The BBQ Ranch in Fort Worth is Texas in Miniature

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Gavin Cleaver

Somewhere, in a far-flung part of Fort Worth, there is a corner of land that will remain forever Texas. It's in Texas, obviously, but that's not quite what I'm driving at here. The BBQ Ranch, a recently opened barbecue restaurant in the corner of five acres of ranch, is so very Texan that it's almost painful. If it were any more Texan, this would be where Big Tex spent his yearly vacation.

What I'm trying to say is that the BBQ Ranch delivers the sort of classic rural barbecue experience that nowhere else in Dallas-Fort Worth possibly could. And it's very lovely.

Five acres is smaller than it sounds, mind you. Deciding to go for a pre-dinner walk around the lovely surroundings, we realized, when the walk ended after five minutes, that our car had been in sight the whole time. I never was very good at acres.

The ranch itself, which is an actual honest-to-goodness ranch that the family owners decided to open up as a barbecue restaurant and kind of cool event space, feels like it's in the kind of wilderness that usually takes a few hours' drive in Texas. But it's not. It's like twenty minutes north of Fort Worth.

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Gavin Cleaver

There's that game thing where you try and throw washers into a hole (I'm pretty sure it's called "washers"). There's that other game where you try and throw horseshoes onto a pole (I'm pretty sure it's called "horseshoes"). There are some deckchairs, positioned erroneously close to where children are flinging horseshoes. That's Texas, though. To hell with health and safety, if an adult gets a horseshoe in the face, it's all in the name of good clean family fun.

Oh, the barbecue, yes. That's off to the side, in a delightful little shack with bench seating and the expected Texas barbecue decorations, which are often more horsehoes, but also old, greying pictures, signs from the 1950s, and cute pieces of southern wisdom.

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Gavin Cleaver

It's not bad at all, the brisket being appreciably moist as well as just enough smoky, the sausage being perfectly acceptable, and the ribs being smoked just right, although lacking much in the way of a rub. We also tried the pulled pork (delightful, actually), and the chicken, because we had to order a certain amount of meats. Fuck chicken.

What they do have is a very good jalapeno popper, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cream cheese and brisket, and a world-class peach cobbler, for some reason. It's really extraordinarily good. You could say it was peachy. Tip your waitress.

They also have an extraordinarily friendly owner, who briefly on our walk kept pace with us in a golf cart to make absolutely sure we were 100% enjoying ourselves. Even better, the beer is extraordinarily cheap for a restaurant, like $3 a bottle cheap. When we were there, one of the most unlikely bands I've ever seen was playing. I don't think anyone was under the age of 65, and the bass player looked like she'd come direct from the casino. The harmonica player, who only seemed to play harmonica once every 3 songs, spent the rest of the time peering into a notebook six inches from his face. It was perfect. I would see that band again in a heartbeat.

Here's the kicker -- so often, when we drive to a restaurant, we find ourselves driving for longer than we spend at the restaurant. At the BBQ Ranch, what they've done is created a nice family day out in tandem with a restaurant. You can drive there, which in the Grander Scheme of Texas Things (tm) isn't a very long way, and rather than spend an hour there eating, you can spend four hours, as we did, playing silly games, eating the odd thing, watching the band they have every night after 6pm, and just having a jolly good old-fashioned time. It's very nice.

It's better considered as a destination for a day out than a particularly desirable smoked meat experience, but I don't see many of your favorite Dallas barbecue restaurants buying up five acres and relocating to the countryside any time soon. If you've always wanted a day out among smoked meat and horseshoes, then it doesn't get any better.

You can find the BBQ Ranch at 10250 Western Oaks Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76108.


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14 comments
EdD.
EdD.

You had me at "wrapped in bacon".

balesofhaytx
balesofhaytx

@Bobtex  My family and I have visited on numerous occasions, and to clarify The BBQ Ranch is set on 5 acres of the families 40 acre ranch. It is a lovely family fun place that makes you feel like you are at home. Laid back with great food.@TheCredibleHulk they do not have french fries, hopefully in the near future these will be added.  We were excited last time we ate because they have added 2 and 3 meat plates. 

Atticus
Atticus

90% of Texas BBQ Ribs do NOT have rub.  Makes me wonder where the author's roots might be located.

markzero
markzero

Just looked at the map, and it's right near Lake Worth. That area has always seemed very quiet and friendly to me, so this looks like a great find.

cj30.howard
cj30.howard

First off The Bbq Ranch is my home away from home! I love this place!! The bbq is defiantly one of a kind, you can't ( in my opinion ) find any better. It's not just five Akers someone decided to turn Into a restaurant! It's an escape just right outside the city. You can see 3 miles or more in all direction and it's right in the middle of country. I've watch the most beautiful sunsets here. They have great music every night and it's not the same every night. The guy who wrote this hit some things right on point but I don't think he justified it enough! I must say if you love Texas and want to get the whole Texas feel while you enjoy The Best Bbq you ever tasted , this is the place you want to be!! The owner treats everyone like family. He makes sure everyone has a great time and enjoys themselves. Who doesn't want to go somewhere that you are treated like family ??? And that's just what it is when you come to The BBQ Ranch , the Texas way of life with cold beer and family enjoying music and bbq! I hope everyone reading this checks this place out and sees for there-self just what I'm talking about!

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

If Ft.Worth was Dallas this place would be in Garland. In Ft. Worth it's in the country.

Bobtex
Bobtex

In Texas, 5 acres is not a ranch.  It's not even a ranchette. It's a house and a yard.

Greg820
Greg820

It's called "Worshers."  

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

This does sound like a nice day trip, and never heard of it so thank you. also intrigued by that band, DC9 should go check it out.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

When I was coming up, we had a game that was played by pitching washers at a board that was positioned about 8-10 inches off the ground at a slight angle towards the pitcher, placed about 20 feet (that's like something around 4 meters) away, the washers are 3 inches in diameter and the three holes in the board are 3 1/2 inches. Closest hole counts for 1 pt., 2nd hole = 2 pts. and farthest hole will score you 3 pts. You play for a set number of rounds and most points scored gets you a win. Anyway, midwesterners, being the very literal, practical sort of folks that they are call this game "Holey Board". 


Place sounds pretty awesome - will check it out next time I'm out riding in that area. 


TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Atticus  

You'll have to excuse Cleaver's BBQ naivete - they boil beef where he comes from.

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