Back from my Wednesday P.M. to Saturday A.M. trip to DFW. Thank you for all of your earlier suggestions. I'll try to keep these reviews as short as possible.
Throughout the chaos of flying (flying is my personal version of hell), I managed to not eat from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A mixture of equal parts starvation and not wanting to believe my previous experience with Dallas BBQ was "true" led me to, yet again, seek out good BBQ. (Last time, the evening vs. mid-day was part of my disappointment with Big Al's)
So, I headed towards Holy Smokes (from my hotel in Las Colinas mind you). But as I'm driving along Mockingbird, I spy Smokey John's and The Brisket, which I remember from Scott's review as fairly good places. The Brisket had just closed, but Smokey John's was still open. I was starving so I got the 5-meat "Grand Slam" and a tamale (from Ruth's Tamale House, which is the same chow line).
As I mentioned in previous posts, I've read enough to be aware Dallas is sort of B-grade when it comes to good Dallas BBQ. However, Smokey John's restored a little bit of faith that it isn't more like D-grade.
Scott's review on December 20th pretty much sums up my feelings on the place. The ribs were very good, brisket acceptable, and I enjoyed the two types of sausages. There was also some kind of ham-like substance which I ate, but ignored as it was neither good nor bad. The slimy okra and tasteless black eyed peas ranked with the ham as forgettable, but the beans were good. Oh yeah, very good tamale, but quite tiny.
As I finished and stood up, I decided I would no longer make the mistake of driving across Dallas to try a BBQ place. But, then I got into the car and saw my map to Holy Smokes. UGH. Off I go...
Holy Smokes has a much more suburban styled atmosphere, and their food follows suit. The ribs and brisket are neatly piled on your plate, not touching one another. The sides (at about 4 p.m.) were in such pristine presentation, they reminded me of that plastic food in a Japanese restaurant window display.
The food was fine. Ribs were meaty and tender, brisket OK (although lacking any evidence of a pinky-red smoke ring). But I felt like I was eating in any other suburban BBQ place in the U.S. No soul here and nothing stood out.
As for the sauce, neither place's warranted room for a bottle on my carry-on bag home.
I'm coming back, yet again, in early April. But, I've learned my lesson: No More Dallas BBQ. I'm buying a BBQ sauce-detecting shock collar set to juice me with a few hundred volts if I approach a BBQ joint, which I will wear next time I'm down.