Big Barn Bar-B-Que's specialty dry-rubbed and pecan-smoked meats stock hungry mouths with succulent tastes backed by a cavalcade of sides. The menu boasts 10 meats, including two-meat plates that pair savory combinations of carnivorous fare such as chopped brisket, classic baby back ribs, or jalapeño-cheddar sausage. Sides of coleslaw and potato salad celebrate refreshing, cooling textures, and fried okra and onion rings tantalize taste buds more completely than PhD students learn the alphabet. As duos revel in smoky delights and share tastes, iced teas, fountain drinks, and coffee anoint liquid-intake apparatus in preparation for a finishing course of just desserts. Seasonal cobblers pack a palatable punch of fruits such as strawberry or peach, and Mama's famous banana pudding reveals a union of fresh bananas with crisp vanilla wafers.
Holster's Texas Bar-B-Q's pit masters combine sweet and smoky flavors to craft their signature sauce, which drenches a variety of meats including ribs made from a family recipe. A cast of homestyle sides, such as hand-battered onion rings, complement smoked sausage, pulled pork, and beef brisket as tender as a puncture wound left by cupid's arrow. The family friendly eatery also caters to kids with chicken strips and pint-sized portions of their smoked meats.
Former IT employee Leroy Wilson used to relegate his passion for grilling up mean barbecue to company outings and house parties, until his growing fan following of friends, co-workers, and strangers with functioning olfactory senses convinced him to roll the dice and open up a restaurant. Since then, Leroy has proudly manned the grill at Wilson’s BBQ swathed in a well-earned cologne of smoked mesquite as he slow-cooks each diner’s meal over wood-fueled flames or his stacks of smoldering Monopoly money. Leroy and his staff glaze meaty morsels with ultra-secret signature sauce and seasoning recipes before heaping them on plates alongside hearty side dishes or piling them high atop sandwiches that Fort Worth Weekly praised in 2008 for their lucid-dream-inspiring flavors.
Dick's draws in diners with a menu heavily concentrated in authentic, Texas-style barbecue. As with the healing of wounds and the forgetting of birthdays, time is the key ingredient of Dick's marvelous meats, which are hickory-smoked on location for as long as 12 hours to help each bite reach its palate-rocking potential. Use your jaw-mounted mouth knives to slice into barbecued chicken leg quarters ($8.99 for a four-piece plate), the rib sampler ($13.99), or a pulled pork and chopped chicken plate ($12.79)—all served with the sauce on the side, to let the flavor of the meat take center stage. Alternatively, take a flavor-fueled tour of protein paradise with Dick's Traditional Texas Feast ($17.99), which partners three ribs, half a pound of sliced brisket, and smoked sausage. A selection of sandwiches, including options such as pulled pork ($4.59), Texas hot links ($4.59), and sliced turkey ($4.99), pairs the same great meat with the latest in bread-based food grippers.
Those who have visited the original Cooper's in Llano might have an odd sense of déjà vu upon arriving at the Forth Worth location. That's because the sprawling 26,000-square-foot establishment is a carbon copy of the restaurant that started it all, right down to the wafting scents of mesquite-smoked meats that have been tantalizing appetites since 1953.
Any visit to Cooper's begins at the pits, where barbecue masters hoist open large, metal doors to reveal rows upon rows of ribs, brisket, sausage, and chops—all cooked over the flavors of the mesquite coals. Once you have selected your bounty of tender chicken and succulent pork or beef ribs, head toward a counter packed with Southern sides such as corn on the cob, coleslaw, and potato salad.
Though some have trouble making it to one of the communal dining tables before digging in, those who do will be thankful to find rolls of paper towels in lieu of wimpy napkins. Lively chatter rises from the restaurant’s patio, where diners enjoy views of the Fort Worth skyline and distant rigs pumping barbecue sauce from the earth’s depths.
Railhead Smokehouse rolls out a hearty menu of smoked meats in a rustically vintage, family-friendly atmosphere. Intimate dining parties can sidle up to a polished wooden four-top table, serving as a gastro-football field for tackling sandwich platters of sliced ($7) and chopped ($5.60) beef-brisket sandwich platters, accompanied by a duo of beans, potato salad, or coleslaw or a single side of french fries. Meanwhile, out on an expansive, sun-filled patio, patrons can bite into a dinner portion of barbecued ribs ($10.50) as their backsides rest on black wire-rimmed furniture that sits a few strata above aged dinosaur jerky. Customers may conclude feasting with bites of cobbler ($1.90) and sips of tea ($1.35). Railhead Smokehouse also slings a selection of reasonably priced drafts (not covered by this Groupon) to aid postmeal mouth cleansing.
Ever since opening in 1981, Mike Anderson has personally cut each piece of hickory-smoked meat plated in his restaurant. His cooks mix rubs from scratch to create a top-secret barbecue-sauce recipe from all-natural ingredients, earning a Best Barbecue nod from the Dallas Observer in 2010. The restaurant serves its menu cafeteria style; plates in hand, diners can sniff out such hearty meats as hand-pulled pork, spicy sausage links, and succulent brisket that spends the night being tenderized by Golden Gloves competitors. Homespun sides, freshly baked desserts, and a condiment bar full of pickles, peppers, and edible bibs help accessorize meals. In addition to the booth-filled dining room, the restaurant supplies a heated and covered seating area aptly named Mike's Big Deck.