Now in its sixth year, Smoked BBQ Festival has become one of the can't-miss food festivals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The pitmasters in attendance are a veritable who's-who of barbecue, not just from our area, but from all across Texas.
If we had any sense of shame, we'd be embarrassed at the sheer volume of food we tried at this year's event. But we don't. In no particular order, here are some of our favorite bites from this weekend.
Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor
Moist brisket from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor
Louie Mueller has something that's hard to find in Dallas barbecue — history. They've been smoking meats in Taylor since 1949, and this simple bite of moist brisket topped with a pickled onion shows off everything they've learned in almost 70 years of barbecuing.
Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth
Brisket elote from Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth
There are not enough words to describe our love of Panther City's brisket elote. Sure, Panther City was serving up bread pudding and tasty jalapeño poppers, but it's their creamy and savory take on Mexican street corn that we craved the most.
Smoke Sessions Barbecue in Royse City
Garlic Parm ribs from Smoke Sessions Barbecue in Royse City
Smoke Sessions' garlic Parmesan ribs were our meat-on-bone favorite bite of the weekend. The rib was perfectly cooked, and each bite unleashed a river of savory flavor.
Bodacious Bar-B-Q Mobberly in Longview
Pork belly burnt ends and boudin from Bodacious Barbecue in Longview
The boudin from Bodacious Bar-B-Q Mobberly in Longview took us on a flavor vacation to Cajun country, and their pork belly burnt ends brought us right back home again.
Evie Mae's Pit Barbecue in Wolfforth
Brisket, prime rib and sausage from Evie Mae's Barbecue in Wolfforth
If we weren't already in the throes of a meat coma, Evie Mae's Pit Barbecue in Wolfforth pushed us right over the edge with their assortment of meats. Their brisket was super smoky, the sausage perhaps our favorite link of the event and the smoked prime rib an upscale surprise.
Dayne's Craft Barbecue in Fort Worth
Pork belly taco from Dayne's Craft Barbecue in Fort Worth
It's hard to believe that just 14 months ago we first tried Dayne's Craft Barbecue from a residential driveway pop-up in Fort Worth. Now they're wowing us at Smoked BBQ Fest with a sweet and savory pork belly taco and serving every Saturday at Lola's Trailer Park in Fort Worth.
Roegels Barbecue Co. in Houston
Carolina style pulled pork from Roegels Barbecue Co. in Houston
Texas barbecue usually means beef, but we're always going to hold a smartly executed pulled pork in high regard. Roegels Barbecue Co. from Houston didn't let us down with their Carolina-style take, topped with a cool crunchy slaw.
Hurtado Barbecue in Arlington
Smoked tri-tip taco with serrano slaw from Hurtado Barbecue in Arlington
Hurtado Barbecue is one of our area's new arrivals, but their smoked meats are no rookies. Hurtado served up a smoked tri-tip taco, topped with cojita cheese and a serrano pepper slaw that showcased his talent nicely.
Kreuz Market in Lockhart
Jalapeño sausage wrap from Kreuz Market in Lockhart
One of the best parts of Smoked BBQ Fest is the renowned names in Texas barbecue that come to Dallas to serve their fare. Kreuz Market in Lockhart is just an example. We loved the jalapeño sausage wrapped in a corn tortilla, and the housemade sweet pickles on top were an unexpected surprise.
Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue in Tomball
Brisket, sausage, chocolate mousse and carrot soufflé from Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue
Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue gave us a full meal experience in a tiny paper tray. The juicy sausage and smoky brisket (topped with their amazing sauce) were the entrees, then we finished off with a chocolate mousse and carrot soufflé for dessert.
Zavala's Barbecue in Grand Prairie
Sirloin and pico taco with brisket tamale, Zavala's Barbecue in Grand Prairie
Tacos were a recurring theme at Smoked BBQ Fest, and the smoked sirloin ones from Zavala's Barbecue in Grand Prairie were high on our list of favorites. Zavala's secretly sourced tortillas and steak were finished with a fresh pico de gallo, and the brisket tamale and jalapeño hominy rounded out the mini-meal.