American football. It's a real thing. You know it, I know it. We've all seen it. The thrills, the spills, the very precise numbering on the field. There was a time when Dallas was America's center for said thrills and spills. Now it is but a hollow shell of football, the smoked chicken to the Seahawks' brisket, the USMNT to Denver's Germans.
Now, those are pretty much the extent of any jokes I can make about football, and they weren't even structured like jokes, or indeed at all funny. However, even I know that allowing your barbecue restaurant to be named after a defensive tackle who retired in 1988, no matter how good said defensive tackle was (and Wikipedia assures me he certainly could stop people going where they desired to go) has to end sometime, especially when the team he used to play for are now bad enough to make people sad.
And so it is that Randy White Hall of Fame BBQ, never the most catchy of names for a restaurant and suggesting some sort of weird theme breastaurant anyway, came to be the second outlet for famed McKinney barbecuers Hutchins.
Here's what happened. Bear with me, because this is boring. First, there was a Hutchins in McKinney. Then, there was a Hutchins in Frisco. Then Mr. Hutchins made friends with Randy White (or was threatened by him, perhaps, we just don't know) and re-named the Frisco place. Then, earlier this year, everyone decided they didn't care about Randy White anymore and the place reverted to Hutchins. Got it? Good.
If I was Randy White, I would be sad, though, because the quality of barbecue at this place is amazing. Really, I went expecting another suburban joint with dry, grey brisket (much like the picture of the brisket from our recent first look at Ten50 Barbecue) surrounded by chains and uninspiring strip malls. I was right about the strip malls (try playing "spot the independent business" in a three-mile radius of Hutchins BBQ, you just can't do it) but terribly wrong about the brisket.
The brisket at this outlet of Hutchins is top ten in Dallas. Of course, I could have caught it on the best day ever, when the pit master woke up feeling like rainbows and smelling like smoked petunias, and lord knows the guy cutting the brisket tried desperately to give me lean brisket, but when I eventually persuaded him to furnish me with 100% marbled, it was a song of beef. Smoky, rubbed, marbled throughout, a perfect texture, it was easily the equal of anything I've had at the Slow Bone, for example. This doesn't feel like the sort of brisket you can just accidentally create.
Now, I have no idea if the removal of Mr. White improved the brisket. To speculate so would be ungrounded vicious rumor, but what we can almost certainly say is that his harsh dismissal from the title of this establishment didn't hurt. Not only is the brisket top-notch, the sausage is almost perfect and the pulled pork didn't need sauce. Think about that for a second -- the pulled pork did not need any further seasoning.
Other notable things inside what is a charming wooden building that looks a bit like if Hard 8 was trying less hard, which would be good for it -- it has all you can eat barbecue for $17.99, which is only slightly more than just buying one pound of brisket. That is an obscenely good deal. Also, alongside the free ice cream that is a staple of barbecue restaurants, there is totally free peach cobbler and banana pudding. I mean, I could have totally misread the signs and just stolen dessert, but it definitely looked free. It was over by the soda machine. It was also not terrible.
Sorry then, Mr. White, but your attempts to keep this place off the radar by listing it on Google Maps as "RANDY WHITE BBQ IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED" are just not going to fly any more. I assume that was you, as that strikes me as the sort of thing I would do if I were kicked out of a restaurant.
Go here. It is second only to north Lockhart Smokehouse in the northern 'burbs.
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