On Saturday we were in quick driving distance of Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell, as were many other people. When we pulled in the parking lot, meaty smoke was pouring out from the roof onto the heads of a line that snaked out the front door.
We don't like this trend of long lines at barbecue restaurants. While it's not as dramatic as Sarah Blankenship's unsuccessful hunting expedition to Franklin Barbecue in Austin last weekend, the wait was a bit much for the cadre of little ones we travel with. The choice was one of the hardest we've made in a while: incessant whining or smoked meat. Whining? Meat? Whining ... we left, made a U-turn, came back, left again after the line was even longer. Ugh!
So, we hit Coppell Deli just down the road. Turns out, we all won. Which is no reflection on Hard Eight, just that in the end, it was a winning day for our stomachs sans whining.
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Coppell Deli sits in a tiny little throwback section of the namesake city. The barbershop across the street and a few cottage homes down the road are all homey and quaint. It's easy to cruise right past the restaurant that looks more like an old convenience store than anything. But, after you pass it, whip a U-turn and go back.
This spot has been making burgers and plates of home-cooking laden with no regret since 1989. Inside the no-frills but clean eatery is an homage to mid-'90s winning Cowboys and food like Mom and Dad used to make on the weekends.
We all ordered burgers, and the hand-formed patties were significantly larger than the buns, which is something you don't see often. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onion are piled high and thick between toasted buns. It's a big hot mess, the way it should be, and everyone was quiet for a few minutes.
From the Stubb's breakfast sandwich to the Reuben and the burgers, I haven't heard of any misses here yet. I'm totally down with the easy-going vibe of the place as well. And it's not expensive. The Ladie's Lunch Special is a quarter-pound burger, drink and fries is just $6.99.