I spent a year chronicling the barbecue of Dallas. It's not over yet, I'm just much fatter, so it has to calm down a bit. The main constant throughout this whole year, besides the fact that brisket is really quite something, was a commenter called Gabe48.
You might be familiar with Gabe48. You might not. His basic modus operandi was, every time I posted a new barbecue review, to wait two or three days to ensure his comment would remain at the top for all time, and then post something about Mac's BBQ. I have compiled the following for you, and they are by no means the full extent of it:
A "must try" is Mac's BBQ in Dallas on Main, only open for lunch on Mon. - Fri. Their meaty ribs are outstanding, great sauce, don't miss jalapeño sausage. Fries are fresh, hand cut.
Mac's Barbecue on Main St. in Dallas, is another great "joint"serving excellent barbecue, especially the jalapeño sausage, meaty ribs, and fresh cut fries. They are open for lunch only, Mon. - Fri., and is a small Mom and Pop run restaurant.
Angelo's is good, but the best barbecue in Dallas, is Mac's Barbecue on Main St., only open for lunch. The jalapeño sausage is "off the charts", and big meaty ribs, great sauce.
Has anyone tried the amazing barbecue at Mac's on Main St. in Dallas? Great ribs and jalapeño sausage, fresh fries not frozen. Mom and Pop operation, open only for lunch.
Mac's Barbecue is "da bomb", on Main St. in Dallas. Also good barbecue at Back Country on Greenville Ave., both of these places serves fresh, hand cut fries. The jalapeño sausage at Mac's is the best I've had anywhere.
So, I ask you, is Gabe48 a wonderfully persistent and subtle troll? Is he mentally ill? Is it simply the pinnacle of Gabe's existence (I'm dropping the 48, Gabe, and speaking to you directly, as I feel like we are close enough now) when jalapeño is combined with sausage? Is it, as some on Twitter have speculated, simply the dearly departed Mac's BBQ obsessive Robert Wilonsky haunting these pages in a frankly peculiar fashion?
Dear reader, I do not know. While I might be able to eventually figure out what is good brisket and bad, I cannot figure out what Gabe is up to. He remains a mystery to me on a par with the Marie Celeste and the American obsession with a flag. Sadly, due to working in Lewisville, I could not go to Mac's BBQ, which, as you might have established from Gabe's comments, is only open for lunch on weekdays.
Foolishly, however, this newspaper has recently employed me full-time to befriend you all on social media and wrestle with the fine folks that comprise the Internet. Sometimes I will write too. So one of the first things I did upon being employed in an office downtown was to visit Mac's BBQ and order an excessive amount of jalapeño sausage. What follows is an open letter to Gabe48.
Dear Gabriel Forty-Eight,
Mac's jalapeño sausage is all right. I mean, it's pretty good. It has a nice consistency and the jalapeño adds some heat to the aftertaste. There's something of a snap. It's not bad at all. That's it, though. It is not, as you have intimated, "off the charts," whatever these charts might be.
You built me up, Gabe. You and me, I thought we had love and understanding on our side. We built up a bond, you and I, over a dozen Internet comments you typed and then never looked at again. I trusted you.
I went prepared to have my eyes blown out of my skull at the sheer power of a sausage that had turned a simple Internet commenter into a drone who just advertised Mac's BBQ with slightly different paragraphs on a rarely read Internet blog. My eyes have remained distinctly within my skull. They are still there today.
You know what, Gabe? If you had commented "the brisket Frito Pie at Mac's BBQ is the bomb!" every time instead, I would have more respect for you today as a man, and as a human. Even though it might not be quite the bomb, it is at least a lot more interesting than the jalapeño sausage, and it is particularly entertaining when the "pop" from the "mom and pop" operation you so admire simply begins to spoon cheese over the top of a situation that is already six hundred times my recommended daily intake of everything. The whole restaurant does indeed have an excellent "school lunch" air to it, with the special offers typed out on A4 in Comic Sans and the low, low prices. However, the heat-lamp lunch-rush meat can tend toward the dry.
I did not have the chance to sample the fresh fries you are so delighted with, Mr. Forty-Eight, but I cannot imagine potatoes inspiring such devotion without some accompanying stimuli. Gabriel, did your father feed you only fresh-cut fries when you were young? What happened? There have been some experiences here, Gabriel, and you and I need to talk them out. Leave a comment below.
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If the comment you leave below is "You should try the jalapeño sausage at Mac's BBQ!" then I'm not sure what to do, Gabriel. Such a comment would out you as the troll I suspect you to be. However, a reasoned engagement with this piece, and a rebuttal to my disdain for the sausage that is your heart's sole desire could lead to the first step in tackling the demons that haunt you.
We're waiting, Gabe. We're all waiting.
The British Guy