Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 31: Pecan Lodge

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

The story of Pecan Lodge is a fairy tale stained with brisket grease. A young couple caught up in the world of software consulting found that while the pay was good, a life of deliverables and regression-testing wasn't satiating. They gave up great salaries, paid health care and financial stability to wake up before dawn and watch beef bathe in smoke. Then they sold barbecue for dollars a plate.

Things for Diane and Justin Fourton got bad before they got good. At the darkest, they lost their house while trying to keep Pecan Lodge open. But when you apply the software world's fundamentals of continuous improvement to a quivering hunk of meat, the meat slowly improves, too. And the barbecue served out of their Farmers Market storefront soon earned a reputation and gave other barbecue joints line envy.

See also: Pecan Lodge: Reviewed

Their beef rib, for one, is so good it rivals the brisket and other popular cuts served at many reputable barbecue joints. Get in line early if you want any chance of snagging one. Other cuts pass muster, too. The fat in the fatty brisket melts like ice cream in summer, and you'll know the sausage is made on site the second your teeth snap through the natural casing.

Come late and the favorites will long be decimated and you'll be left with an order of fried chicken. This is the price you pay when your favorite local barbecue joint earns national recognition: Pecan Lodge is a barbecue landmark now, revered alongside legends like Snow's and Mueller's. The Fourtons have become Dallas' smoked meat superstars. They were set free from the shackles of corporate life by a withering wisp of mesquite.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co. No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 35: Zaguan No. 34: Royal Sichuan No. 33: Spoon No. 32: Bambu

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.