Smokie's Barbecue is in a Gas Station, and Like All Gas Station Cuisine It's Delicious

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Gavin Cleaver
Even natural light can't save my photography, people.
What's better than shack barbecue? Nothing. Or so I thought, until I was tipped off about the next level up of ridiculousness: Gas station barbecue. That's right. Smokie's is a full-on barbecue restaurant, with a menu that if anything is a little too big, inside a gas station (or a petrol station, really, because "gas" isn't a liquid like you guys have been trying to convince me, it's a state of matter that is, well, gaseous. Petroleum, now, that's a liquid).

Gas station cuisine -- what gives, guys? I can commonly find Mexican restaurants inside gas stations. I mean, a barbecue one is a new one on me, but I can't say I'm totally surprised. What next? Steak places? Seafood? All-you-can-eat Brazilian barbecue? Where does it end? Is there anything less appropriate to put in a gas station? I mean, probably a small hospital, or a petting zoo, but gas and cuisine -- it's an awful combination.

It's not like the gas station is called "Gas Barbecue" or anything like that, although that would be an awesome name. It's just a Quick Stop in North Dallas with a smoker outside. Arriving on a cold, grey, windy day that reminded me of home, our confusion did not abate as we entered the place to see that, not only was there really a good quarter of the station given to over to a totally independently-run barbecue place, but that there was no seating of any kind, inside or out.

So, upon ordering one of the generously-portioned "family packs," we realized that the two-man operating team smokes everything off-site. I would guess at their house, but it could be anywhere for all we know. It could be a brothel, or a bathroom, or in the middle of Dealey Plaza.

Anyway, they have to bring it in, because the lady we ordered from quickly placed a call, and new food was delivered while we waited. We got a pound and a half of meat (brisket, ribs, sausage, obviously), two big sides, and six dinner rolls for in the region of $30. That's not a terrible price, but given the surely unimaginably low overheads that come from operating this place they could trim that price down a little. At least they've eliminated the whole "eat in or take away?" dilemma, and that's three seconds I am now free to enjoy. Value.

So, we sloped off to a nearby park to enjoy what essentially amounted to a barbecue picnic in the freezing cold. I have already given the immensely saddened Richard my coat, but she was still frozen. Sitting there in a T-shirt in the cold, eating brisket, I have never felt manlier. And it's good stuff. Really very good. A bit tough, but still excellent, and most of all extremely smoky. It didn't taste like a brothel, or a bathroom, or Dealey Plaza, which probably tastes like sad with some conspiratorial notes. All smoke flavor, all the time. I was a particular fan of the sausage; unlike a lot of barbecue places it is crumbly rather than a solid pureed whole, and I prefer that.

I don't understand how this whole deal works, everyone. How can a gas station/brothel-smoked barbecue place be so demonstrably better than a huge operation like Babb Bros? How does that even make sense?

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17 comments
gabe48
gabe48

Mac's Barbecue on Main St. in Dallas, is another great "joint"serving excellent barbecue, especially the jalapeño sausage, meaty ribs, and fresh cut fries.  They are open for lunch only, Mon. - Fri., and is a small Mom and Pop run restaurant.

BigAl
BigAl

It's only recently in life that I have come to understand that finding good food at the gas station was odd. There was a time when the best lunch counters were in a gas station and if in the Memphis area, grab a smoked turkey leg from a gas station, Mmmm....

I would hazard a guess that the reason gas station food is so good is that it only about the food so it better be good. 

The person making it is only worried about the food. No brain power is wasted on things like aranging tables and hiring wait staff. Just "I make good food, give me money and I will give you some in a cheap container to take home."

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

in K.C. the best bbq in town is said to be the Original Oklahoma Joes located inside a gas station.  I know I know, how the hell is the best place to eat bbq in kansas city, served in a place named for Oklahoma on the Missouri side of the river?  Im tired now.  


PS.  headed to KC for the weekend and cant wait to enjoy real burnt ends and KC bbq

cleaver.gavin
cleaver.gavin

Location for those wondering - 


6869 Frankford Rd.
Dallas, TX 75252

markzero
markzero

@Mervis from the DDD video posted there, it looks like Gavin should go to critique the bread pudding, if nothing else.

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@ScottsMerkin I lived in KC for a while and ate a ton of BBQ, and Okie Joe's was by far my favorite. You should go there. The line will be long (go at off hours if possible), but it will be worth it.

The original Arthur Bryant's is also great. And, if you need to walk around, the Nelson Atkins Art Museum has one of the oldest and best collections in the country, and the World War I museum is top-notch too. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@joe.tone @ScottsMerkin Love the original arhtur bryant's .  Ive just never given oklahoma joes a shot when I visit home.  But will have to this time for sure.  But im leaving the kiddo with grandma so I can enjoy that lunch

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk @Sharon_Moreanus yep, that was the one sharon was talking about.  Pretty good memory there buddy.  I lived in Johsnon Co KS for 10 yrs,  my moms whole side of the family is still there hence the visit this weekend.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus

Couldn't give you an address, I was only in KC for a good friend's wedding - and that was 25 years ago. He lived in Johnson Co. KS, if that's any help. Bridge sounds familiar, tho.


I also (vaguely) remember  going to a nightclub called The Roxy and having a pretty good time, too. It seemed like that was near the Royals ballpark, somewhere...



ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus that had to be the one but its closed now only 2 locations one in KS and one on the MO side up north of the city one the way to liberty

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk @Sharon_Moreanus 85rh and Troost, under the bridge?

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @joe.tone Try some LC's burnt ends when you get back. Y'all been makin mouth waterin for some Strouds where they "choke thier own chicken.

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