Friday, March 11, 2011

Crossroads Smokehouse

ARLINGTON: Crossroads Smokehouse
1006 N Collins St

Arlington, TX 76011


Open M-Thur 11-9, F-Sat 11-10, Sun 11-7-ish

Update: This joint is CLOSED.

2011: I could have sworn the newest location of the Eddie Deen chain was caddy corner of the monstrous Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, but I drove up and down the Collins Street looking for Crossroads Smokehouse with no luck. I had to stop in a nearby parking lot to look up the directions only to realize that it was hidden behind the Walgreen's and Panda Express that I'd seen a few blocks back. Pulling into the parking lot I could see the banner hanging from the storefront, evidence of the joint's young age. Just inside the doors, a pair of bright new shiny Southern Pride pits sit prominently along with the rest of the kitchen equipment behind a glass display window.

A few minutes after sitting down to a hefty three meat plate of hot links, ribs and brisket, pitmaster Brent Deen sat down with me to chat. I knew him from multiple visits to Smokey's in Fort Worth, but he'd been recently relegated to Jackson Street BBQ in Kaufman for the past few months before being tapped by dad to come open this latest location. They opened on Super Bowl weekend, and have had steady business since. Brent explained his preference for the baby backs rather than the spare ribs served a Smokey's, but the seasoning varied little. A post-smoking brown sugar glaze gave a nice counterpoint to the cayenne and black pepper heat in the rub. These ribs were perfectly tender and smoky, and I have vowed to try and replicate them at home (I'll let you know how that goes next weekend). Hot links here are just as juicy and flavorful as those at Smokey's, but they no longer get them from Costco. Rather, they now go straight to the source to cut out the middleman. Brisket slices from the flat had good smoke and great flavor from the same rub that goes on the ribs. Not enough fat was left on these slices, and they were just a tad dry, but this was good eating brisket.

I inquired further about the Southern Prides, which I'm not usually a huge fan of. Brent explained that all of the briskets that make their way to the multiple Eddie Deen locations around the region start in giant rotisserie smokers in their Terrell commissary. After five or so hours in these wood fired J&R manufacturing smokers, they are packed up and shipped to each location, and finished in each store's on site smoker. Brent explained that he understood the negative opinions of Southern Pride smokers, but assured me that they use plenty of wood in their gas fired behemoths. The truth was in the quality of the meat, and it looks like the family business has another location to be proud of. Now if they'd just get a Dallas location opened.

Rating ****
Eddie Deen's Crossroads Smokehouse on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I found the Brisket lacking in smoke and rub. But the guy said they don't shoot for an intense smokiness.

Doug Zedler said...

I would not be able to give Crossroads any more than three stars. And they would win the third star because of the very good ribs. My brother-in-law and I went this past weekend. I ordered an Eli plate (two meat) and asked for sliced brisket and ribs. The guy taking my order asked if I wanted lean or fatty. This was a good sign, I thought. I asked for fatty. But the brisket was not very good. Now, it was cooked very well - very tender and juicy - completely edible. But, slices were trimmed of all bark and devoid of smoke. I actually took my plate up to the front and asked for some slices with bark. They were very nice about it, told me to hold on to what I had, and they would bring out some more. They brought some from the flat which had the fat cap on it but absolutely no seasoning and, not surprisingly, still no smoke. The manager came by to talk and said that they don't put a rub on the briskets per Eddie Deen's instructions. Ribs were another story. They were cooked excellently and had great flavor due to the rub you described, but like the brisket, not much smoke. Similar to some of my trips to Smokey's, the chicken breast soaked up the most smoke, and the hot links were good, too. Having said all that, the staff were very friendly and accommodating. They brought out the extra brisket when I asked for it, gave us some chicken breast to try gratis, and spent some time at our table to talk about barbecue. Very nice folks.

Rib Bone said...

Ate there today. As described by the earlier reviews, but they've either added a buffet or prior reviewers didn't mention it. For about the price of a two-meat plate off the menu, you can get all you care to eat with the meat freshly carved to order, not just dumped on a steam table. As I've said in my other comments, I'm not a brisket or sausage fan so will express no opinion on those, but the baby backs were extremely good. I prefer my ribs without much flavor from the rub and thus found the rub a bit of a distraction (though a tasty one), but the rib meat was superb, perfectly tender with a bit of smoke. For that reason, I like Smokey's (their sister outlet on Lancaster in Fort Worth) spareribs and Off The Bone's (Forest Hill) baby backs a bit more, but Crossroads' are so close in quality that once that's combined with Crossroads' all-you-can-eat deal it makes a dining choice between the three very difficult indeed.

Rib Bone said...

Post-closing comment: The demise of this place is a blow to Tarrant County, and especially Arlington, 'cue. Not much of a surprise, however: I was in there for lunch three times on weekdays, the gold rush time for most BBQ places, and it was a ghost town every time, with more help than customers. Though the location close to the stadiums was good in theory, not being able to be seen from either of the adjacent major streets was, I'm sure, it's downfall. Mr. Eddie please find an old DQ or defunct Sonic somewhere else in Arlington to do your magic: We need you back.


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.