On the west side of Interstate 35E on the south side of Dallas, there is a great East Texas barbecue joint. Smokey Joe’s BBQ is an institution in this part of Dallas. They’ve been here since 1985, when they converted an old gas station into the restaurant and built the original brick pit. Just recently they remodeled once again, removing the old brick pit and bringing in two beautiful new 1000-gallon Moberg offset smokers (named Maxi and Lori) and remodeling the main restaurant as well. They now have inside seating for dining in, just outside the ordering room.
I ordered a “Mixed Half Pound” order of shortends and brisket. For those unfamiliar with shortends, they are pork ribs, but come from the shorter end of a rack of spareribs. Shortends are typically meatier and wider than the typical beautiful main section of the spareribs. I thought that ordering a “mixed half pound: would mean a half pound total, which would be plenty and then some to feed me. Maybe it was just a half pound total. But it sure felt and looked like it was a half pound for each meat. It was so much food, and at a really great price – it was a smokin’ deal (yes, pun intended)!
- Brisket – The brisket was absolutely immaculate. They recently revised their process for smoking their brisket. It is now much more of a Central Texas approach, with a well-trimmed and airflow-optimized brisket that gets a strong salt-and-pepper (emphasis on the pepper) rub that gets smoked in one of the Moberg pits that uses post oak.
- Shortend ribs – As amazing as the brisket was, the ribs were even more amazing. They were smoked in the other Moberg pit low and slow over hickory. The rub was excellent, without even a speck of black pepper. The flavor profile was outstanding. The ribs had a great chewy bark and perfect tenderness, pulling away from the bone beautifully with a tug, but without falling apart.
- Sides & sauce – For my side, I had to order the potato salad. It was very smooth or whipped – it almost looked like mashed potatoes. I was surprised by how good it was. I was a little leary due to the texture. Apparently they tried out a chunkier potato salad recipe recently, but the restaurant’s regular customers were not big fans of the change. So they reverted to the old recipe. I’m very glad I got to try the original recipe – it is straight-up outstanding. They also had some sweet and spicy pickles on the menu. Since I absolutely love pickles, I had to give them a try. And I was not disappointed. They were awesome! The sauce was excellent as well. It had the right amount of sweet and tang to pair up with both the ribs and the brisket.
If you find yourself anywhere near the south end of Dallas, or frankly anywhere in the DFW metroplex, it is worth the drive to get over to Smokey Joe’s BBQ. They are cooking up some amazing East Texas barbecue.