If you spent some quality time with The Dallas Morning News on your couch this Sunday, you likely stumbled upon the BBQ Posse's latest piece, which lists a group of journalists' favorite barbecue places in Texas. And if you saw the map and noticed all of their spots were tightly grouped (at least by Texan standards), you undoubtedly started fantasizing about your own weekend-long brisket laden road trip.
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Justin Fortune's Pecan Lodge came in at the number two spot on their list of the top six restaurants, which is huge. It's nice to see the popular Dallas based smokehouse on the same list as Franklin Barbecue and ahead of Snow's. Still, there are some details buried in the article that give me some pause.
The group collectively admits that they were recognized by many employees at the various restaurants they visited for the article. The pointed out pitmaster Fourton, came out to greet the group when they dined at Pecan Lodge, and Jeremiah McKenzie at Baby J's, told his kitchen crew to "put some pretty ribs" on their serving tray. Baby J's joint didn't make it to the top six, but apparently the ribs scored well. At the same time the article says special treatment only goes so far in barbecue, and while I agree there's no way to smoke a brisket for a special guest at the last second, it's quite easy to pick the very best looking brisket that's still available.
Judging barbecue is hard, though. I've had brisket at Pecan Lodge that has blown me out of the water, and I've had brisket there that was underwhelming. The best way to get to know any barbecue restaurant is to sample their meats over an extended period of time.
Heck, isn't spring break upon us? Maybe instead of a weekend-long trip you should book some hotels and make a week of it. You'll be able try each place out a couple of times. Sounds like a decent vacation to me.