You might have seen a news story that Cattleack BBQ is going to be featured on a new Food Network show called Incredible Edible America with the Dunhams, starring comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his wife Audrey, a food blogger.
Each show is centered around one city and the one of the shows is about Dallas.
The series premieres June 5, but we don’t know yet exactly when the Dallas episode is scheduled to air.
I was asked by Cattleack owners Todd and Misty David to attend one of the taping days, which were shot over three days in February.
On the day I attended, there were only about a dozen of us “customers” and the shots were mostly about the Toddfather sandwich and beef ribs.
Several customers were featured and interviewed by the Dunhams, but I wasn’t one of them.
That’s fine with me though, I happily remained at a table in the background, eating a beef rib and a few sides.
The crew was very nice and it was strange being in the restaurant when it wasn’t full to the brim with people eating barbecue. We were asked to not say anything about the taping until the show was announced.
Cattleack has been popular for a while now, and since its expansion of the seating area and serving line, the popularity has exploded.
A couple Fridays ago I tried to sneak in at 1:30pm for a late lunch and they were totally sold out of everything. Part of me is happy for Todd and Misty, but I wasn’t thinking happy thoughts as I walked out of Cattleack BBQ without lunch.
The next week I was determined to get there earlier, so I arrived at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. The line was still pretty long, and by the time I got to the front of the line it was just past 1 p.m. and all they had left to sell was brisket.
The guy in line right in front of me bought the last of the pork ribs. The specials, pastrami beef ribs and smoked bologna, were long gone.
Todd told me he’d increased the number of Thursday briskets from 28 to 36, but it still didn’t last past about 1:15 p.m., so learn from my experiences and get there early.
The TV show and the latest Texas Monthly Top 50 list, coming soon, will only make the lines longer.
Todd really has his meats dialed in and everything is tasting great. He’s a rarity in top-tier Texas BBQ pitmasters, in that he not only does the prep and cooking, he also cuts every customer's order himself. I can’t think of many other pitmasters who do that, but Todd does have the advantage of only being open two days a week.
Aaron Franklin started out on the board every day, but he told the Posse a while back that if he’s cutting, he can turn a two-hour line into a four-hour line. Talking to each customer is time consuming, but it’s the best way to learn about a pitmaster and their personality and cooking style.
Todd was telling me this week he’s determined to cook whole hog a little more frequently than once a month, like he does now. He said he’d like to tweak his hog technique and waiting a month between cooks is too long. He needs a few more frequent hog cooks to get his recipe where he thinks it ought to be. I’m betting we’ll see whole hog sneak into the weekly specials before too long.
Todd is a great host, and his line still moves pretty quick. Don’t let a long line deter you. The waiting is all indoors now and from back to front, it’s less than an hour’s wait, as I calculated.
Cattleack BBQ, 13628 Gamma Road, Dallas, 972-805-0999. Open: Thurs & Fri 10:30am-2pm & the first Sat. of the month 10:30am-3pm. Website: www.cattleackbbq.com