We were about to leave the Pecan Lodge during our impromptu Best-of-Dallas barbecue tour Saturday when owner Diane Fourton popped the question.
"Do you guys want to sample the pulled pork?"
We felt a little sheepish. BBQ Snob Daniel Vaughn had raved about the dish when he stopped by our table earlier. But none of us had ordered it. We had been committed to the hard core staples of Texas barbecue. Nothing but brisket, ribs and sausage. (All right, a couple of us also got the fried chicken.)
Pulled pork is a new menu item for the Pecan Lodge. Diane explained that she and her husband, Justin, were trying to do a variation on a Carolina-style favorite of theirs during their college days.
"Don't go yet. I'll bring out some samples," she said.
She quickly returned with pulled pork in several small cups and toothpicks.
"I want to know what you really think," she said.
We liked it. Nice smoke flavor with just a hint of a vinegar sauce.
"You really want feedback?" asked Posse member Michael Gluckman, the general manager of Fearing's at The Ritz-Carlton.
Yes, Diane said. Honest opinion.
"If you're going for Carolina, back off the rub a little," Gluckman said. "That will allow the sauce to come through more."
Diane smiled and said she had been debating that same thing with Justin.
Someday, she said, they might even add slaw to the sandwich for even more of a Carolina feel.
Of course, Vaughn's advice after eating the pulled pork was "don't change a thing."
That must be what makes the restaurant business so interesting.
Pecan Lodge, 1010 South Pearl Expressway, Farmer's Market Shed #2, Dallas, TX, 75201, (214) 748-8900. Open: Thur-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm.
Photos by Chris Wilkins