Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dallas is Changing Its Mind About BBQ

A couple of weeks ago I wrote for Texas Monthly about a renaissance in the barbecue scene of Dallas. Today I feel vindicated with the announcement of the Dallas Observer's Best of Dallas Awards. The critics at the Observer bestowed three awards on rookie Lockhart Smokehouse for their sausage, shoulder clod and their indecisiveness, and Smoke was given a nod for the Big Rib. They then saved their big smoked meat award for Pecan Lodge which was named "Best Barbecue". These announcements themselves are not groundbreaking. Any critics paying attention in this town know that these two joints are raising the bar for barbecue. Just two months ago D Magazine beat the Observer to the punch with recognition for Pecan Lodge, but that pesky "Reader's Choice" award in the August issue of D was for Sonny Bryan's once again.

As I read through the results in the Observer today, I wholly expected to see Dickey's or Sonny Bryan's listed in their Reader's Choice section just like they have been since the list began twelve years ago (Dickey's with six and Sonny Bryan's with five). Then I saw it on the page. The readers showed a liking for some serious barbecue, and more votes were cast for Lockhart Smokehouse than any other tired barbecue joints that had stopped striving for excellence years ago. Back in that Texas Monthly column, I said "Dallas diners hopefully will soon demand nothing short of great BBQ", and now I'm beginning to think we all are getting to be a discerning bunch. Good work Dallas, and keep it up. I'm proud of you.

- BBQ Snob

1 comment:

Gipson said...

Hey, maybe next time one of those TV food shows does Dallas BBQ, they'll do Lockhart or Pecan Lodge and not Sonny Bryan's ... again.


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.