An Englishman Road-Trips to Cowtown for Barbecue-palooza. Eats Cow.
In the first of a thankfully brief series, I show you the delights that could be in store for you if you brave the horrors of Interstate 20 and I-30, and issue you a challenge. Go on a barbecue road trip out of Dallas with some good friends, and try to hit three places or more in one day without either reconsidering your path in life, dying of meat overdose, or losing your less-cool friends to a coffee place they'd rather go to than yet another damn barbecue place.
Photos by Sarah Yu
First stop, Longoria's BBQ. Tomorrow, Cousins Bar-B-Q.
I'm sure you have utilized the frankly terrifying breadth of Daniel Vaughn's experience, over on Full Custom Gospel BBQ, to check out what to expect at a DFW barbecue restaurant. For the uninitiated, and shame on you, Mr. Vaughn is a barbecue expert of some repute, who graced our television screens with Anthony Bourdain earlier this year. He is also the author of a forthcoming book, and most important, seems to have been to almost every single barbecue venue in Texas. Look at the map on his blog. Where does he find the time? I can't even find the time to fix the shower curtain, let alone spend an entire day eating barbecue, take high-quality photos and then have a light dinner with a celebrity chef.
So imagine my joy upon discovering that Longoria's BBQ, which, ladies and gentlemen, is in the middle of fucking nowhere, had two important features. One -- brisket sausage. Two -- it has slipped under the Vaughn-dar, the Texas standard for detecting the combination of meat and a smoker. I was sold on the brisket sausage anyway. This place was actually a pit stop (that's a good joke, come on) on the way to Cousin's BBQ. Starting off the day as simply a road trip to Cousin's, our journey quickly spiraled out of control into an ill-advised meat frenzy, sparked by the simple revelation of brisket sausage.
It had never occurred to me you could use brisket as a sausage filling. So simple and yet so perfect. What else can you do with brisket? Well, it turns out Longoria's had thought about that too, and brisket burgers and brisket jerky are further innovations. Noting that the venue itself is not made from brisket, and relieved that they had stopped short of brisket cowboy hats (although part of me wants one of them), the Barbecrew and I got a three-meat plate between four ($14), so as to preserve our individual functioning before later on. Obviously, brisket sausage and sliced brisket and ribs plus potato salad and coleslaw.
Brisket sausage plus brisket. It they made ribs, cutlery and plates out of brisket, this would be the perfect meal.
It should be noted the staff are delightful, and to pull up at this shack in the back of beyond, be greeted by the owner lounging on the porch and then excitedly running to the smoker to bring us free samples, was brilliant. He then spent ages explaining different kinds of ribs, gave us a free banana pudding, and insisted on photographing us next to the restaurant sign. Top guy. But what about his food?
Here is exactly what you are expecting -- entire cities should be constructed from brisket sausage. It should be the first thing everyone sees in the morning, and the last thing they see at night. Think about your favorite thing. Now think about that favorite thing, but with a brisket sausage. I've just improved your favorite thing. You're welcome.
I've forgotten what everything else at this place was like. Brisket. Sausage. Jesus. Mr. Vaughn would need to get his BBQ Yoda butt out to this place, if I weren't already convinced that he's had a brisket sausage many times before and is now muttering his disdain for my ramblings behind the brisket walls of his brisket house, furiously hitting his brisket keyboard, possibly with brisket. It's a long way out to Longoria's though, and I'm not sure about the reliability of his brisket car.
Have I said brisket enough times now? There's a line, and I don't want to b-risk it.
Epilogue: It has since come to my attention that, of course, Daniel Vaughn has reviewed this place many years ago, and rendered this entire article moot. God damn it, Vaughn.
100 Christopher Drive, Fort Worth