We had the pleasure of checking out the latest serious BBQ player in Dallas on Friday. The Katy Trail Ice House, located on the trail near Reverchon Park, has been cooking BBQ on a huge custom-built smoker for the past two months. The results are quite impressive, especially given the short time they've been smoking meats.
Alerted by a recent blog post on written by Stephen Doyle on cravedfw, we rounded up a group and headed there for lunch. BBQ Snob Daniel Vaughn also rounded up a posse of five from nearby Good Fulton & Farrell, the architecture firm where he and photographer Nicholas McWhirter work.
We took over a table on the huge patio, named last year by D Magazine as the "Best Big Bar Patio" in Dallas. This is the kind of place you could easily spend the afternoon nibbling on some BBQ while diving into their huge beer selection. We sampled ribs and brisket, both chopped and sliced. They usually serve sausage, made for them by Rudolph's Market in Deep Ellum, but they didn't have any on this visit.
The consensus from our table of eight was two thumbs up all the way. The meats were cooked very well, with nice rub. The brisket was central Texas style, salt and pepper, and the ribs were cooked just right by my standards, very tender but not quite falling off the bone onto your plate. Posse member Phil Lamb likened the cole slaw to Salt Lick and the beans were very original, in a thick gravy.
We enjoyed meeting general manager Jimmy Fell and pitmaster Eduardo Flores. They really believe in doing things right, low and slow, and not taking shortcuts. Though neither has cooked BBQ commercially before, they each have a wealth of experience in the restaurant business. Currently, BBQ is usually only served only on Saturday & Sunday. We got lucky on this Friday, though Jimmy says they plan to expand to Fridays soon. We'll put out an update when they do.
It's hard to fully grasp a BBQ joint based on one visit, so we won't try to. Daniel mentioned he plans to make another visit of two before bestowing his coveted star rating on the Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog. Not to be too dramatic, but if Katy Trail Ice House can keep up this quality of BBQ on a consistent basis, Pecan Lodge and Lockhart Smokehouse will have some company atop the Dallas BBQ mountain.
Katy Trail Ice House, 3136B Routh Street, Dallas, 214-468-0600. Open Mon-Fri 11am–2am, Sat-Sun 10am–2am. BBQ served only on Saturday & Sunday.
|The patio at Katy Ice House was voted "Best Big Bar Patio" last year by D Magazine.|
|Pepper coats some just-sliced brisket, hot off the pit.|
|Our posse digs into a big spread of sliced & chopped brisket and ribs, along with cole slaw and beans.|
|Ribs and brisket were on the menu this Friday, they usually have sausage as well.|
|BBQ Snob Daniel Vaughan shows off a huge burnt end right before we devoured it.|
|The next day's briskets, rubbed in salt and pepper, get started on the smoker in the early afternoon.|
|Katy Ice House general manager Jimmy Fell loads more red oak wood in the smoker.|
Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse