Lunch sampling of brisket, pulled pork, beer bacon beef sausage & brisket pastrami at CattleAck BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

There may be some prophets of smoked meat, but too bad there aren't more poets.

The Posse could have used one last Saturday because the smoked pastrami that Todd David served at CattleAck Barbecue deserved an ode, if not a sonnet.

"That's the barbecue gauntlet right there," Posse member Bryan Gooding said of the pastrami. "Everybody else is going to have to figure out how to do it."

Sliced from the lean end, the meat glistened on the tray. Salty with a hint of sweet, the taste lingered pleasantly long after swallowing.

Cattleack, located on Gamma Road not far from the Dallas Galleria, is usually open only Thursdays and Fridays for lunch. But David has been staging some special Saturdays lately.

This past Saturday was particularly special. In addition to the pastrami, David served whole hog, as well as brisket, sausage and smoked bologna.

Pitmaster Todd David points out the Saturday menu for diners.

Posse members started going to Cattleack right after it opened two years ago. Jim Rossman, in fact, might have been the first blogger to review the joint.

"The beef was perfectly cooked and the fat had rendered into that silky-salty state that we’re all searching for," he wrote in May 2013. "This was really good brisket."

Since then, we've been back many times, particularly Rossman, who says he eats at Cattleack about three times a month.

"There's nobody better in town," Rossman said of David. "He's all around, too. Not just brisket and ribs. He's always willing to experiment."

He got no argument Saturday from the three other Posse members in attendance. We loved the pastrami, the brisket, the pork and the sausage.

Notice the wording: "Nobody better." That means the Posse is putting Cattleack in the same category as Pecan Lodge, ranked among the top joints in the state by Texas Monthly.

That's elite company.

Initially, Cattleack was open one day a week for take-out lunches. Now, it's normally open two days, with eat-in seating. David and his wife, Misty, also run a catering business.

Made from brisket, pastrami is cured in brine, rubbed with spices and smoked. It's very popular in New York-style delis.

"I've never heard about it in a barbecue place," Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said.

I liked the pastrami so much that I ordered a pound to go. We ate some -- re-heated -- with dinner Saturday night and I made a cold pastrami sandwich, with a slice of raw onion, for lunch on Sunday.

Best sandwich I've had in a long, long time. Can't say that about cold brisket.

CattleAck BBQ, 13628 Gamma Road, Dallas, 972-499-0999. Open: Thurs & Fri 10:30am-2pm. Website:

Todd David works the cutting board on a busy Saturday at Cattleack BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)
Brisket and two kinds of brisket pastrami, fatty & lean, sit on the Cattleack cutting board. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)
Pitmaster/owner Todd David also smoked a whole hog for the Saturday special occasion. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)
Cattleack BBQ, 13628 Gamma Rd. in Addison. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

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