Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dave's BBQ

4353 Gannon Lane

Dallas, TX 75237

Open Tues-Sat 10:30-9

After a long and exhausting search for a number of new BBQ joints, I finally settled into the line at Dave's BBQ in South Dallas. I hadn't heard of this joint until "william" posted about it on SideDish, alerting me to its existence (if you're out there william, I still owe you lunch). There are a few chairs and booths inside, but this is mostly a to-go business. Orders are taken at a front counter, but the meat operation is mainly out of view towards the back of the joint. A three meat plate of sausage, brisket, and ribs came at a reasonable price, and I found a small table outside to enjoy it while I admired the large trailer mounted smoker out front.

Sides of beans and slaw were both uninspired. Ribs were nicely cooked, and were plenty tender, but they lacked smoke and could have used more bold flavoring. Brisket was well flavored with a good beefyness, but these moist and tender slices were also lacking that good smoky flavor. Sausage (which I'm told is house made) had incredible flavor. Moist meat just below a snappy casing was well seasoned, but not overly salty. These links had somehow soaked up more of the smoke than any other cut, and was by far the best meat of the day. I would return for it alone.

I hesitated to leave knowing they had beef ribs on the menu. I'd tried every joint I could think of who offered beef ribs a few months back, but Dave's were left untried. The hand written sign above the counter said they were available in half or full slabs. I begged the cashier for a smaller portion, but she wasn't budging, so I walked out with a styrofoam container whose heft was challenging for a single arm to wield. In the car I discovered the unfortunate pool of sauce all over this enormous pile of surprisingly meaty back ribs. The meat was tender with well rendered fat throughout. In this case, the sauce really did provide a complimentary flavor to the meat, and its smoky overtones provided more oomph to the meat that could have used a bit more smoke.

After sampling four of their meats, my standards of brisket and ribs alone would have kept them in the two star category, but the addition of an excellent house made sausage and above average beef ribs were enough for an additional star.

Rating ***
Dave's BBQ on Urbanspoon

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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.