Little known fact: We eat turkey on Thanksgiving because, at the time the fall celebration came into its own, turkeys were cheap, fresh, widely available and easily fed a crowd. Sure, they had cows back then, but beef was off the table, so to speak, as cows were more useful alive than dead. If only the Pilgrims had known how great brisket was, we could have an entirely different November tradition.
That’s not to say that you couldn’t start a new tradition now; several of our favorite DFW area barbecue joints will gladly help you serve Thanksgiving dinner, replete with all the fixings. If a brisket instead of a bird would cause your Aunt Carol to blow a head gasket, fear not; a smoked turkey is available from all of the places on our list. We can’t help you deal with your family or get your house ready for guests, but with a restaurant from our list taking care of the food, it’s one less thing to stress about.
2702 Main St. 214-748-8900
We’ll save you the angry Facebook posts right now. Yes, Pecan Lodge’s Thanksgiving specials are expensive. A whole smoked turkey will run you $109, and a glazed ham is $89. A whole brisket will set you back $135. But short of sneaking into Justin and Diane Fourton’s house and trying to pass yourself off as an obscure cousin (don’t do this), this is the only way to enjoy Pecan Lodge’s take on the holiday classics — and if you've got out-of-town guests coming, nothing makes you look more awesome than bringing in barbecue from one of Dallas' best. Orders can be placed online and must be picked up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Orders must be placed by Nov. 18.
400 W. Davis St., Dallas, 214-944-5521
1026 E. 15th St., Plano, 972-516-8900
If you like to spend less time in the kitchen and more time arguing politics with your in-laws this Thanksgiving, Lockhart’s has your back. A 10 to 12 lb. bird is $75 and will feed eight to 10 people. If you’re looking for sides, a tray of Lockhart’s beans and potato salad are available and will feed 10 to 12 people, or traditional sides like green bean casserole, cheesy potato casserole or smoked cream corn are also offered in the same size. Lockhart’s is enforcing a Friday, Nov. 18, cutoff to place your order, and you must pick up your order by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23; call either location to place your order.
Bet The House Barbecue
508 S. Elm St., Denton, 940-808-0332
The friendly folks at Bet The House Barbecue in Denton have made ordering Thanksgiving dinner a snap. For $100, they’ll set you up with your choice of smoked ham or smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy and a dozen dinner rolls. For $30 more, they’ll throw in green bean casserole and mashed potatoes, too. You can order large quantities a la carte (sides by the gallon, ham and turkey by the pound, or a whole brisket for $130) as well. You’ll need to call in your order and come pick it up at the restaurant. Plan accordingly; Bet The House will close early on Wednesday, Nov. 23, and won’t reopen until Saturday, Nov. 26.
Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse
Sonny Bryan’s may be bordering on a chain, but they are a Dallas institution and have been handling the holiday cooking for years. The process couldn’t be easier: Head to their website and pick the preferred location out of their seven area restaurants. A "complete Thanksgiving meal" is $79.99 and includes your choice of a whole turkey or ham, gravy, a half-gallon each of mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, as well as a dozen rolls. You can even add barbecue sauce to the order. If your office is looking for a holiday meal, Sonny Bryan's can help there, too; a whole holiday meal, including dessert, runs around $12 per person, but delivery charges are extra, and there's no catering delivery on Thanksgiving Day.
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Meat U Anywhere Barbecue
919 W. Northwest Highway., Grapevine
91 Trophy Club Drive, Trophy Club
Meat U Anywhere continues to pump out quality 'cue in Grapevine and added a second location in Trophy Club. And now, a stress-free Thanksgiving featuring Meat U’s incredible meats is a few clicks away. Build your order based on what you need, be it meats, sides or any combination thereof. In addition to a whole ham or turkey ($70), Meat U is also offering a smoked pork tenderloin, prime rib or brisket for $150 each. Traditional sides are just $12 and feed four to six people. The deadline for ordering from Meat U is noon on Sunday, Nov. 20, and orders can be placed online. At the time of ordering, you can set your pickup time, as long as it’s before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, and orders can be picked up at either the Grapevine or Trophy Club locations.
18th & Vine Barbecue
4100 Maple Ave., 214-443-8335
We were ecstatic to learn that 18th & Vine would be offering a Thanksgiving menu, and they’ve made ordering a breeze thanks to a dedicated Thanksgiving menu on their website. You can get maple-smoked turkey two ways: just the breast meat is $65, and the whole bird is $100. They’re also offering their barbecue favorites like full racks of ribs ($24), a whole brisket ($125) or whole pork butt ($72), but sadly, no burnt ends. You're covered on the sides, too, all the way to the cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce. Orders need to be in by Sunday, Nov. 20 and can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
13628 Gamma Road, 972-805-0999
Normally open just Thursday and Friday, Cattleack Barbecue will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday but is accepting limited orders for vacuum-packed turkey breasts, briskets and slabs of ribs. Orders need to be in by noon Tuesday, Nov. 15 and can be picked up the following Tuesday, Nov. 22. Orders can be placed online.
3200 14th St., Plano. 972-424-2400
Winner's won’t have any holiday-specific menu items but will gladly accept a call-in order off the regular menu. At Winner’s BBQ in Plano, they won’t have turkey or ham, but customers can order a whole brisket for $125 and pick it up between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 23. The regular menu will also be available. They’ll reopen on Friday for normal hours.