There's a subset of DFW dining that seems to place more emphasis on a restaurant's design than the food itself, where Instagram-worthy decor, selfie-stations and patios with amazing views appear to take priority over what's on the menu. On the opposite end of the spectrum, barbecue often eschews aesthetics in favor of food. At its core, barbecue started as events meant to feed large groups of people, and anything else is secondary to that goal. No place in North Texas may epitomize that more than 407 BBQ in Argyle.
There's no trendy agenda to be pushed at 407 BBQ. The establishment is little more than a single-wide trailer in a gravel parking lot next to a gas station/liquor store. At one narrow end, a smaller trailer housing the smoker and a stack of firewood gives a clue to the goodness that awaits inside, while the other end is a simple unfinished wooden porch that covers the entrance. Don't even think of calling it a patio.
Inside is extremely simple. A window unit air conditioner hums quietly, and no expense has been made on non-barbecue items like drywall or ceilings. Strings of lights are woven through the open rafters down the length of the interior, and five plastic and metal picnic tables with checkerboard vinyl make up the seating. Customers order at a small counter in the back.
None of this matters because 407 BBQ is churning out supremely good barbecue. We tried a two-meat plate with moist brisket and jalapeño and cheese sausage, plus two sides ($15), then added a half pound of pork ribs for an extra $6 to complete the barbecue trinity.
Every bite of protein was a winner. The pencil-width slices of brisket were melt-in-your-mouth tender and adorned with a slightly sweet and salty bark that will make locals think twice before driving to Dallas or Fort Worth in search of anything better. The ribs had their own dry rub, were plenty meaty and perfectly smoked, and had us licking our fingers clean. The jalapeño sausage was made with a finely ground meat blend with bright green flecks of pepper and golden cheese liberally mixed in.
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On the side, a smoked ear of corn came dusted with salt, pepper and the same spices used on the meat. The spicy heat and sweetness of the corn went together like Thelma and Louise. Meanwhile, the creamy mustard potato salad offered a cool respite when the other seasonings started to overwhelm the palate. At the end of the meal, banana pudding ($3) hit the spot with vanilla wafers and whipped cream churned together with chunks of banana.
407 BBQ's menu proclaims that "life's too short to eat bad BBQ." We couldn't agree more. Life is also too short to let things like decor and concept distract when there's a chance to enjoy sublimely good food, and that's exactly the promise on which 407 BBQ delivers.
407 BBQ, 1213 FM 407, Argyle