Over the years, readers have asked the Posse for barbecue joint recommendations. Those requests have increased recently with the Final Four of the NCAA men's basketball tournament headed to North Texas.
So, here is our list of best places in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. None of them is more than an hour's drive from AT&T Stadium. The closest is right across the street.
One reader asked what may be the ultimate question this year for barbecue fans who also enjoy a little college basketball:
Pecan Lodge or Hutchins?
Our answer: Figure out how to eat at both. These are probably the two best joints in the area and among the top handful in the state. The other places on our list -- written by Chris Wilkins and Phil Lamb -- are good, too.
Enjoy, especially you fans from Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
The Best BBQ Joints in DFW
(In alphabetical order)
Baby Back Shak/Dallas: The Shak is a long-time Posse favorite. The ribs are among the best in Dallas and the service is great, too. Don't miss the boudin, you can order it as a plate or a side.
Baby Back Shak, 1800 South Akard St., Dallas, 214-428-7427. Open Mon-Thurs 11am-5:45pm, Fri-Sat 11am-6:45pm.
BBQ on the Brazos/Cresson: If you smoke it, they will drive. Fast. The brisket is worth the trip all by itself. If there were a North Texas BBQ tournament, BBQ on the Brazos would be our "sleeper pick" to make the Final Four. Dangerously good BBQ that might be able to hang with the best operations around.
BBQ on the Brazos, 9001 E Hwy 377, Cresson, 817-396-4758. Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-3pm, Sat 9am-3pm or until the meat runs out.
Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse/Arlington:
Here's your go-to joint before the big games at Cowboys Stadium. Located catercorner from the stadium, you can enjoy great BBQ and an ice cold beer before cheering on your team. Don't miss the sampler platter, you and several friends can try all their meats for a great price.
Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse, 1004 N Collins St, Arlington, 817-795-6900. Open Mon-Sat 11am-3pm or until the meat runs out. (Crossroads will be adding evening hours during the Final Four weekend & beginning April 15, 2014)
Hard Eight BBQ/Coppell: Not quite the BBQ served by the elite programs, but consistently solid BBQ located 10 minutes from DFW airport. Fantastic atmosphere with plenty of TVs, cold beer, and an outdoor patio make Hard Eight a great place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Hard Eight BBQ, 688 Freeport Pkwy, Coppell, 972-471-5462. Open Mon-Thurs 10:30am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10:30am-10pm, Sun 10:30am-6pm.
Hutchins BBQ/McKinney: Hutchins is quickly becoming one of the best BBQ joints in the state. Owner Tim Hutchins and crew are combining tremendous BBQ with superb service at a great price. Don't miss the free peach cobbler or banana pudding after you finish your three-meat platter.
Hutchins BBQ, 1301 N Tennessee St, McKinney, 972-548-2629. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9:30pm.
Jambo's BBQ Shack/Rendon: Open less than a year, legendary competition pit master Jamie Geer has already made his mark on the Texas BBQ restaurant scene. Don't miss the Jambo Texan, words can't describe the most amazing sandwich in all of Texas BBQ.
Jambo's BBQ Shack, 5460 E FM 1187, Rendon, 817-478.2277. Open Tues-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm or until the meat runs out.
Lockhart Smokehouse/Dallas & Plano: A meat mecca with joints located in one of Dallas' hottest neighborhoods and the quaint downtown of one of the metro area's largest suburbs. Don't miss the beef ribs and the burnt ends and if you have a big group, ask about the Shiner Platter.
Lockhart Smokehouse, 400 W. Davis, Dallas, 214-944-5521. Open every day from 11am til they're done. They also have a location at 1026 E. 15th St. in Plano.
Longoria's BBQ/Everman: At Longoria's you'll be treated like family. Don't be surprised if pit master David Longoria takes you on an impromptu tour of the pits. And don't miss the brisket sausage, it may be one of the best sausages you've ever tasted.
Longoria’s BBQ, 100 Christopher, Everman, 827-568-9494. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-7pm, Sat 10:30am-4pm.
Mac's Bar-B-Que/Dallas: Mac's has been open nearly 60 years and still has a full dining room at lunch every day. That's a testament to second-generation pit master Billy McDonald's skills running the smoker. Don't miss the brisket frito pie, it's a Texas classic, and the French fries are considered some of the best in town.
Mac's Bar-B-Que, 3933 Main St, Dallas, 214-823-0731. Open Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm.
Meshack's Bar-B-Que Shack/Garland: Unquestionably the best BBQ on the east side of Dallas-Fort Worth. Bring a chair or plan on getting your BBQ "to go." Cash only. Don't miss the family pack. It's not on the menu, but the last time we got it, it included brisket, sausage, ham, and -- we think -- some ribs, as well as a side of beans .
Meshack's Bar-B-Que Shack, 240 E. Ave. B, Garland, 214-227-4748. Open Tues-Sat 10:30am-until the meat runs out.
Pecan Lodge/Dallas: This joint in the Farmer's Market has taken the DFW BBQ scene by storm. Pit master Justin Fourtin is putting out some of the best smoked meat in the state. You may have a to stand in line, but it's well worth it. Don't miss the brisket, it's world class and put Pecan Lodge on the Texas BBQ map.
Pecan Lodge, 1010 South Pearl Expressway, Farmer's Market Shed #2, Dallas, 214-748-8900. Open: Wed-Sun 11am-3pm or until the meat runs out.
The Slow Bone/Dallas: Jack Perkins took the major success of his burger joint, Maple & Motor, and applied it to BBQ. The sides are on par with the meats, which are really good across the board. Don't miss the brisket, it's some of the best in town.
The Slow Bone, 2234 Irving Blvd., Dallas, 214-377-7727. Open daily 11am-3pm.
Work Bar & Grill/Dallas: Looking for the combination good BBQ and a great bar? Work Bar & Grill is your place. Pitmaster Doug Pickering has brought his "sugar cookie" brisket to the hip neighborhood of Deep Ellum. Don't miss the brisket sliders.
Work Bar & Grill, 2618 Elm Street, Dallas, 214-699-6959. Open Thurs 5pm-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-10pm, Mon 8pm-2am, closed Tues-Wed.
Click here to see a Google map of our favorite BBQ joints around the state.