EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re sorry to report that Flores Barbecue has closed effective Sept. 2019, after moving to a new location in Fort Worth.
The Posse recently loaded up the truck and headed south from Dallas to Flores Barbecue, located in Whitney. Flores had been on our radar since making Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ list in 2017, a big accomplishment for a trailer operation that started in the small town with a population of 2,090 in October 2016.
We were not disappointed. Flores is definitely a top tier joint that’s easily accessible for anyone driving on Interstate 35 through Hillsboro. Just exit on Hwy. 22 and head west, you’ll be there in 10 minutes or so.
Flores should seriously be considered as a DFW destination BBQ joint. We made it in a little over an hour from north Arlington and were greeted by a short line at 11:15 a.m. on a Saturday. Given the lines you can encounter at several of DFW’s more popular barbecue restaurants, you can spend the same time by getting in the car, seeing some countryside and then enjoying an equally great meal at Flores.
“You get a more authentic experience here, being out in the country,” Posse member Darrell Byers adds.
I was joined by Posse newbie Tyrone Varnes, a sports photo editor, and Darrell, a high school teacher and very experienced backyard pitmaster, who plans on starting a BBQ catering business in the near future. Tyrone is learning his way around a smoker, so I wanted to expose him to some great barbecue. His impression of Flores, “It’s the best BBQ I’ve ever eaten.”
We ordered a huge platter of meat and sides, probably enough to feed at least six people. We ordered brisket, pork ribs, sausage, pulled pork, jalapeño smoked corn, beans, along with some fresh tortillas. The total at the cash register was $60 with drinks, a heck of a deal for great BBQ if you’re used to paying big city prices.
Darrell smiled as he summed up his first visit to Flores, “On the balance, everything was top rate. From the pulled pork, to the two kinds of sausage, the brisket both lean and moist, beans, ribs, pickles, everything was right in the pocket.”
Tyrone added, “The jalapeño corn was the best I’ve ever had. The fresh tortillas, it doesn’t get much better than that, and the pulled pork was some of the best I’ve ever had too. Overall I’d give it a 9 out of 10, only because I’ve never experienced a 10.”
I have to agree with Tyrone on the pulled pork, which might be the best I’ve ever tasted too. I’d go back just for that served on a fresh homemade tortilla, maybe with some jalapeño corn on the side. The handmade sausage was tremendous as well, with just the right texture and snap.
Pitmaster Michael Wyont originally opened a trailer operation with wife Hali earlier in 2016 in the crowded BBQ market of San Marcos, his hometown, but decided to head north to Whitney when business was too slow. The “Flores” in Flores Barbecue is named in honor of his mother’s maiden name, her father was the mayor of San Marcos in the 1970s.
Whitney is Hali’s hometown, so they were familiar with the area and knew it was somewhat of a barbecue desert, a ripe opportunity for a really good BBQ joint. Their first location in Whitney was a trailer, which Texas Monthly BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn visited in December 2016. Daniel was really impressed with the food and prices, but noted the light customer traffic while he was there.
After the success they experienced by making the Texas Monthly Top 50, they were able to move to a permanent location. Flores Barbecue has been open almost a year in their current building, which previously was a beer joint.
Michael smiles as he tells the story, “This was a bar, a really old beer joint. Our landlord completely gutted the place, it smelled like smoke and had green carpet that smelled like dank beer. The locals who used to drink here came in and couldn’t believe the change.”
The former bar proved to be a great space for a BBQ joint, with a separate room for customers to line up and see Michael working the cutting board. There’s a large dining room and a nice family-friendly outdoor area too.
Michael is still working to find the balance of customers for his restaurant.
“It’s either dead or it’s crazy busy. The challenge for us is getting people out here. Not everyone knows where Whitney is, it’s a tiny town,” he says.
“The people who do come here, it’s usually for Lake Whitney. When we made Texas Monthly, that helped not only us but people also found out about Whitney.”
We suggest you add Flores Barbecue to your must visit list. It’s a short drive from Dallas and you might be able to entice your partner to join in with a stop at the outlet malls in Hillsboro. Quite simply, it’s some of the best BBQ you’ll find on the I-35 corridor.
PERMANENTLY CLOSED AS OF SEPT. 2019 — Flores Barbecue, we visited the old location in Whitney, but Flores Barbecue is now at 4801 Edwards Ranch Road in Fort Worth, 254-580-3576. Open Thurs-Sun 11am-4pm.