3 Stacks Smokehouse Brings Barbecue to Frisco. But Why?

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Frisco is an odd place for anything that isn't a strip mall. All those strange brick buildings are meant to give it character, I suppose, but end up making the whole place look like the efforts of a pioneering architect who desires a standardized building, and has had southern European buildings described to them over the phone and just run with it.

"What bricks do we need, Jim?"

"Oh, I dunno, everything else around here is constructed out of a strange mixture of plywood and concrete, as if to taunt the regular tornadoes. Let's just go with whatever brick you can turn up."

"I've found this brick, but the colour of it burns with the intensity of a thousand suns."

"Perfect, Steve, perfect."

The rest of it is just buildings that are too expensive for me to be able to look at, so they built massive walls around them. Presumably if I pay $5 (about $5.40 after tax, probably a $1 convenience charge and a $2 booking fee as well) then I'll be able to get a quick glimpse of how people who could buy and sell me with a quick gesture live. I mean, the only real way to get to Frisco is up a tollway, which is a perfect metaphor for the entire city.

Thus, Frisco is not an ideal place for Texas barbecue. That would be like putting a tattoo parlour in Trump Towers. Nevertheless 3 Stacks Smokehouse has arrived, to give us a Frisco take on barbecue, which as it turns out is upmarket and shiny and built with haphazard bricks. The really interesting question to me is whether they named it 3 Stacks and then demanded the architect built three chimney stacks, or whether the chimney stacks were a happy outcome of another Frisco architect, leading to them naming it so after being stuck for a good name. Both possible courses of action are fraught with logical problems.

Oh, right, the meat. Upon entering, you're greeted with confusion -- it looks like there should be someone to escort you to your table, given the upmarket nature of the place, and so ours and another two groups simply stand there until a confused waiter comes over and gestures us towards the buffet-style food area. Once at the meat area, suddenly excited by the appearance of a very blackened brisket indeed, we get half a pound of the important stuff and a couple of the impressive-looking sides. I am a sucker for sweet potato and I don't know why. That "casserole" you guys have with the marshmallows on it? Delicious. Sweet potato barely even exists back home. We're too busy with normal potatoes. In Ireland you can be cast out into the Irish Sea for possession of a sweet potato.

Upon getting back to the table, we come to realize quite how delightful the beer list is. It's very delightful indeed. I had Obsidian stout, and whether or not that was a good choice only Jesse Hughey can say. The meat, well, it was pretty good. Contained within the three foil packets of joy the staff had created, the grease was already leaking everywhere by the time we got round to opening them. The brisket, well, it was certainly moist and greasy and easily pulled apart, which is always good, but we had seen them chop the fat off of it in front of our very eyes, dumping it into some drawer as if it were a reject rather than the best bit, and despite asking for fatty brisket. It was the perfect texture, but a bit flavourless; it felt like it could have done with a bit longer in the smoker and a lot more fat. In fact, with the addition of salt and pepper, a pair of condiments I cannot remember seeing at any other barbecue restaurant, the brisket became excellent. The ribs had an extraordinarily sweet glaze and were pretty delicious, tender enough and bright red and glimmering with meat sweat (much like myself after Lockhart the other week), and the sausage was pretty smoky and had a good snap, but was relatively unremarkable. Nothing blew me away, and you'd probably expect a bit more for $8 a half pound.

I'm on record, though, about shiny, upmarket places constructed out of valuable materials serving Texas barbecue. Stop it. If you've got a good pitmaster and a good brisket, by all rights you should be putting him in a shack, or at the very least a blackened hovel somewhere. Then you'd need to not be in Frisco, I suppose.


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41 comments
shrid99
shrid99

Next time you are at 3 stacks ask for the pizza.  its yummy

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Man, I didn't have to do any work on this one; all of my favorite stereotypes are in full force here (soccer mom's, suburban depression, Dickeys', etc.).......ya'll done me right; I didn't even have to think!  Git em Merkin!  



kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

I've heard great things about 3 Stacks...great things!  Anyone remember Bob of Bob's BBQ at Main and Preston; I think a bank is in that location now. Ahhh, old Frisco with it's bevy of fields and whorehouses!  You'd get going down the other side of that hill on Main Street, and if you were doing it right, by the time you got to the tracks you'd be going 100 mph

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

I was in Frisco once. But it was closed. 

tnt79
tnt79

Frisco might have a lot of the stereotypes you're talking about, but it also has a lot of normal, good people, who like the family friendly nature of the city.  Frisco is no worse than North Dallas, Plano, Southlake, etc.  We live in a relatively wealthy area and the consequence of that is a lot of what y'all are bitching about.  

Don't forget, Frisco also has some of the best public schools in the area thanks to their "keep it small" philosophy with their schools, and it has a TON of great things for families / kids to do (science museum, train museum coming, sports teams, etc.)  The city is also very good at planning for the future... 

Lastly, besides the Tollway and 121, there's Preston, Ohio, Coit, and Custer to get you across 121 into Frisco.  So please get off of your high horses and start using some logic and reasoning in your criticisms.  

Willie
Willie

I worked in Frisco (Plano's Plano) for two long years.  The city sucks just about every which way you can count.  This review is a complete waste of bandwidth, except to note that the owner seems true to Frisco's anal retentiveness and squeaky order.  

YouTalkinToMe
YouTalkinToMe

And, Frisco does suck!! The bars aren't even open till 2am. I guess that gives the swingers an edge so their parties can start sooner. 

jrick352
jrick352

A bit anti-Frisco are we?? As someone born and raised in Dallas who then moved to Frisco, I find the city very nice to live in. Oh, and there is way more than one way to get here, too. 

kingkris13
kingkris13

I've been there at least a dozen times and still struggle with them to keep the bark on the brisket. I think their trimming of te brisket is a direct reflection of their market. Better not keep the burnt or fat parts on this meat. We don't want to ruin the bodies that this Friscans paid so much money to achieve.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Fuck Frisco and its overgrown population of soccer moms in oversized unnecessary SUVS. 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@tnt79 

Really, is this Scott? Are you just trying to get people to make fun of you? 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@jrick352 oh yeah, the 121 Tollway, ha wait Gavin lives in Lewisville, whats the other way, the DNT.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@kingkris13 If you have to cut the best part of the meat off to market to the area you are in, they do not deserve your restaurant, then again, maybe the owner doesnt know any better because he may have gron up on bbq served the way he is serving it.  Anyhow, I think we all agree its wrong to dispense of the fat and bark no matter how the brisket is cooked

MikeD
MikeD

@ScottsMerkin Swerving all over the road on their cell phones.  Frisco sucks in every way, but those shitty housewives in their SUVs are everywhere.

tnt79
tnt79

@WhiteTrashIn75013 C'mon now, I'm saying we ALL do... DFW is a relatively wealthy metroplex compared to other areas of the state and country.  Trust me when I tell you me and my family are not financially wealthy... yet we choose to live in Frisco, in one of the "older" areas mind you... 

kingkris13
kingkris13

I've seen the managing partner tear the slicers a new one more than once. I think when you have so many requests to remove the "gross stuff" it becomes second nature. I've said it many times, your ability to slice a brisket is just as important as your ability to smoke it. 3 Stacks can smoke a brisket, but most of them cannot slice it. It's still better than anything north of 635.

tnt79
tnt79

@WhiteTrashIn75013 And yes, I'm aware there are poor areas of DFW - but again, the metroplex as a whole has a lot of wealth compared to other areas.  And people keep moving here because of cheap real estate, *relatively* stable real estate prices, and no state income tax, so that's probably not going to change any time soon.

todd
todd

@ScottsMerkin @todd @TomTom So don't pay if you don't want to play.  The beautiful thing about choice is YOU get to make it. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@TomTom true but last time I went that way I hit every red light and it took 45 minutes to get to a place that should take 15, tolls or not

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Must have served his apprenticeship in a supermarket meat department.

kingkris13
kingkris13

@ScottsMerkin @Shoopy @kingkris13 They won't laugh at you, they're too nice.  True story: On one of my first visits to 3 Stacks I asked for a half pound from the point.  The guy cut the flat into a point and slice it.  No lie.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@kingkris13 yep, besides the fact it helps your bottom line, its also an integral part of the taste

kingkris13
kingkris13

@ScottsMerkin It doesn't make sense from a business standpoint to trim the bark and toss it when you're selling your meat by weight...

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@kingkris13 Good to know about the managing partner.  seriously, the slicer should just slice it, make the customer take off what they dont want.  That will ruin their reputation if they become known as the place that cuts the fat out of bbq

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