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.
Originally served along the tree-lined banks of its namesake body of water, Woody Creek Bar-B-Q's array of smoked meats and sauces satisfies stomachs within the confines of the restaurant's indoor digs. Woody Creek's menus sport formidable fare such as the Double Barrel potato, a palatable pouch of butter, sour cream, cheese, chopped beef, and sauce ($6.95–$7.25). Celebrate ribs' culinary attributes instead of potential as xylophone substitutes with a rib dinner ($10.45–$10.95) or the half rack ($11.95–$12.95). The Gunslinger sandwich's chopped beef, sausage, and hot links argue about the proper pronunciation of Naugahyde ($5.99). Build-your-own plates round up protein posses with your choice of one to three meats and two sides ($8.35–$10.95).
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.
A community institution since 1956, Vance Godbey’s all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet promotes festive feasting across four sprawling dining rooms in a historic converted ranch-style house. Spirited family gatherings and incorporeal families of spirits can refuel with as much high-quality homestyle cooking as each eater desires. Grab a juicy filet mignon or sidle up to some tender brisket meat and adorn it with a side of sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach, or buttered corn. The salad selection abounds with corn, pasta, and crabmeat, and sweets-loving patrons can munch on flaky peach cobbler or run their hands through an endless supply of banana pudding.
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.