Monk: This mostly wordless, made-for-social-media video goes back and forth between some pretty great barbecue joints: (in order) Buxton Hall Barbecue, La Barbecue, Skylight Inn, Convenience West, Lexington Barbecue, and Pecan Lodge. Despite the lack of narrative, there are still some pretty great visuals of each joint.
The 91st Annual Mallard Creek Barbecue, “the Grand Daddy of All NC Barbecues” that is typically held the fourth Thursday of October in Charlotte, is officially cancelled this year; organizers and politicians are naturally disappointed
Longleaf Swine has announced their new location; instead of their previously announced stall at Transfer Co Food Hall they will be in a free-standing building that formerly housed Oakwood Cafe
Congrats to Big Tiny’s BBQ in Mooresville, who celebrated their 4th anniversary earlier this week
Foodie Score visits the Gastonia location of The Smoke Pit (the local chain’s 4th store), and reports back full bellies
Rx Restaurant and Bar, a fine dining restaurant in Wilmington, has pivoted to whole hog barbecue during the pandemic
Circle B BBQ in Spindale is raising money for Operation BBQ Relief to cook meals for communities and first responders hit by storms and other natural disasters.
The #SummerofCue ends this Monday
Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis will open a second location this October
Thankfully, it appears the fire last weekend at Pecan Lodge didn’t cause major damage and they were actually able to open later that day
Pellet smokers are on the rise, according to J.C. Reid
“California wildfires are making wine grapes taste like barbecue,” reports The Takeout
Heim BBQ is offering socially distanced barbecue class this weekend
Eliana Gutierrez is Austin’s (and perhaps the nation’s) youngest female pitmaster, working at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
“Chef’s Table: BBQ” explores the origins of barbecue and is now available on Netflix
Here’s a review from the Washington Post
Name: Pecan Lodge
Address: 2702 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226
Order: The Trough (1 beef rib, 1lb of pork ribs, 1lb brisket, 1/2 lb of pulled pork & 3 sausage links), ½ pound burnt ends, fried okra, collard greens (link to menu)
Price: $120-ish (for 3)
Speedy: On a recent work trip to Dallas, I experienced Divine Intervention. In town for only two days with full calendars both days, I was resigned to having to miss Pecan Lodge once again, and based on Rudy’s review, it’s a joint not to miss. I must have done something right over the past week, because a cancelled meeting left me a block of time between 10 and 2, enough time to head to Deep Ellum to try the ‘cue. I brought two co-workers in tow, which turned out to be a great decision.
Monk: The barbecue gods certainly work in mysterious ways…
Speedy: We arrived right at 11, which is right when Pecan Lodge opens. The line was already out the door, which is when coming with friends comes in handy. We went straight to the bulk order counter (minimum 5 pounds), which had no line (hence the great decision to bring back-ups), and we were on our way.
Our number was called after a short wait, and it was time to dig in. Obviously, we had more food than the three of us could eat, and everything looked and smelled incredible. I have a hard time knowing where to begin with this meal, so let’s just jump right in.
The brisket was heavenly. Rich, flavorful, moist, peppery, and perfectly cooked. It is easily in the top 4 briskets I’ve ever had, joining La Barbecue, Franklin, and Killen’s, and frankly, nothing else even comes close. The brisket seemed to melt in your mouth.
Personally, my other top meat was the beef rib. It was incredibly tender, had an amazing bark, and pulled, but didn’t fall, right off the bone. Honestly, I’d take these two cuts of beef over even the finest steaks. Beef like this just doesn’t come around often.
The other beef dish we had was the burnt ends, which was a special of the day. My two co-workers rated this as their favorite meat, and I agree it was very good, but I thought it could have been slightly more tender and could have used a little heat on the sauce. This is nit-picking to the extreme, but it was a tier below the brisket and beef rib for me.
The pork was also a pleasant surprise. I have had very hit or miss experiences with pork in Texas, but you could have told me the Pecan Lodge pork was from Tennessee or North Carolina and I would have believed you and demanded to know where from. It was tender and had nice bark, and overall was really great.
Monk: Funny you should mention that. I recalled hearing at one point at there was a connection between Pecan Lodge and NC and lo and behold, Justin and Diane Fourton (the couple behind Pecan Lodge) both used to live in Charlotte and met at Selwyn Pub in 2000. So while they both are originally from Texas, they may have gotten some pork knowledge through osmosis during their time in NC.
Speedy: On Rudy’s trip to Pecan Lodge, he raved about the ribs. This was my least favorite meat by a wide margin. The ribs were still good, but I felt like they could have been a little meatier and the outside got a little charred to me. I’m not sure if it was just a sub-standard batch, but the ribs were forgettable, especially when compared to the rest of the meal.
Rudy: Maybe you got a bad batch or I got an overly great batch. You may have also had the benefit of having several different meat to compare it to, and I only had the brisket. I’m sorry that I missed out on the beef rib.
Speedy: Generally, I don’t pay too much attention to the sides when I have five pounds of barbecue in front of me, but it was a different story here. The fried okra was really, really good. Perfectly seasoned and fried. The collards were also amazing and very unique. While I’m used to having bacon bits or pieces or pulled pork (or at least chicken stock) in the collards, these were very sweet – my guess is brown sugar. The collards are not to be missed.
The next paragraph is going to be a little hard to write. As a North Carolinian, I will go to my grave saying that Lexington barbecue is the best single food item that one can eat and that it was bestowed upon man by God himself. All that said, the top four all around barbecue meals of my life all happened in Texas, and this was in that group. It’s just that good. If you get a chance to visit Pecan Lodge – just do it.
Monk: Who in the? What in the? How in the?
Rudy: I have always said that the ceiling on Texas barbecue is higher but so is the floor. When it is done well, it is great, but it can also be done poorly. North Carolina barbecue is more consistent. I agree that Pecan Lodge is a must visit and if you have to order from the bulk window to avoid the lines, you will never be disappointed.
I’ve still yet to go to Pecan Lodge (Rudy liked it a lot) but when I do go I plan to bring some friends and get The Trough.
Ask a Texan what their favorite smokehouse is and the answers will span the state. Ask someone from Dallas, and chances are you’ll hear the name Pecan Lodge thrown around. With the help and desire of their following, Pecan Lodge owners Justin and Diane Fourton turned their brisket out of a truck business into a brick and mortar restaurant that’s hard to miss thanks to a constant line out the door.