgment and left my beloved Foat Wuth to do some bidness in Dallas.) Had a rib sandwich which turned out in this instance to be 4 fresh-cut, decent-sized ribs between two slices of Texas toast. Unless the quality here has fallen mightily since Snob's last visit, I can't explain his affection for this joint. The ribs were slightly dry, not enough so to make them tough but enough to notice, and if there was any smoke there, I couldn't taste it. They were better than the ribs at one of the 'cue chains like Riscky's or Luther's, but were a full quantum level below those at Off the Bone in Forest Hill or at Smokey's BBQ in Cowtown. Based on ribs, bread, and sauce alone (which is all I eat at 'cue joints), I can't give this place more than two stars.


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.