It's been a year since Earl's 377 Pizza brought their impressive pies to Argyle. In our first look, we proclaimed Earl's to be well worth the drive from all parts of DFW. Things are changing fast in Argyle. The management team behind Earl's (as well as Denton's LSA Burger and Barley & Board) recently opened Kimzey's Coffee there, an adorably whimsical coffee shop inside what looks like a fairy tale cottage, and now, the team has brought a new element to the area with the Bumbershoot Barbecue food truck.
Described as a "barbecue outpost in the trees," Bumbershoot's promises all the great barbecue staples of Texas. Upon first visit, you'll see that Bumbershoot really is tucked into the treeline in a field behind Earl's 377. A small shed provides cover for their Oyler smoker, flanked by stacks of wood on one side and a vintage travel trailer on the other. Food orders are placed at the window of the trailer.
Dining options are al fresco only; a dozen or so plus-sized round picnic tables are scattered among the trees in a fenced-in area that defines the space. On a cool spring evening, the appeal of eating outdoors can't be overstated. When the oppressive heat of summer comes along, large red patio umbrellas over the tables will provide a respite from the sun's rays.
If eating Bumbershoot sounds like going to a cookout in your neighbor's backyard, that's the exact vibe they were going for.
"Barbecue is community; it's family," says Operations Manager Kjell Knutsen. "Good times, bad times, let's come out and eat some barbecue."
Meats are smoked with a combination of hickory and pecan, as using just hickory sometimes imparts a bitter smoke flavor, explains General Manager Jason Ramey. The level of smoke in the brisket, ribs and sausage in our three-meat plate ($15) was noticeable but not overpowering. The lean brisket sported an impressive smoke ring but was a touch on the dry side, as if it had been sliced ahead of time. The ribs were moist and sweet, however, and the regular sausage still had a spicy bite and snappy texture. There's also a hot link sausage available, which Ramey sources from a local butcher just outside of Denton.
The sides are barbecue basics with a chef's touch, and two of them are included on any of the combo plates. The potato salad is made with quartered red potatoes and loaded with bits of chives and shredded cheese, bound together with a mix of sour cream and mayo. The barbecue beans were thick and hearty and packed a surprising amount of spicy heat.
Gorged as we were on our three-meat plate, we missed out on ordering Bumbershoot's loaded tater tots. After eyeing the dish on nearly every other table, that's a mistake we won't repeat. Chopped brisket, barbecue sauce, jalapeños, cheese and sour cream topped a heaping pile of just-out-of-the-fryer tots.
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Bumbershoot has plans for some special barbecue events as the summer rolls along, and a weekend whole hog could be in the works. For now though, Bumbershoot's will be a dinner-only option, open as long as the supply of meats holds out.
"By May 1, we hope to be staffed to serve lunch, as well," Ramey says.
Right now, dinner is just fine with us. Sitting outside as the last of the day's sun streaks through the trees, the smell of smoked meats in the air and tasty fare on the table in front you, there's little to dislike at Bumbershoot.
Bumbershoot Barbecue, 425 U.S. 377 South, Argyle