|Diners leave 3 Stacks Smoke and Tap House in Frisco. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
It's a pretty well-known fact among meat lovers that Collin County has historically been a barbecue wasteland. There are numerous places, but mostly gasser joints cooking unmemorable fare. Nothing remotely approaching the level of Pecan Lodge, MeShack's or Lockhart Smokehouse, all located south in Dallas County.
The folks who just opened 3 Stacks Smoke and Tap House in Frisco hope to change the BBQ landscape in the land of strip malls and restaurant chains. As a resident of Plano, I have high hopes after eating there on Friday.
3 Stacks is located on the east side of Preston Road past Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, nestled behind a Hooters restaurant. It's an impressive facility, with plenty of room and a great bar. You can tell a lot of money and thought went into opening this restaurant.
|Pitmaster Trace Arnold, aka: The Rib Whisperer. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
As usual, we gravitated toward the pits before entering. They are running two big Oyler wood burners and a Southern Pride smoker. Each smoker has a large smokestack attached, thus the name of the restaurant, 3 Stacks Smoke and Tap House.
We met pitmaster Trace Arnold, also known as the “Rib Whisperer.” He held court with us at the front counter for 10 minutes or so, talking BBQ cooking techniques and explaining the approach at 3 Stacks. Arnold puts different meats in each smoker, burning a different wood combination depending on the meat.
For pork ribs and sausage, it's mesquite. Chicken and turkey are cooked with pecan. Briskets with a combination of mesquite and pecan. If you have the luxury of having three smokers, it's an interesting way to cook and makes sense because different meats can react differently to the same type of wood.
|Our lunch combo of ribs, brisket and sausage. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
As usual, we ordered the three standard Texas BBQ meats - brisket, ribs and sausage, which are all displayed in a warmed glass case at the front of the line. Meats are sold by the half-pound, most for $7.99, putting them in the same price range as Pecan Lodge and Lockhart Smokehouse. They also sell sandwiches with your choice of side for $7.99.
The ribs were the highlight for us, perfectly cooked with a nice glaze, no sauce needed. The brisket looked great and had a good smoke, though it might have benefited from a little more time in the smoker. Nevertheless, you could tell it was close to being a top-tier brisket. The sausage was good as well, with a slightly sweet taste.
The Posse is usually known for avoiding sides while testing the various meats at a new place, but we broke down and tried the mac and cheese, green bean casserole, baked beans and cheesy corn bake, which was a huge hit with our group of three. All their sides are made from fresh ingredients and you can tell from the first bite.
The service is really good too. You can tell this staff, at all levels, is on a mission to make you feel welcome while working hard to make 3 Stacks a success. We wish them well, as Collin County can really use a great BBQ joint......
3 Stacks Smoke and Tap House, 4226 Preston Rd, Frisco, 469-287-9035. Open Sun-Mon 11am-10pm, Tues-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am.
|The Warm Apple Crumble was hard to resist as well. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
|For beer connoisseurs, 3 Stacks has 36 choices on tap. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
|Woodpiles of pecan and mesquite in the smoker area. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|