Here's a brief rundown, with more details and photos at the link below.
Porkies BBQ is on Northwest Highway, just east of Abrams. I'd read some positive published reviews about Porkies. Many of them are mounted on the walls at the place, including one that proudly announces that the Dallas Morning News regards Porkies as the best barbecue in Dallas. (Didn't check the date on that.) The place looks like a former fast-food joint converted into a bbq restaurant. An assortment of album covers and posters from the '60s and '70s adorn the walls. Live music is (from what I read) sometimes available in the patio area. Maybe I caught them on an off day. But the barbecue I had here was the worst I've sampled in this series of reports. Supermarket grade sausage and poor hot links. Dry, rubbery, flavorless, smokeless brisket. And the ribs...well, look at the photo below, if you dare. These ribs were not for the squeamish. Really, really atrocious. There's such a thing as being unlucky in the cut. But a barbecue joint that would ever send something looking like that out on a plate has serious problems.
Raymond's Pit Bar-b-q Cafeteria is an independent in a former Underwood's on Garland Rd. It maintains the look/feel of a typical chain barbecue cafeteria. And, on the day I went there, the meats were consistent with the look. The ribs were mushy and had a gummy exterior. The sausage had the unfortunately Spammy character that you find from time to time in Dallas bbq joint sausages. The brisket was a step up from the other meats, with moderate smokiness and decent flavor. But a lot of its moisture seemed to come from its steam-warmed storage, which undercut flavor. Low sandwich grade, overall; but on a good day, I imagine they could score a little higher in that category. Not a terrible barbecue joint; but definitely not a contender for best in Dallas.
Clark's Outpost is in Tioga, northeast of Denton. It's really more of a full service restaurant than a barbecue joint. But barbecue is clearly the draw for most people there. Brisket was solid sandwich grade, fork tender and reasonably moist (even though the cuts were on the lean side). It came up short in flavor (bland and slightly roast-beefy) and smokiness, however. (The subdued smoke flavor was perplexing, given their claim that they smoke the brisket for a preposterous three days.) Ribs were a little dry and didn't have a good bark, but had pretty good flavor and smokiness. Since they get their sausage from Rudolph's (which, though good, is a known quantity), our third meat choice was rainbow trout. The trout was cured, cold smoked, and topped with capers. The results, while not affirmatively bad, didn't really appeal to me. When the waitress saw that I wasn't finishing it, she asked if I'd like her to bring me something else. I said no, thanks. When the check came out, I saw that she'd voluntarily removed the trout from our bill. Nice service touch. Overall, we had a decent meal there--above average for the Dallas area, but with no meat approaching greatness. This was also the most expensive meal I've had in this series of reports. Their barbecue isn't bad, but it's no bargain.
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