The tradition of Sonny Bryan’s award-winning barbecue started more than a century ago on February 13, a date that would become circled on the calendar again and again throughout Bryan’s Barbecue history. February 13, 1910, marked the opening of Elias Bryan’s Oak Cliff restaurant, Bryan's Barbecue. Exactly 20 years later to the day, his eldest son, William “Red” Jennings Bryan, launched his own restaurant. When February 13 rolled around again 28 years later, Elias’ grandson, William "Sonny" Jennings Bryan Jr., and his wife, Joanne, opened another restaurant, the first Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse.
Although a different Dallas family now manages multiple locations of the restaurant chain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the legendary barbecue lives on. Sonny Bryan's original barbecue sauce spices up its savory pulled meats and ribs, which have been devoured by famous entertainers, sports legends, and A-list celebrities alike. Sonny's seasoned chefs also cater heaps of smoked brisket and jalapeño sausage to parties and events.
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse has been on the culinary radar since 1989, snapping up awards and publicity from Food Network, the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food Nation and 101 Tastiest Places to Chowdown, and Emeril Lagasse’s The Originals with Emeril. The modest joints have also earned some highbrow epicurean chops through a 2006 Zagat rating and a 2000 James Beard Foundation award for Culinary Excellence and Achievement.
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.
At Genghis Grill, cooks stir-fry more than 70 fresh ingredients to make healthy, flavorful bowls loaded with proteins and vegetables. Diners can mix and match ingredients to create customized feasts, or choose signature dishes such as the Thai Chicken bowl with chicken, veggies, and udon noodles in red curry peanut sauce. Nutrition-focused heart-healthy bowls, developed with the help of a dietitian, feature flavor combinations such as Sichuan-style bamboo beef or ginger-citrus shrimp.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has smoked beef brisket in-house nearly every night since 1941, painting each morsel with a tangy house-made sauce. Pulled pork, turkey breast, and polish sausage round out the menu, which fills up diners with meals that are heartier than a burrito wrapped in Paul Bunyan’s plaid shirt. Boxed lunches and catered buffets brim with homestyle sides such as coleslaw, mac 'n' cheese, and jalapeño beans. Once the last pickle has crunched and each finger has been licked, guests can enjoy one of the restaurant’s most cherished traditions: fresh ice cream, on the house.
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.
Since 1973, Big Al’s Smokehouse BBQ's cooks have barbecued their marinated meats in accordance with a secret family recipe. On a menu as long as a menu-sized slab of beef, meals range from sandwiches stuffed with hot links to pulled pork to 1-pound baked potatoes loaded with cheese, meats, and plenty of butter, sour cream, and chives. Ribs, chicken, and sliced beef marinated in signature sauce emerge from slow cookers ready to be flanked by barbecue beans, creamed corn, and fried okra.