What do you think about when you think of Dallas, Texas: bankers, the Dallas Cowboys, JR Ewing, traffic? Maybe. Do you think of barbecue, barbeque, BBQ, or Bar-B-Q? Probably not; but you should. Why? Because, Dallas is home to Texas barbecue that’s memorable. Last month, I traveled down to the Big D with a short list of places I wanted to try. Needing help deciding which one of the two barbeque restaurants to visit first, I reached out to Full Custom Gospel BBQ's Daniel Vaughn and he was kind enough to suggest SMOKE.
Immediately after pulling into the gravel parking lot and opening up my door, I was met with the beautiful aroma of burning wood, as if it were saying “howdy.” At this moment I got excited, because I knew I was about to experience a barbecue restaurant unlike any other. After reading so many wonderful things about SMOKE in Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Bon Appétit, and Food & Wine, now was my chance.
Ordering off the Midday menu was difficult, because everything looked so good. I wanted to order it all: the Pimento Cheese Croquettes with Grilled Romaine, the Foie Gras & Chicken Liver Pate with Smoked Red Onion Marmalade & Grilled Buttermilk Dill Toast, the Chopped Coffee Cured Beef Brisket, the Lemon & Sage Brined Turkey Breast with Pickled Carrots. But, I was in mood for ribs and settled on the Dry Rubbed Pork Spare Ribs with Mac n Cheese & BBQ Beans Topped with Hand-Pulled Pork.
I couldn’t have been happier with my decision. Each rib had a nice touch of bark with a wonderful balance of tender smoked pork, seasoning, and a touch of sweetness to them. Both sides were delicious with my favorite of the two being the ranch-style BBQ beans that carried the bold flavor you’d expect to find in Texas.To call SMOKE just a “barbecue restaurant” doesn’t come close to describing what Tim Byres and team are crafting. Their homemade, everything-from-scratch creative approach produces amazing dishes made from ingredients that are familiar, but end up tasting so uniquely different than any other barbecue restaurant I’ve ever been to.