Wednesday, February 27, 2008

BBBBQ in the Fort

Spring is approaching, our winter fat is melting away and its time to show some skin. But seeing as how we're from Texas, our bodies need to match our identity. That means its time to load up on BBQ and put on our "summer coats" of blubber.

BBBBQ - Best Bar B Que in the Fort. The extra B is for BYOBB. That extra B is a typo (you saw that coming didn't you?).

A suggestion by one of the lawyer friends spawned an idea. What if a few people tried a bunch of BBQ places in the Fort and then reported their findings. A no holds bar (b que) showdown.

Spring is approaching which means summer is almost here. These times always make me think of BBQ and driving around the Hill Country and listening to some Texas Country and wearing boots and tubin' and all that good stuff. So, somebody in this town has to get off their duff and let everybody know where to go. Off my duff I'll go.

I've already compiled a small list but I need more recommendations. Let me know if you have a favorite place or if you have heard of a place. Anyplace within 100 miles of downtown is fair game. I think 100 miles is fair because its close enough that I would be willing to go on a Saturday, but not so far that you'd drive all day long (we may have different perceptions of what a long drive is but this is my blog). We'll have a side article about places beyond that scope, but for now lets focus on places accessible with ease. Let me know if your place has a specialty that we need to try.

The current list I have includes the following: Railhead, Angelos, that small place downtown, Risky's, Longorias, The Smoke Pit, Hard Eight (Coppell), and The Feed Store (Southlake). I know there are more so give me what you've got. I would prefer to stay away from the big chains but if they have roots in Fort Worth, they're fair game. The only rule is that we have to be able to eat at the original (it must be w/in 100 miles). We're looking for BBQ places, and not places that just happen to have BBQ on the menu. BBQ needs to be the focus. Don't recommend Cracker Barrel, because then I'll be forced to write some polite reply that isn't sincere.

The judging will be based on the following: Chopped or Sliced beef sandwich, ribs, beans, one cold side (probably potato salad), cobbler (if its cheap), beer availability, overall price, ambiance, and intangibles. Intangibles are really wrapped into the ambiance, but we're going to separate that out so that we can point out some of the neat things these places have.

So, give me your suggestions within the next month or so. We'll have a full report out in early April so you've got plenty of time. If you eat at a place when they're catering for an event, get me their location because I want to eat at the actual restaurant and review it based on that (Longoria's at Rahr doesn't count).

I will continue to have other updates, but this is a side project I'll be working on with the help of some hungry friends. Feel free to rate the above items on a scale of 1-10 and we'll include those in the results.

If you're afraid of posting comments please email me at


Rena--Museum Educator said...

"Up in Smoke" in Keller...gotta try it!

Jason Hammer said...

I've been trying different BBQ places in Fort Worth to find the best and while I still haven't tried them all, I will say the best ribs are at Mom's BBQ, hands-down. In fact they are some of the best I have had anywhere. The banana pudding will knock your socks off as well. I can't say much for the atmosphere, but really you won't care. You eat that BBQ and you'll be in heaven

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Jason, where is Mom's BBQ?

Thats two new places to the list. And dessert options like banana pudding will be included in the testing if its the restaurant's specialty.

Thanks to both of you for the suggestions.

Joe said...

Your list is incomplete at best until you try Robinson's BBQ on Berry, east of I35.

I get the 2x 1/2 chicken plate. What makes Robinson's so good? I don't even like chicken all that much but what they do to it makes chicken so tasty.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

I was emailed a list of places that included Robinson's so we'll make sure to include it.

Thanks Joe.

Bryan said...

Hickory Stick in Everman, on Enon just east of Forest Hill Drive.

Great ribs, great sliced beef, good beans, and the measuring stick for any BBQ joint, bologna.

Steve said...

I would be extremely remiss if I didn't offer up my teenage employers: Cousins. Go to the original on McCart and have Cliff slice your beef. Their sides are ordinary, but the sliced is is the cobbler. The beer is cold, but it's more of a family atmosphere than, say, Angelo's.

I haven't been, but I've heard great things about that little joint across Horne from Edmonson's...just a smidge south of Camp Bowie. Heard they have great links. Sorry don't know the name.

BTW, although Dallas is within 100 miles, I don't think it should be included (and probably wouldn't be anyway because there ain't no good BBQ over there.)

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Steve, thats a good call, but then that forces out Sonny Bryan's and I was looking for a reason to go over there. To Sonny Bryan's, not Dallas.

I think the ambiance score will bring into account the location. But you're right, if you're eating BBQ in uptown/downtown/dallas proper/etc, please close this window.

I mentioned the Hard Eight in Coppell. They actually have an original location in Stephenville and another in Brady. I used the Coppell lcoation because its easier for most people to find, but the Stephenville location falls within the 100 mile boundary so I'll probably be eating there.

I want to say the place you're talking about is Willie's but I'm not sure. Its on the list though.

Bryan, bologna? After watching "How Its Made" on the Discovery Channel it will be tough for me to try it but we'll see how my stomach is doing when I get there.

Anonymous said...

Wilson's is the bbq shack on Horne and Bailey's is the shack downtown. Is Hammond's in Glen Rose on the list?

Jonathan said...

Try David's BBQ in Arlington. I think it's the best around. The guy that owns it is related to Red Bryan of Red Bryan's BBQ in Dallas.

Jonathan said...

Sorry. I meant Sonny Bryan's, not Red Bryan's.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Great site !

When you get a chance, check out my links to your reviews.


FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Allen, thanks for the review. Are you one of the people that thinks blood on the burger bun is good or bad?

I'm sure my review is woefully inadequate, but I did a review on shrimp poboys in Mississippi and Alabama. But tell me, is it only tourists that eat them?

Thanks for reading

Michael Bourgon said...

You should go to:
Mom's (1509 Evans Ave, Fort Worth. Get the ribs and the banana pudding)
Chop'n'Block (chop'n block, granbury, tx. Definitely get the brisket. Ribs are usually pretty good)
Hard Eight (Stephenville)

You should skip:
Hard Eight (Coppell)

Iffy: the bbq shack in downtown. I've been once or twice, and it SMELLS so good.... but the actual BBQ doesn't come close to matching that. Which is a damn shame.

cdees39 said...

Went to Mom's for lunch today. Ribs are out of this world!! The banana pudding was incredible. I bought smothered pork chops to bring home and some sweet potatoe pie to try out.

Zee said...

Mark Dean's BBQ in Azle is my favorite BBQ place. Their chopped sandwiches are great. Be sure to try the Azle Fries if you go. Mark Dean's is right off of Jacksboro Hwy (199), Stewart St. exit.

My second favorite BBQ place is Cousin's. The original is on McCart.


Anonymous said...

Mark Dean's BBQ in Azle is my favorite BBQ place. Their chopped sandwiches are great. Be sure to try the Azle Fries if you go. Mark Dean's is right off of Jacksboro Hwy (199), Stewart St. exit.

My second favorite BBQ place is Cousin's. The original is on McCart.


Steve said...

There's a Sonny Bryan's up by Alliance Airport. That could prevent the trip to Dallas.

If it means anything, there used to be a Sonny Bryan's by the Tandy Center Ice Rink...judge for yourself if this is something you really want to pursue.

I'm also aware there's a Cousin's in Terminal D at DFW. But Terminal D has been pretty discriminating to gather local representatives. It's funny, when I worked for Cousin's from 84-88, they always talked about expanding but would never pull the trigger. I think I know why they have, but that's not for discussion here.

Steve said...

OK, obviously there's as many arguments about best BBQ as there are for best Mexican.

1. How will the judging be done, and
2. How can I do some of it?

cdees39 said...

The only Sonny Bryan's worth testing is the one on Inwood in Dallas. Must go there!

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Wow, this got a lot more responses than I expected. I may need some help with this expansive review because if I eat at all the places recommended, I'd get fired for never being at work.

My basic review system for this project will be to give a 1-10 rating (10 being the best) for the categories I mentioned in the post.

Feel free to email me your reviews in that manner. If there is anything you'd like to add, please let me know. For example, if the ribs tasted great but were a bit dry, factor it into your score and let me know.

Normally I don't use a scale to rate restaurants but we need some sort of standard. If you've recently eaten BBQ, go ahead and tell me about the place and I'll include it in the review.

Thanks everybody.

Michael Bourgon said...

Oh, and FWIW, I expect your top 2 will be:

At Longoria's, make sure to get the brisket sausage. And if you're really feeling hungry, get the brisket-sausage burger. Dry, but oh my.

(oh, and one or two streets down from Longoria's is Medea's Home Cooking - also quite worthy)

Brandon Hudson said...

Ditto for David's Barbeque in Arlington. And Jonathan, you had it right the first time. David Harris is a closer relation to Red Bryan. David's even has a lot of the original booths etc.

Some of the best brisket in DFW, and a true HITW, unlike many restaurants mentioned so far in the comment thread.

Dan said...

Hey, just discovered your blog today, and it's already on my RSS feed. Nice work.

Hard Eight is my favorite, and it's the place I take visitors -- one said he wanted to "take up permanent residence" there -- but I second the motion that you have to go to the one in Stephenville, not Coppell. The food is still good in Coppell, for sure, but Stpehenville has the authentic atmosphere of The Cowboy Capital of the World, as opposed to Coppell's suburbs/airport. Oh, and Stephenville has loaves of white bread on every table.

Anonymous said...

Wanna blow your mind? Wanna ruin your idea of how much meat to expect on an order? Wanna experience great hole-in-the-wall atmosphere and location? Go to Loco Coyote south of Glen Rose, Texas. Ribs fall off the bone, chicken fried steak hangs off every edge on the plate, and the onion rings! Oh my God, the onion rings! Order a cold beer or drink sweet tea out of a mason jar. This place will ruin you for going anywhere else. Get there early.

Anonymous said...

Don't miss Soda Springs in West Fort Worth off Clifford Street. Great rolls. Best hot links i have ever found. I usually buy a case of the hot links for summer BBQs at the house. Lots of atmosphere too. These folks have been serving BBQ to folks from the bomber plant (Lockheed) forever. A must try.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

For the last two anonymous posters:

1) Loco Coyote - I'll have to give that place a shot. Do you think I should go with the ribs or the CFS? Or both?

2) Soda Springs - Are they open on the weekends? I'm thinking this may be an upcoming saturday trip.

The Hard 8 in Coppell, no matter how good it is, will lose out to the one in Stephenville (and the one in Brady) purely because its in Coppell and not some smaller west Texas town. The lack of white bread on the table almost makes me want to cry.

Of course, if bread really were the end all factor, I'd just go to Joe Allen's in Abilene were they have fresh homemade bread every day. But no bread at all is an abomination of the spirit of BBQ and obesity.