Good barbecue is always a little pricey, but there are ways to make it work for $10. The main rule of eating good barbecue on a budget is order only meats. Meats with a side of more meats. On this day, you're eating caveman style. You're the Meat Hulk, with full-on-ripped-pants-anger if you don't get a pound of brisket, stat. You're Meat Terminator. "I want your meat clothes, your meat boots and your meat motorcycle." This is a grunty, fork-optional lunch.
Sure, TEN50 BBQ has delicious corn on the cob [Guy at the scale: "Want that buttered?" You: "Yes." Guy: (to another dude) "Throw it in the spa." (Other dude dips the cob in a boatload of melted butter)] and they have mac 'n' cheese and potato salad and cole slaw -- but side items and veggies are not for you on this day.
You will focus. You will attack this with purpose.
The meats at TEN50 are sliced at a scale near the smokers. Several people man the pits, and they're all super friendly. In fact, every employee you see will greet you with a toddler-meeting-a-puppy-for-the-first-time excitement level. They look so happy, they probably even smile when they're shitting. The Happy Meter here goes to 11. And it's a little unusual -- not that the service at other good barbecue joints is stand-offish, here it's notably jolly. Maybe that's what happens to a person when they live north of the loop. Or maybe TEN50 tasers employees who refuse to full-face teeth-smile. It's one or the other, for sure.
TEN50 BBQ is the brainchild of Larry Levine, the founder of Chili's. (No, there's no Awesome Blossom on the menu. I asked and I'm pissed. Awesome Blossoms should be on all menus, partly because they call to mind the sit-com Blossom, which then calls to mind Six's hats. Awesome Blossoms are all the happiest parts of the '90s, honored in the form of a fried onion with orangey, thousand-islandy, and probably a-touch-of-angry-server's-spit dipping sauce.)
Brisket is the most expensive meat for purchase, coming in at $9 per ½ lb. Ribs are $8 per ½ lb. (You'll be happy with ribs, but on a budget, they aren't the way to go for highest meat quantity. You're paying for a lot of bone there. And, as in life, while it's OK to pay for bone, it's certainly not ideal.) Sausage and pulled pork are a mere $7.50 per ½ lb., and they're your cheap, go-to, bulk meat items.
A couple other things to note here: This place is set up for large groups and small child-monsters. They have highchairs galore. So when your kid's cross-country skeeball team loses the championship and they need barbecue to cure their sads, send them here. If you can manage to be north of the loop without your face instantly melting off.
TEN50 is located at 1050 N. Central Expressway in Richardson.
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.