"The Social Network of the South"
What do you think about when you think of Dallas, Texas: bankers, the Dallas Cowboys, JR Ewing, traffic? Maybe. Do you think of barbecue, barbeque, BBQ, or Bar-B-Q? Probably not; but you should. Why? Because, Dallas is home to Texas barbecue that’s memorable.
Last month, I traveled down to the Big D with a short list of places I wanted to try. Needing help deciding which one of the two barbeque restaurants to visit first, I reached out to Full Custom Gospel BBQ's Daniel Vaughn and he was kind enough to suggest SMOKE.
Immediately after pulling into the gravel parking lot and opening up my door, I was met with the beautiful aroma of burning wood, as if it were saying “howdy.” At this moment I got excited, because I knew I was about to experience a barbecue restaurant unlike any other. After reading so many wonderful things about SMOKE in Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Bon Appétit, and Food & Wine, now was my chance.
Ordering off the Midday menu was difficult, because everything looked so good. I wanted to order it all: the Pimento Cheese Croquettes with Grilled Romaine, the Foie Gras & Chicken Liver Pate with Smoked Red Onion Marmalade & Grilled Buttermilk Dill Toast, the Chopped Coffee Cured Beef Brisket, the Lemon & Sage Brined Turkey Breast with Pickled Carrots. But, I was in mood for ribs and settled on the Dry Rubbed Pork Spare Ribs with Mac n Cheese & BBQ Beans Topped with Hand-Pulled Pork.
Great choice. Each rib had a nice touch of bark with a wonderful balance of tender smoked pork, seasoning, and a touch of sweetness to them. Both sides were delicious with my favorite of the two being the ranch-style BBQ beans that carried the bold flavor you’d expect to find in Texas.
To call SMOKE just a “barbecue restaurant” doesn't come close to describing what Tim Byres and team are crafting. Their homemade, everything-from-scratch creative approach produces amazing dishes made from ingredients that are familiar, but end up tasting so uniquely different than any other barbecue restaurant I’ve ever been to.
If you've been to SMOKE, what did you order and what did you think? If you haven't yet been, check them out and let me know your thoughts!