Restaurants & Bars


[DFW] Smokey John's, The Brisket, & Big Al's Smokehouse


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[DFW] Smokey John's, The Brisket, & Big Al's Smokehouse

Scott | Dec 20, 2004 10:29 AM

A quick overview, with more details and photos at the link below.

Smokey John's. In a strip center on the south side of Mockingbird, maybe a quarter mile west of Harry Hines. Brisket was solidly sandwich-grade, with good flavor, a bit of crust, and decent moistness. Not much smoke flavor on it, though. Ribs were above average, smokier than the brisket, with good flavor and well-formed bark. On the verge of being tough, but not so much that I'd complain. Sausage and hot links, from a Czech sausage maker, were very enjoyable (and different from each other), with great texture and flavor. The quality of the sausage made up for the moderate smokiness. In all, a pretty good barbecue place, with sausage in Dallas's top tier.

The Brisket Bar-B-Q. Directly across Mockingbird from Smokey John's. Very "Texas" feel to the place, but without touristy excess. Sausage tasted like Spam, with little smoke. The big spare ribs were pretty average--light on smoke and flavor. Brisket was low sandwich-grade. Little flavor and smokiness, with just enough moisture to make it edible. Overall, while you could do a lot worse than eating at The Brisket in Dallas, you could also do a lot better.

Big Al's Smokehouse. Set back from Inwood (in the same center as Inwood Quarter), a few blocks off Lemmon. Rudolph's sausage (which already puts them above average), with good smokiness. Very good spare ribs, with perfect level of tenderness, good smokiness and flavor, and a well-formed bark, making these some of the best ribs I've had in these DFW bbq reports. Half pound beef ribs (pictured below) were also very good, more tender and with better flavor than the ones I recently had at Cross-town BBQ (in the Elgin trip report). When I requested fatty brisket, the carver pulled out a fresh fatty side and took my slices right off the end. With very good flavor, moistness, and a good crust, this was the closest thing I've had to "eating brisket" in Dallas.

Realizing I got lucky in the cutting, I went back to Big Al's for a second sampling. Second time around, the spare ribs were even better--excellent by any standard. Instead of sausage, I got some good hot links that had a fair amount of spiciness and garlicky undertones. Once again, they honored my request for brisket off the fatty side. And, while it wasn't quite as good as the cuts I had on the prior visit, this was still smoky, moist, and flavorful brisket, placing in the top quartile of the sandwich-grade bracket. It'll be no chore to return to Big Al's for more "research."




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