Babb Brothers BBQ & Blues opened two weeks ago as the first restaurant in the new Trinity Groves project, which hopes to one day energize the area just west of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Investors Phil Romano, Stuart Fitts and Butch McGregor plucked cook Mike Babb out of the catering business and gave him a shot at running his own place.
The restaurant is brightly designed and decorated, with guitars, corona buckets and flat-screen TVs providing some splash. A large patio area has at least 20 wooden picnic tables and a very small stage set up in the far corner -- Babb likes to croon on occasion. Inside, the red checkered tablecloths and long tables give it a feel of a barbecue joint that's been around for years.
The service is friendly and heads up. The staff anticipates problems or needs -- for instance, the sliced beef sandwich comes topped with a blue cheese cole slaw, but they ask customers if they prefer it on the side before they build the sandwich. I had kids with me and they offered extra plates and bread. When we were sitting outside, someone came out to check on us.
We ordered a three-meat plate that came with two big sides all for $12, which is enough food for two adults. The sliced brisket sandwich is also two meals. Romano is surely pulling some of his bread for the sandwiches from Eatzi's -- the meat sandwich comes with a ciabatta-type bun.
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Two weeks into things, Babb's is humming along great. The vibe here is easygoing, definitely family-friendly and potentially a good spot to hang with friends. It'll be interesting to see how the entire area settles into the overall Dallas dining scene, particularly with such discerning palates for good barbecue.