Lakewood Smokehouse softly opened last week near lower Abrams Road, arousing the neighborhood with whiffs of smoke. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that type of stimulation. While there are plenty of restaurants in the area, there's no barbecue, and owners Jason Hall (who owns 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House in Frisco), John Patenburg and Mike Mullen wanted to satisfy East Dallas’ meaty needs by taking over the space recently vacated by the Mediterranean restaurant Ali Baba.
Lakewood Smokehouse’s wide open and welcoming dining room may seem familiar if you’ve visited 3 Stacks in Frisco. The interior is rustic Texas-themed with a multi-colored wooden wall separating the kitchen from the dining area and black and white framed pictures adorning the walls. One dominant image — it also adorns the staff's shirts — is of a pit bull, the restaurant's mascot and “pit master." The bar is brightly lit and has 20 Texas breweries (mostly local) on tap.
Noticeably missing from this location are the Oyler smokers and stacks of wood you see at the entrance of 3 Stacks; but this doesn’t take away from Texas barbecue experience. Start off with the jalapeño fire crackers (brisket stuffed peppers wrapped in bacon) or the brisket-loaded queso served in an iron skillet. The Lakewood style smoked wings stand out, dosed with smoking-hot sauce, brown sugar rub and barbecue sauce, then grilled until the sugar caramelizes. Continue with smoky flavors by ordering a smoked old fashioned — the rye whiskey is cooped in a mason jar with applewood smoke then poured into a glass with a single ice cube and a dash of bitters and garnished with a cherry and orange peel.
The menu is clearly dominated by meat, such as their Texas-sized sandwiches that range from the classic with your choice of brisket, turkey, pulled pork or sausage served on a fresh-baked bun from Empire Bakery, to meat-filled tacos (yes, fish is a meat), to handcrafted pizzas with the proteins being … yep, smoked. Get your jollies by trying to take down their massive beef rib with a side of double-smoked, KC-style burnt ends. You’ll be Instagrammin’ food porn with the hashtag #icanteven.
You can buy meat by the pound or go the family-style route, but we recommended one of their meat plates. Choose up to three meats and two sides. Get your brisket sliced or chopped, lean or fatty, as long as you don’t request that they trim off the mouthwatering crust. They recruited Deep Ellum’s Rudolph’s Meat Market to make their poblano cheddar sausage and black pepper sausage. The ribs are the same great sweet-tasting ones found at 3 Stacks that were the signature of former pit master Trace Arnold. Sides include a miraculous cheesy corn bake, nicely flavored cabernet mushrooms and tantalizing cilantro coleslaw. If you’re trying to stay true to your 2016 all-fried-diet resolution — we know we are — you’ll have no problem shoveling handfuls of their fried okra or fresh-cut fries into your pie-hole.
Lakewood Smokehouse is open for lunch and dinner daily at 1901 Abrams Road.
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.