I was in Dallas this week for the T3CON10 Dallas TYPO3 conference. As am a barbeque fanatic, I was eager to sample Texas fare. I know that Texas barbeque is not the same as in South Carolina, so was looking forward to brisket in particular. We went to two barbeque places. The night I got in, I met up with our Chief Technical Officer and his wife. I am from South Carolina, the CTO is from the Netherlands, and Karina, his wife, is from Ecuador. We are all foodies.
Red, Hot & Blue
5910 N Mac Arthur Blvd
Irving, TX 75039
Two-stars – don’t bother
We had no clue where to go, so I googled barbeque in Dallas. The only 5-star review I could find was for a place called Red, Hot & Blue in Irving. I don’t know who rated this place 5-stars, but they should be shot. I had pulled pork and brisket. The brisket came with sauce already on it and the pulled pork had a plastic commercial sauce container next to it. First thing is that this place is a franchise and looks like one. No franchise restaurant has even been able to produce good barbeque (or food or any kind, for that matter). Strike One. The brisket was overcooked and dry. Even worse, that sauce was disgusting, sickly sweet heavy sauce that tasted terrible. Strike Two. Luckily, the sauce wasn’t put over the pulled pork. I opened the container and it was the same disgusting sauce. Strike three. The plain pulled pork wasn’t 5-star, but it wasn’t bad, at least there was something I could eat. My companions both had brisket and weren’t impressed. So much for a first impression of Texas barbeque.
Hard Eight BBQ
688 Freeport Pkwy
Coppell, TX 75019
One-star – run away
The next night, we went as a group to Hard Eight Barbeque, it was what appeared to be a Dallas institution. The Germans in our group (half of us) had been there at last year’s conference and loved it. The place was impressive, a lot of barbeque pits and wood, but none were operating. Red flag one. They sold meat by the pound, serving it all from a grill. Choices included ribs, brisket, chicken and jalapenos wrapped in bacon, Chorizo sausage, corn on the cob, potato salad and more. They advertised pulled pork, but had none. There was a pan of great looking skins and other pork residue they told me was trash when I asked for some. That was too bad. I ended up with ribs and a beef, bell pepper and onion kebab. My friends had the chicken and sausage, brisket, and other things.
The ribs were excellent, the only highlight of the meal. Tender, falling off the bone, a bit too much rub, but still quite tasty. The kebabs were inedible, beef, peppers and onions all tough as shoe leather. I couldn’t even eat it and this stuff was not inexpensive. People around me said the brisket was dry and that the chicken was merely “OK.” The potato salad was horrible. I am not sure what was in it, but I couldn’t eat more than a couple of bites.
I am sure Texas has some good barbeque, but I haven’t found it yet.
Here are a couple pics of part of the group.