|The Tuesday lunch crowd at MeShack's Bar-Be-Que Shack in Garland. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
It had been too long, so I went out to visit old BBQ friends in Garland on Tuesday.
Travis and Donna Mayes opened the now legendary Meshack's Bar-Be-Que Shack in May 2009. They led the way to a renaissance of Dallas barbecue that has been exhilarating, including the opening of Pecan Lodge and Lockhart Smokehouse. New joints continue to open in the D/FW area almost monthly now, some good, some bad.
BBQ snob Daniel Vaughn put MeShack's on the map in late 2009, giving them his first four-star rating in the D/FW area. We made the first of many visits there in March 2010, thrilled to find a great BBQ joint within driving distance of downtown Dallas for lunch.
After dining on brisket sandwiches and burnt ends on my tailgate on Tuesday, Marshall Cooper and I got a chance to catch up with Donna and Travis.
The crowds are still coming in waves to MeShack's, with Saturdays being downright crazy. Travis estimates he goes through over 600 pounds of meat on an average Saturday. For comparison, he cooks 350-375 pounds on Tuesdays.
The accolades continue as well. In September 2012, CNN's food editor Kate Krader named MeShack's one of the top six BBQ joints that are good for tailgating in the U.S.
In November, Travis went Hollywood appearing in the A&E TV show Storage Wars Texas, in an episode titled "The Ninja and the Pitmaster."
Despite their success and growth as a restaurant, Travis and Donna are as grounded and determined as ever. Come by when you get a chance for some good pecan-smoked Texas BBQ, cooked the old fashioned way.
Meshack's Bar-B-Que Shack, 240 E. Ave. B, Garland, Texas. Open Tues-Sat 10:30am-until the meat runs out.
|Pitmaster and owner Travis Mayes talks the gospel of Texas BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
|Sliced brisket sandwich with a burnt end on top. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
|Travis uses pecan wood to smoke some of the best BBQ in D/FW. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
|Word to the wise: The parking at MeShack's can be crazy, especially on Friday & Saturday. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins)|