Monday, January 7, 2013
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse (Dallas, TX)
Today I had a long lunch break in between court hearings, so I wandered over to Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse to grab a quick bite. Their West End location is only a few blocks from the courthouse, so it's a perfect lunch spot for me.
Sonny Bryan's isn't anything fancy, but then again barbecue isn't meant to be fancy, just smoky and delicious. Here you'll find a few neon beer signs scattered throughout, as well as framed newspaper and magazine articles detailing their many accolades. The only menu is the big one mounted on the wall, so just place your order at the counter and wait for your name to be called.
I didn't want to risk getting globs of barbecue sauce on my suit, so I opted for a fork-and-knife selection. I went with their special Smokehouse Sampler: smoked sausage and jalapeno sausage with a honey mustard dipping sauce. I also added a side of potato salad, as well as a small container of their barbecue sauce for my added dipping pleasure.
The potato salad was good and mustardy, and was a nice combination of both creamy and chunky. There was also a nice crunch from the veggies mixed in. Maybe the potato salad needed a little pepper or paprika for some additional spice, but other than that it was perfect. The dinner roll was nice and buttery with a hint of sweetness to it too (honey perhaps?). While I was eating, the staff would frequently come around offering additional rolls, and I would have taken them up on the offer but I had meat to concentrate on.
I started with the regular sausage to get a baseline on the heat level. It had a decent amount of pepper to it, although not too much to be overpowering. Then I moved on to the jalapeno sausage, which didn't vary too much in terms of overall taste, but the jalapenos definitely added some heat. The kick from the jalapenos slowly intensified in my mouth while I chewed. I was happy to find a clear distinction between the two sausages, which is how it should be but I'm always a little skeptical. It's also worth noting that, even though the sausage came pre-sliced, the casings still had a good snap.
As usual, I tried the sausage both with and without my duo of dipping sauces. The honey mustard added a nice sweetness to the smoke. It went perfectly with the jalapeno sausage, but was good with the regular sausage too. This was a nice change from the usual array of barbecue sauces, but it probably only works paired with the sausage. The barbecue sauce, on the other hand, was a little disappointing. I was glad the sauce wasn't overly sweet, but it really didn't add much in terms of flavor.
The Bryan family has been dishing out their smoky delights in Dallas for over 100 years, and it shows. Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse has locations scattered across the DFW metroplex (there are also a few in Utah if you're so inclined), and has even been featured on the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food Nation. If Sonny Bryan's barbecue is good enough to impress Adam Richman and his bottomless stomach, you know it's good.
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse
302 N. Market Street
Dallas, TX 75202