Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Barbecue report: Pecan Lodge at Dallas Farmers Market
This might just be the finest brisket in the Dallas city limits.
DALLAS You'd think a BBQ joint named Pecan Lodge smokes with pecan wood. Nope. Okay, so they serve pecans in some form? No to that too. Owner and pitmaster Justin Fourton named it after a ranch that was in his family long ago, and he insists on using mesquite in his custom-made mobile smoker.
His wife and co-owner, Diane, helps create all of the savory side items and tempting sweets. You can learn more about this couple's journey towards Pecan Lodge in a great article in Edible DFW.
Before their opening in March, Shed #2 at the Farmer's Market was looking pretty bare. Now it seems to be packed with mini storefronts offering everything from BBQ, pizza, cakes, wine, tamales, grass-fed beef, and sausages. The design of Pecan Lodge gives it a real presence as you enter the renovated shed, and with all the tables in front of the main counter, it feels like a regular restaurant. Now let's get down to the meat.
This might just be the finest brisket in the Dallas city limits. The mesquite smoke was evident, but had been subdued to the perfect level by timely foil wrapping in the pit. The crust was nicely formed and helped deliver the punch of intense flavors that ran through each slice. A beautifully deep smokering capped the top of each tender slice from the flat, and a thin line of nicely rendered fat was left along the bottom for extra flavor. Ribs were nearly as good, but were sullied a bit by the sauce brush. Their sauce is definitely homemade, and has a spicy, grainy earthiness that I think goes better with the brisket than the ribs. However, the restrained sauce application allowed the smokiness of the meat to shine through. The ribs could have been more tender and moist, but they were well smoked and flavorful.
The sides were also great. Mac & cheese was creamy and cheesy, and it had bacon on top. Nice touch. The beans were also plenty meaty with shredded brisket blended into the well seasoned beans. After a great meal, I got a behind the scenes look at the smoker out back with Justin. There wasn't a propane tank in sight, just stacks of mesquite wood.
I had to make a return trip just to verify that it was really this good. Justin was working the counter at lunchtime on a Friday, so I was spotted immediately. They had just rolled out a new (wider) menu, and Justin was trying a new rib glaze. My friends tried the shredded brisket tacos and the brisket stuffed sweet potato known as the "hot mess." They all were more than happy with their orders, but I went right back to the brisket and ribs (which usually aren't available on Friday).
The brisket was nearly identical to the previous week's offering, but the ribs had shown improvement. Instead of the house sauce, there was a sweeter glaze, and these ribs were smoked to tenderness with plenty of moist meat and well rendered fat. Crispy okra was a great accompaniment. I'm glad this joint is just a few minutes from my office. I have a feeling I might become a regular.
Pegasus News Content partner - Full Custom Gospel BBQ
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