Hard Eight BBQ is a Hard Ten

Categories: 'Wich Trials

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Each week, Justin Bitner goes hunting for DFW's most interesting sandwiches. Have a sandwich suggestion? Leave it in the comments and he'll check it out.

Venue: Hard Eight BBQ

The Sandwich: Sliced Beef ($5)

Bread: Fresh Baked Jalapeño Roll

Toppings: Sliced brisket and a little self-applied barbeque sauce

The Case: There's been some intense debate on our fair blog over the last week relating to the beef sandwich caste system, which I'll algebraically sum up as such: sliced > chopped > loose. In my quest to find the finest bread-bound meat books this city has to offer, I followed this tip from one of our more colloquial commenters, Josh's Broken Groin, and headed to Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell:

"do yourself a favor and lookup Hard 8...it's MAGIC I tell ya!...if'n you don't want sauce you can tell the gal inside when you tell her what kind of bun you would prefer (go with Jalapeno)"

Walking up to the place, I could see smoke methodically seeping out near the entrance, where the large pits were playing host to some serious imbuing. I weave through the line-directing metal pipes and make it to a closed pit with a small man clinging to its giant affixed handle. Sensing my desire to consume ember blessed proteins, he opens the door slowly as I feel my eyes start to get cartoon sized. I look over the brain demolishing array of smoked meats; chicken, sausage and beef glistening so perfectly I expect a rainbow to jump out of the pit and arch into the sky. Making up my mind quickly, I request the sliced beef sandwich and the carvesmith measures out a few strips of brisket, placing them on a scale to make sure I'm getting the proper tonnage. He hands me the basket of cargo and points me inside to retrieve my bread.

Kicking open the door, I'm instantly greeted by a petite lady who asks me what type of bread I would like. Paying heed to the words of our commenter, I stop her as soon as she utters the word "jalapeno." She pulls back the foil covering a large metal bin and pulls out a square jalapeno roll, which she splits it in half and places it into a small oven to get a coaxing from a little heat. I grab the roll and move down the line to the sauce vats, which consist of a traditional BBQ sauce and a hot apple cider sauce. Ladling a spoonful of each into two little plastic cups, I make my way to the register and then snag a bolted down barstool.

Once at the table, it's time to assemble the sandwich. I transfer the beef from basket to bread, grabbing a straggling piece of brisket to give it a try on its own. The meat was tender with a great smokiness from the mesquite wood used in the pits. I pour a small amount of traditional sauce over a portion of the sandwich, making sure to leave plenty of room to experiment with the over sauce and or a capella. Working through the sandwich, I find that the light lathering of traditional sauce is the way to go. The sweetness of the sauce gets along great with the brisket, while the jalapeno roll provides a better than average base. The fresh baked bread, dotted with flecks of the mild pepper, was the pastry equivalent of a Simmons Beautyrest, soft and responsive. Wonder how it would hold up to a bowling ball.

The Verdict: Not as much of a gamble as the name implies, Hard Eight is easily a 10.

More 'Wich Trials:
Granny's Sunday Gravy at Gennarino's
The Balis Bad Boy at Mr. G's
The Whole Hog at Smoke
The Club at Sid's Rainbow Deli
The Reuben at Coppell Deli
The Italian Hoagie at Fred's Downtown Philly


Location Info

Hard Eight BBQ

688 Freeport, Coppell, TX

Category: Restaurant


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10 comments
Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

What the hell dude? I reckon a duel is in order. Ifn you're gonna quote a man, quote him. I want a rewrite/update with my handle included..damn man you butchered my post so bad..that's the least you could do.

Scott's sorry ass is who needed to go, for the effing chopped..but glad you liked the sliced anyway.

To all you Dallas d's that posted and said it was dry..you can do one of these two things: Order some fatty brisket, that's what us pros do and you dumasses don't know about or you could just shutup cause you probably don't know good Q or what the Hell you're talking about...I've only been to the other two locations, but I've never had a bad piece of meat or "unsmoked" WTH is that anyway? It's cooked on a freaking smoker, dude.

Sidenote for Just Sayin: That wasn't butter dummy, that would of been juices/rendering..did they ask you if you wanted it wet? And that's also greatness.

I was dining at Smoky Joes today meself, had the rib basket..mmmm good, for those that happen to be in the far north Ardmore region. (Fri/Sat nights is smoked Ribeye night, it would be worth a trip Ifn you were heading to the casino or the Arbuckle Ballroom)

brah clee
brah clee

I've been intrigued by Hard 8 for a while now, im just never any in or near Coppell. this previous commenter obviously had some bad meat. which given the "success" of the place so far, i imagine they're not giving EVERYONE cold, stale meat.

one of these days i'll check it out. is it good que or is it just these crazy-ass suburban folks who get all riled up about Corner Bakery loving it?

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Damn, that sandwich looks good!  This price is right.  Coppell? Not making any airport runs this month!  Well, BBQ Barn it is.

Want an overrated meal; go to Spring Creek BBQ-it is meh. 

Want a good BBQ meal; go to Soul Man's-it is "yum".

just sayin'
just sayin'

Hard 8 in Coppell is horseshit. Maybe they have a decent sandwich, but I will never know because I will never go back to that place. I went there with some friends and paid 19 bucks for a childs portion of cold, stale bbq. The ribs barely had one bite of meat on them. Their sauce tasted like ketchup mixed with a little liquid smoke. The sausage was no better than the stuff you can get at the grocery store. Oh, but they do have free beans.

I haved talked to several other people that had the exact same experience at the Coppell location. You walk past all the smokers on the way to ordering and the smell/atmosphere fools you into thinking that you may have stumbled into something comparable to the experience in Lockhart. Then you eyeball an order from the meat in the open smoker that is so dry and stale that they keep a bowl of melted butter to dip it in before they put it on your plate. Then they weigh it all, you go inside and grab a few sides and a drink, and the cashier takes your ticket and sodomizes your wallet. Oh, but did I mention the vat of free all you can eat beans?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

the perfect read before heading off to lunch, too bad I wont be enjoying some Hard Eight though

just sayin'
just sayin'

I didnt even mention the brisket it my first post, Mr BBQ Pro. I skipped the brisket because you could see as he sliced into it that there was no hint of a red line under the crust. That told me all I needed to know about its time in the smoker. Oh, and a sidenote. My bad for thinking that they were dipping the meat in melted butter and not "juices/rendering". I just assumed that it was butter after I asked the pit guy what was in the bowl that they kept dipping the meat in and he answered "melted butter". I guess "melted butter" is code for "juices/rendering" amongst you pros.

Justin B.
Justin B.

Sorry man, I'll try to get a revision in there to give you proper credit, unless you're really itchin' for a duel.  I realize you had recommended the chopped to Scott, but I figured I'd go try the sliced because it sounded awesome, and it was.  Thanks for the indirect recommendation, and for updating Josh's injury status. 

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

" i imagine they're not giving EVERYONE cold, stale meat."

You are correct. Sometimes it is warm, dried-out, smoke-free meat.  The bacon wrapped chicken nuggets are pretty good, though.

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