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The Best Barbecue in Dallas: Author Daniel Vaughn, the BBQ Snob, Speaks

(Don't you want to flip the D up and get a look at this dude?)

Over the next few weeks, Daniel Vaughn, the BBQ Snob, will post some of his thoughts here on SideDish. Feel free to ask him questions or question his picks. Ladies and gentlemen, and I use the terms loosely, Mr. BBQ Snob.

Only Sixteen?

When we first discussed doing a “Best of BBQ” list, D Magazine of course wanted to know if we could do the list with just joints in Dallas. Knowing that would make for a very short article, I proposed that we expand it to the greater DFW area. Any true ‘cue geek will travel for great barbecue, so I wasn’t shy about listing joints as far as Red Oak since I know Randy’s has the goods, but getting any deeper than 16 could have meant a watered down line-up. To whittle down the list, I started with all of the posts on my blog, Full Custom Gospel Barbecue, that related to places in the area to determine which places that had visited showed promise. Then it was time to buckle down and research every remaining joint I could find in DFW. This wasn’t some review of other “Best Of” lists, we’re talking scouring phone books for obscure spots.

Jump, please.I went to as many as possible, and returned to those that showed promise so that I could gauge their consistency. Once I had the final list, I made sure to make one more visit to each for final rankings. Simply put, even with four visits to Off the Bone, a substandard morsel of smoked meat never entered this pie hole. That’s what put them at the top.  Sure, the list is skewed towards joints that use all-wood smokers, but the rankings were all based on the taste of the meat, and those that used gas-fired smokers generally turned out inferior smoked protein. I had my fair share of potato salad and fried okra, but the meat was the important part here, and nobody’s cobbler, no matter how good, helped break any ties. Many miles, dollars, and Tums later, I was satisfied enough in my research to rank them #1 to #16.

The magazine with Vaughn’s barbecue list, with gorgeous photos by Kevin Marple,  is on newsstands today. It’s also online. Read it and let’s discuss.

  • http://www.eatingindallas.wordpress.com Margie

    Somehow my little lunch salad doesn’t sound so good anymore.

    If I buy a copy of the magazine will it have all the adresses and phone numbers?

  • http://www.eatingindallas.wordpress.com Margie

    Forget it. I found the info. Click on the name, right?

  • http://www.eatingindallas.wordpress.com Margie

    So, looks like FW has Dallas beat bad!

  • Matt

    The map links didn’t work right for me for the most part.

    I surely agree on the few I’ve been to — North Main and Angelo’s in particular. I wonder if he hit Clark’s Outpost in Tioga — I haven’t been there in a few years, but it was always fantastic. And it’s as close to Dallas as some of the FW ones he lists.

  • luniz

    Matt: **** for Clark’s, but he didn’t include it in the list. Too far I suppose.

    http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/clarks-outpost.html

  • http://www.fullcustomgospelbbq.com Daniel Vaughn

    We tried to feature just those joints within DFW. I have been to Clark’s and enjoyed it very much, so I included it in my list of joints to seek out within an hour(ish) of Dallas on the last page of the article.

  • Dr. L

    Nice article, and nice pics too. However, one tiny point. Bartley’s BBQ over here in little old Grapevine, only burns 100% Hickory wood.

    Dr. L.

  • Frank Wright

    Daniel, did you have to keep a big stash of wet wipes in your car to keep your keyboard clean back at the office? I’m sorry D mag didn’t give away your other profession.

  • http://www.fullcustomgospelbbq.com Daniel

    I did all the work for this article at home, and believe me, my wife made me take a shower when I got back from an all-day BBQ bender. During the work week, I’m an architect at GFF in Dallas.

  • chris

    Did you make it over to Hard Eight in Coppell? If so what were your opinions?

    I love that place, and cant believe it didn’t make the top 10. It is some of the best bbq I’ve had in Dallas.

  • DUSTIN

    CANNOT BELIEVE HE VISITED ALL THESE PLACES.
    I’VE BEEN A CLARK’S OUTPOST FAN ALL MY LIFE AND I KNOW THEY STOPPED SERVING SMOKED TROUT WHICH WAS IN HIS COMMENTS TWO YEARS AGO BECAUSE IT COST THEM TO MUCH TO HAVE IT FLOWN IN.

  • luniz

    chris Hard Eight isn’t nearly consistent enough to be ranked top 10. They do the Central Texas style pits, but the pitmasters aren’t of the same level of skill as most of these other places.