ASU vs. Notre Dame Pregame: DFW’s Top 5 BBQ Restaurants


Asking a Texan to rate his or her favorite barbeque joint is like bringing up religion or politics at a family reunion. Expect a lot of passion and disagreement — if not downright fisticuffs!

Fortunately, visitors to the Lone Star State don’t have to take part in the local jawing and fighting. We can choose from a lengthy list of well known places to find brisket, ribs, sausage and other tasty fare, and then make up our own minds.

As a service to the community, Devils In Detail offers its selection of the top 5 BBQ restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This ranking will come in handy if you’re lucky enough to be here for the ASU-Notre Dame showdown.

1. Pecan Lodge

A relative newcomer to the DFW barbeque scene, Pecan Lodge has taken the Metroplex by storm. The recent awards don’t lie: 2012 Texas Monthly BBQ Newcomer, 2012/2011 D Magazine Best BBQ in Dallas and 2012/2011 Dallas Observer Best BBQ in Dallas.

Pecan Lodge has attracted a loyal following with food that’s so good, it’s off the charts. Go there for tender brisket with a mouth-watering black crust. And don’t forget to order the creamy mac and cheese on the side! The restaurant is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday, but meats usually run out before 3 pm. Get there before it opens just to be safe. You won’t regret the wait.

2. Cousins Bar-B-Q

What would a cow town like Fort Worth be without a true, down-to-earth Lone Star-style eatery? Cousins is a family business that’s been serving up traditional BBQ since 1983 along with all the “fixins.” Choose the Texas pork rib feast for tailgating at the big game, and make sure you include their apple cobbler.

One of the many highlights in Cousin’s history includes being selected by Euro Disney as the best representation of real, authentic American barbecue. In 1990, the restaurant’s owners were hired by Euro Disney to open Texas Bar-B-Q concepts in their popular theme park in Europe. Another feather in their caps was the opportunity to serve President H. W. Bush and his family on several occasions.

3. Longoria BBQ

Another Fort Worth favorite, Longoria’s BBQ opened in 1995 and has been winning awards ever since. The Longoria family offers a menu of smoked items that span beyond the traditional brisket and ribs, including smoked sausage, hamburgers and beef jerky, all made of brisket. The restaurant is best known for its house-made brisket sausage, a popular choice for first-timers and veterans.

4. Meshack’s Bar-B-Q

Located in the outlying community of Garland, Meshack’s Bar-B-Q is the real deal — period. This down-home carryout operation takes the concept of a barbecue joint and reduces it to its most basic element: the meat and nothing else. There are no tables at which to sit and enjoy your food, and really no ambiance of any kind. But you won’t be disappointed, especially after you catch the rich smell of pecan smoke in the air.

They also keep the menu simple at Meshack’s: besides the brisket, there are pork ribs, sausage, baked beans, potato salad, and turkey legs. Nothing fancy, but all so good.

5. Bartley’s Bar-B-Q

If you go to nearby Grapevine, Texas, don’t miss the chance to stop at Bartley’s Bar-B-Q. Known for its hickory-smoked brisket, this no-frills place has been around since 1968. It serves up heaping plates of brisket, ribs and hot link sausages, not to mention a house specialty — smoked bologna! Leave room for the pecan cobbler. It’s to die for.