Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Pappas Bar-B-Q (Dallas, TX)
Brothers Pete and Jim Pappas started serving up a variety of delicious food options back in 1967. Jim's sons Harris, Chris, and Greg later joined the family venture, and since then the Pappas brand has been offering everything from steak and seafood to Mexican and Greek. Each branch of the Pappas restaurant empire has its own appeal, but what I love most is their barbecue. I have been to Pappas Bar-B-Q many times before, but this will be my first blog review.
At Pappas, you can dine in, grab your 'que to go, or make a quick pass through the drive-thru. Today I decided to eat there and enjoy the atmosphere. I caught the scent of magnificent pit smoke as soon as I stepped out of my truck. Mmmm.....
Pappas offers great barbecue, and it's a great place to bring out-of-town guests experiencing Texas for the first time. On a prior visit to Pappas, we brought a friend of ours from Ohio to devour their monstrous spare ribs. Modest wooden planks line the walls, which are filled with neon beer signs, old western decor, and even a stuffed jackalope or two. For those of you unfamiliar with the infamous jackalope, click here.
There were a lot of excellent options to choose from, but I settled on their Two Sliced Meat Combo: Czech sausage (heck yeah!) and brisket, with potato salad and macaroni and cheese on the side. I had originally considered getting the yams as one of my side dishes, but the big gooey shells and cheese looked too good to resist.
I ended up with a huge helping of mustard potato salad. It had a fantastic amount of crunch to it from all the veggies. There was also a surprisingly high degree of flavor, with just a slight hint of heat on the back end. Just as I suspected, the mac and cheese was awesome. The jumbo-size shells were perfect for cradling cheesy goodness inside. I'm glad I opted for the mac at the last minute.
Both meat offerings looked amazing, but I decided to start with the sausage. It came in huge slices which still required a fork and knife. The menu touted this as Czech sausage, and it definitely had the cracked black pepper and coarse grind that is reminiscent of Central Texas. This is the kind of sausage I grew up inhaling on a regular basis. No sauce was needed here, and I didn't even try adding it for fear of ruining perfection.
While I watched my combo plate being prepared, I noticed them slicing the brisket from the point, which usually means it will be nice and fatty. My brisket had a nice amount of bark to it, and was tender and juicy throughout. It had excellent flavor inside and out which went far beyond the typical salt and pepper. There was a very pronounced red smoke ring penetrating deep below the crust. I found a nice amount of smoke in each bite, made all the more prevalent by the well-rendered fat content.
Most barbecue joints tend to have their best stuff available for lunch around 11:00 or 12:00. I was initially worried that coming to Pappas during the dinner hour would affect the quality of the 'que. Not at all. Pappas Bar-B-Q proved that they can deliver incredible smoked meats any time day or night. Next time I'm there, I'll be trying their Sweet Caroline pulled pork sandwich.
2231 W. Northwest Hwy.
Dallas, TX 75220