RW's BBQ satiates seekers of sauce with a menu of hickory-smoked meats, homemade spice rubs, and four made-from-scratch barbecue gravies. Owner Ron Wishna pit roasts butts and briskets for more than 12 hours and chicken and ribs for more than four, producing proteins so tender they swan dive off the bone into a savory side of sauce.
Every Tuesday and Friday night, the worn wood of the dance floor at Coyote Maverick is cleared, welcoming line dancers to strut their stuff. If dancers work up an appetite, they can snag a seat at a table and order from a menu of wings, burgers, and slow-smoked barbecue baby-back ribs. On Saturday evenings, live bands or DJs provide a country soundtrack for eaters and drinkers to tap their boots to.
At Memphis Mae's BBQ Bistro, owners Andreas Nowara and Jeff Matros are rewriting the barbecue gospel. They've crossed out a number of popular myths—that barbecue joints should be shrouded in smoke, that barbecue puritans only cook in the style of a single region, and that those who divulge secret recipes should be cooked themselves—in favor of a more chic and diverse sauce hot spot. Their dining room emulates a crisp bistro, and their menu traverses several Southern states, listing Texas beef brisket alongside Carolina pulled pork and Memphis ribs. They don't limit themselves solely to barbecue staples, either. Comfort foods such as Mississippi catfish and chicken-fried steak appease patrons who might not want to get their hands dirty, and vegetarian options include smoked portobello mushrooms and "pasties" filled with sautéed vegetables.
Their eclectic approach has hardly canceled out down-home prep, however. The kitchen's wood smokers infuse meats with flavor 24 hours a day, passing on zesty notes from pecan and hickory logs. The beer is likewise carefully brewed, arriving from Dogfish Head, Duvel, and other craft companies. In maintaining this delicate balance between strict tradition and inclusivity, Memphis Mae's BBQ Bistro has cemented a savory reputation. The restaurant has catered the New York Yankees' opening-day celebration and was later featured in the New York Times which praised its brunch and catalog of sides, which contains drunken yams, peach applesauce, and none of "the usual throwaways or fillers that most barbecue joints offer."
At Brunswick BBQ and Brew, master brewer Gary "Goose" Gosselin prides himself on providing great barbecue, great beers, and great entertainment. The barbecue joint is Gary's dream realized?a place to eat delicious ribs washed down with superior beers; he even oversees the extensive beer list himself. But there's more than just ribs and brews. Four different menus offer a huge range of options beyond the signature barbecue. The bistro menu dabbles in steak, seafood, and pasta dishes, and the pizza and calzone menu offers creative pies such as the smoked-salmon white pizza. And to keep diners entertained while they peruse their menu options, local musicians perform each weekend, moving outside to the patio during warmer months.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Dallas in 1941, he kept his menu small and simple, only cooking up beef brisket, pit hams, and barbecue beans, which he sold alongside potato chips, beer, bottled milk, and sodas. Dickey smoked all of his meat in-house, a practice that put his eatery on the map and one that his sons, Roland and T.D. Dickey, still rely on today.
The menu has expanded since Travis?s time behind the grill, offering plates and sandwiches that brim with eight kinds of barbecued meats, including spicy cheddar sausages, pork ribs, polish sausage, and Texas-style beef brisket and pulled pork that?s chopped to order. Several types of baked potatoes are piled high with meats and cheeses, which diners can wash down with a gallon of tea or Dickey's signature 32-ounce big yellow cup of soda. Staying true to the same spirit of hospitality, cooks always include a buttery roll; a homestyle side such as jalape?o beans and fried okra; dill pickles; and free ice cream with every meat plate.
The Giffords have been in the barbecue business since 1995, when a single catering job helped them launch a fleet of food trucks and a brick-and-mortar restaurant they called Giffy’s Bar-B-Q. But before the family ever sold a single wing, they spent years perfecting their barbecue-chicken recipe and its attendant chicken dance. The result is a recipe they still serve today—marinated pieces of chicken slow-cooked in a charcoal pit and slathered in their housemade barbecue sauce. Glazed baby-back ribs and kaiser rolls piled high with pulled pork or smoked brisket round out a menu chock-full of slow-cooked meats and quality ingredients such as Idaho potatoes and locally made desserts.