It's probably the most common question I get from visitors to Texas. Recently, a reader asked: I'm planning a golf trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Where can I find great barbecue?
The short answer: Just about everywhere you go, you can find good BBQ in the Lone Star State, especially beef brisket. But there are some joints that are better than others. Here's a rundown of some of my favorites (with a little help from my local colleagues) in the DFW area.
Pecan Lodge heads the list
Barbecue is pretty much like women (or men, for my female audience); it's pretty subjective and everyone has different tastes. But for my money -- and there are quite a few who would agree with me -- Pecan Lodge might be the best.
Located near Stevens Park and Tenison Park golf courses, the Pecan Lodge is moving in the first half of 2014 from the Dallas Farmers Market, where the lines to get barbecue were typically an hour or more, to a new location in Deep Ellum. The thing about the Pecan Lodge is that it's not just one item that's outstanding. Almost everyone will find something they love on the menu, from its outstanding brisket and fried chicken to its award-winning and mouth-watering mac and cheese.
If you find yourself in the Grapevine area, perhaps playing Grapevine Golf Course, Indian Creek Golf Club, Cowboys Golf Club or even Luna Vista Golf Course, head over to Coppell to check out the grub at Hard Eight BBQ (there are also locations in Stephenville and Roanoke). Cooked in a pit with mesquite wood, everything's great, but make sure to check out the shrimp poppers, jalapeno sourdough buns and incredible beans.
Planning a round at Firewheel, Waterview or Woodbridge golf clubs? Then you might want to head over to Meshack's Bar-B-Que in Garland. How good is this place? There's no seating at this stand-alone barbecue shack, so take-out is the only way to go. Yet, it's not uncommon to see folks sitting outside eating in their cars.
If you're headed to Colonial Country Club for the PGA Tour's Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth or are lucky enough to get to play there, then you'll want to check out Cooper's in the Stockyards in Fort Worth. It might not be as good as the original in Llano, but you'll enjoy the ribs, brisket and sausage there. Plus, it's a great spot. Be sure to check out the daily cattle drive there every evening.
And finally, Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, north of Dallas, just made it into the top-50 list of best BBQ joints in Texas, according to Texas Monthly Magazine. So if you're playing courses like WestRidge Golf Course, Plantation Golf Club and Ridgeview Ranch, be sure to stop by afterward for the pecan wood smoked brisket. Best of all, if you're really hungry, which we all tend to be after 18 or 36 holes, they've got an all-you-can-eat option for $16.59.