325 S Main St
Jacksboro, TX 76458
Open W-Sun 10-?
The sign out front says "DINING ROOM DAIRYLAND", but my eyes were focused on the yellow letters plastered on the front awning - "Brisket, Ribs, Ham, Sausage". We were wrapping up a long weekend of barbecue and had no other joints on the itinerary. There would only be more brisket if we happened upon a place that seemed meant to be, and this was it. I'd never heard of the joint before, but figured a town the size of Jacksboro would have at least one joint serving smoked meats. It just happened to be one that also specializes in flavored soft serve ice cream as well.
Pulling towards the back of the parking lot, we saw the homemade brick smoker covered by a suburban seventies style carport structure. It was late afternoon on a Sunday so the fires had been out for hours. Signs on the side of the building again spelled out the many smoked meat offerings including ham and fajitas, but one placard was missing. The menu had all of the other meats accounted for, so I'll never know the one that got the ax. A smoked meat mystery.
We thought we'd had our fill of battered and fried onions, but no. These babies were thick, wide and crisp with a thin flour batter. The onions beneath were not yet translucent and offered some bite. My traveling companion and trip photographer, Nick, decided then and there to start an onion ring blog. There's no word on when it will go live. The third meat in a three meat combo is always a toss-up. I'll always try brisket and ribs and save the third meat for a regional specialty, an unusual meat offering or a staff recommendation. On this day the staff recommended the sausage which ended up being a very boring Eckrich quality kielbasa. This girl didn't know good sausage, but in her defense she spent most of the day adding flavored syrups to soft serve. Luckily, ribs and brisket were both very much commendable. St. Louis cut ribs were perfectly moist and tender and had a decent bark with a heavy powdery rub. The foremost flavor was pork with a good hint of smoke. Tightly trimmed brisket slices were a bit dry. The slices were tender enough and had a great smokiness in the black crust. This was some good brisket made better by a dip in the subtle homemade sauce which used mainly ketchup and beef broth. As we dined on the picnic table out back, we realized we had been led here so we could end this epic trip on a high note before making our way back into the concrete tangles of DFW, where good onion rings are hard to come by.