Lockhart Smoke House
400 West Davis, Dallas, Texas 75208
New Yorkers have their slice. San Franciscans have their sourdough. Texans have their BBQ. So is it possible for a group of traveling coast dwellers to weigh in on smoked meat? We can try! The staging seemed right. The pungent aroma of woodsmoke hits you a block away. You walk in and the place is casual as all git-out. You get in line at the counter where three guys are slamming down slabs of meat like cowboys at a foodie rodeo. You order. They carve. You are handed a wrapped up package of dripping brown paper. You find a table. You score some Shiner Boks. You roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Let's just skip the "fall-off-the-bone" cliche. If it wasn't, they'd be out of business. Nor am I expert enough to tell you whether they were smokin' with aged hickory or rare alder. All I know is that the pork ribs managed to be chewy, unctuous, sublime and spicy in each and every bite. It would have been a crime to even introduce them to the tangy bbq sauce at the table. A dab of that, however, added a nice complexity to the brisket, which we ripped at with our greasy fingers, special attention to the charred bits, which had just the right amount of sinew and crunch. The baked beans had some good jalapeno heat and I think a smoky flavor, too, though based on the smell of my clothes this morning, that is unavoidable. I wish I could weigh in on the chicken and links, but they were sold out. New Yorkers and San Franciscans dine late. Texans in the know arrive early enough to sample all the goodness. We'd be wise to follow their lead.