Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Todd reviews Pecan Lodge (Dallas)

Our Todd Plunk emailed me this:

Texas BBQ is a beautiful thing. I mean, there is something to be said for anything that causes grown men to wait for hours on end just to try a delicious hunk of smoked meat.  On December 26, while in Dallas for Christmas, I decided to hit up Texas Monthly's #2 pick in their Top 50 ListPecan Lodge, located in the Dallas Farmer's Market.

I first sampled Pecan Lodge at the 2013 Texas Monthly BBQ Festival. The brisket was tender and well smoked, so I was excited to try Pecan Lodge again, this time on their home field.  I arrived Thursday morning at 11am and was about 100 people back in the line. After waiting in line for one hour and 45 minutes, I finally made my way to the front counter to place my order... It all went down hill from there.

Becoming one of the top BBQ joints in the state, requires more than just having the best smoked meat. In my opinion, what separates Texas BBQ from all other BBQ is our hospitality. When I reached the counter to order, Mark L. (according to my receipt) took my order, and seeing how the only meat left was brisket, it was a fairly easy order. Watching the interactions of those guests in front of me, and then myself, I was amazed at how little personality and hospitality was shown to guests.  It was as if the staff didn't want to be there. The line moved extremely slow, with guests spending several minutes at the register...but not due to friendly, hospitable conversation, but due to the slow, 'zombie-like' actions of the staff.

I ordered the brisket, mac-n-cheese and a canned coke...notable items missing from the menu include sliced bread and iced tea...I mean how do you eat BBQ without these two things?  The brisket was good, my order of half a pound gave me both moist and lean cuts.  The mac-n-cheese was also good filled with green chilies and bacon.  But that's just it...the food was good, not great.  It was certainly above average, but if this truly is the second best BBQ in Texas, it fell far short. I was expecting to be blown away, and today, on this occasion it just wasn't there.  

Now I've been eating and reviewing BBQ for over 5 years now, so I understand you have on-days and off-days, and unfortunately I caught Pecan Lodge on an off-day; but beyond the meat, my overall experience fell far short for one of the best BBQ joints in the state.  Truly the gap between central Texas BBQ and Dallas BBQ is still quite large.


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