Meshack's and Double S Texas BBQ: I'll Tell You What, There's a Reason to Go to Garland

meshacks.jpg
Photos by Gavin Cleaver
Meshack's -- no propane or propane accessories here.
When wife Richard and I learned we were moving to Dallas, we decided to watch some TV shows to bring us up to speed with the place. A European ideal of Texas is one of deserts, cowboys and mild racism. American TV is, of course, all-pervasive wherever you are in the world, and we figured that Dallas would be a somewhat unrealistic portrayal, so we resorted to three programs. They were Police Women of Dallas, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team and King of the Hill.

The first taught us that crime didn't pay, because if that's what the police were like when the cameras were on them, what would they be like without them? The second demonstrated that American sportsball was such a big deal that superficial people were prepared to not only dance around in their underwear for very little recompense to celebrate it, but that they would compete to do so, in pursuit of the all-encompassing national pastime of achieving some sort of fame, no matter how that fame occurs.

meshacks_jasper.jpg
Jasper is a big ol' boy.
Of course, neither of those lessons was very useful to us. We already figured that Dallas police, from the wider stereotype of American police, may not be the friendliest to individuals they perceive to be criminals. We also figured that humans, from the wider stereotype of fame-hungry, desperate-for-recognition idiots, would desire their face on a screen as large as the one at Cowboy stadium. King of the Hill, though. That was different. It taught us more about Texas than any number of guide books. Creator of King of the Hill Mike Judge once lived in Garland. And so it was that I happily ventured out to Garland in the hope of spotting some propane, or at least some propane accessories.

Propane has no place in Texas barbecue, of course. It's wood or nothing (all of Texas is looking at you, The Salt Lick). The wood piled up along the side of Meshack's was almost the size of the tiny shack itself, and like the hopeful patrons, each inwardly praying for the availability of ribs, all were baking in the afternoon heat. A long queue eventually resulted in the day's final pound of ribs, along with brisket, sausage and a sandwich (The $9 Jasper, which comes with a warning/challenge that you won't be able to eat it) so outrageously priced in comparison to Meshack's other, very reasonable, prices that I had to have it. The chagrin of those behind us in the line who overheard we had taken the last of the ribs was palpable. Tension was high. If it wasn't so hot, wood would have been thrown.

Another similarly lengthy wait eventually resulted in bags and bags of food, and a sandwich the size of my arm (which isn't saying much, I have quite small arms) being thrust at us from through the small slot in the front of Meshack's, which serves as the point of sale.

It was top quality. The last ribs had dissolved into a fatty mess of flesh and the odd bit of cartilage, the brisket was falling apart into a moist pile of delicious and the sausage could be my second favourite meat tube ever. The Jasper, though. That thing is the size of a sub, but with so much chopped brisket and sausage on it that there is not a chance any aspect of that could support its own weight, like a blue whale with spindly legs making the move to living on the beach. We had two buckets of sauce. Someone had brought a single chair, which we used as a makeshift table. We all had carefully wrapped bread. It was a day of days. In short, Meshack's is very good. It is not average. I would eat their barbecue again without a thought. Hank Hill would give a small nod of satisfaction, down a beer, and then stoically return to the task at hand.

doubles_brisket.jpg
Double S' brisket: Snarf their ribs, save this for soup.
Garland's other offering is Double S Texas BBQ, and it's not quite so stellar. Stranded in a strip mall over by 635 (which I hear is named 635 because that is how many near-death experiences you will have per trip), this place had a homey feel inside, and some excellent AC, something that Meshack's offers you the exact opposite of. No AC and some fires. What is the temperature like inside the shack? Lord only knows. Double S is, however, a delightful space, with some fixin's right out of the Texas playbook, and a full bar. Decidedly empty, though, like that desolate Texas countryside I keep ending up in.

With a couple of pounds of the holy trinity of Texas barbecue, I felt sure this place would be a winner. It even had taps for different sauces -- sweet, Texas Heat, spicy. What the difference is between "heat" and "spicy" I cannot tell you, beyond the fact that Texas Heat appears to be made from a combination of lava and ghost peppers. I even asked for fatty brisket. Alas, the brisket was drier than sand. If the Jasper from Meshack's had indeed been a whale that went to live on the beach (bear with me here, OK), then this brisket would have been the beach. Never mind, because the ribs were excellent. Right up there, in fact, with the best I've had around Dallas. The sausage was unremarkable, but it was fine, because there were excellent ribs. It's very rare a place craps out on all three elements of the trinity (except Babbs Bros., who decided to have an excellent cheese meatloaf instead, the crazy fuckers), so there's always something to look forward to.

Brisket, however, is obviously the best of the three, and I cannot recommend Double S from my sampling. Instead, we took the brisket home, and the delightful Richard made it into a delicious French onion soup. Then it was more than palatable, although I fear by melding French and Texan cuisine we have probably offended several million folk. Sorry, everyone. Hank Hill would have done that surprised noise he always does before finding some way to resolve his inner anger using the immensely powerful tool of feigned indifference.


Location Info

Double S Texas BBQ

2121 NW Highway, Garland, TX

Category: Restaurant


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
gabe48
gabe48

Good barbecue at Mac's BBQ on Main St., especially the jalapeño sausage, at this family owned restaurant.   The ribs are meaty and well seasoned, the fries are fresh cut, never frozen.  Also try Slow Bone barbecue, across the street from Off Site Kitchen, excellent barbecue.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

That brisket looks great!  Gavin, when are you going to visit Westar BBQ in Plano? 

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

Gavin, when you heading back out my way?  Supposed to be a new one in Cresson that's awesome (BBQ on the Brazos) and doubt you've been out to Peadenville (Hashnife on the Chisolm) I'm gonna try to get down to Cresson tomorrow morning and see if what I've been hearing is correct.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

American sportsball -That cracks me up every time.

Meshak's BBQ is sublime.

Guyndallas
Guyndallas

Where is Meshack's? That would be helpful...

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Joshisbackonthecopenhagen he is coming to Pantego first to try some of that bbq at Davids Barbecue, then he can come back your way. You ever had the Davids in Pantego?

cleaver.gavin
cleaver.gavin

@Joshisbackonthecopenhagen I actually drove directly past Hashknife on the way to Possum Kingdom a few weeks back during the short period when it was closed. Gutted. Been hearing a lot about BBQ on the Brazos, so it's on the list.

Mervis
Mervis

You afraid to Google?

dallasdem
dallasdem

@Guyndallas That's the first thing I noticed. There are directions to the not-so-hot place but nothing for Meshack's. Thankfully, I've been there and know how to find it.

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

Wifey brough home some sliced the two days before he shut down..as good as I've had.  The new one in Cresson is about 10 minutes from mi casa, hollar when you head out. 

Might be able to hit it on the way to Revolver Brewing?! If'n y'all are still on for Satuday.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...