Most people in Dallas have no real reason to venture over to Irving for dinner, but FM Smokehouse is the exception to the rule, and the kind of place that might change your mind about venturing that way.
Owner Brian Rudolph, best known for his craft beer-focused Holy Grail Pub in West Plano, has worked with Chef Marcus Cutler to create a smoked meat sanctuary in the suburbs that rivals Dallas' best barbecue spots, especially when you factor in an extensive and well-curated selection of craft beers from Texas and beyond.
Besides the booze, you'll find a few inventive dishes among the usual smoked brisket and ribs. A spicy slow-smoked goat that's stuffed into housemade corn tortillas for a riff on Mexican street tacos is unique, along with a massive smoked brisket-topped Fritos chili pie. Most importantly, though, you're going to want to order a plate of the wild boar empanadas all to yourself. These tiny little fried pies are too good to share.
What's great about these empanadas is how simple they are. Tender chunks of smoked boar, roasted peppers and cheese are tucked into a flaky and perfectly crisp pie crust. There aren't a lot of fancy ingredients in this dish, but the intense flavor of the smoked boar is enough to make each bite satisfying. A tomato relish that resembles pico de gallo adds freshness and a touch of acidity that keeps the empanadas from being over-the-top rich.
There is definitely a little kick to these wild boar empanadas, provided by bits of spicy jalapeño or serrano pepper. A creamy sauce made with Austin's 512 Brewing Company Pecan Porter is drizzled over the top, but its subtle nuttiness is overpowered by all the spice, so ask for a little extra on the side. If you forget, no matter -- that just means you're going to need another Velvet Hammer. Or two.
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.