This preciously-named website has a survey of the single best BBQ restaurants by state. I’m not that up on BBQ — for the record, I prefer the spicier Memphis type, rather than the sweet Texas manifestation, but when ya live in Texas… according to the folks at Delish, it seems that the place to go is Stanley’s, in Tyler.
Maybe so, but Tyler is over a hundred miles away from Plano, and even for Texas — where distance is measured in six-packs — that’s an awful long way to travel just for smoked meat. (It also means that because of MADD [spit] one can’t have a few beers with the BBQ, which I think contravenes some state law.)
Anyway, it’s not like we don’t have any decent places within a couple zip codes of here (also a short trip, by Texas standards). Most notable among these are Hard Eight (TWO locations nearby!!), Sonny Bryan’s, Winners and Lockhart (both in Old Town Plano).
But (and my non-Texas Readers will forgive the parochialism) I wrote this post to bring to my Local Readers’ attention a place called Delta Blues (just off Windhaven and the Dallas North Tollway), which is the latest offering from the famous Pappas Brothers company (Pappadeaux, Pappacitos, Pappas Steak House etc.) and which replaced the old Bone Daddy’s establishment at that address.
I went there last Tuesday with the Son&Heir for our sorta-monthly meet-up (when we don’t go to the DFW Range, that is), and good grief: it is, in a word, wondrous. I didn’t try anything other than the pork (pork-belly starter and a pulled pork sandwich) because PORK, and let me tell y’all: best pork I have ever — ever — eaten. And I’ve eaten a LOT of pork, all over the world.
What Delta Blues has done has created a BBQ place that, contra the usual BBQ ethos of the down-home, slightly scruffy joint, is about as close to fine dining as BBQ will ever get. It is admittedly quite expensive — at about the same level as Hard Eight — but the food is much, much better than average, and it’s served by waiters, not self-serve or cafeteria style like many such places.
It’s so good that I’m going to take New Wife there on Sunday for Sticky Pork Belly Bites and a side of giant fries.
(Honestly, my mouth is watering as I write this.)
The only caveat is that like British pubs, Delta Blues has somewhat eccentric dining hours: 11am – 2.30pm and 5pm – 10pm during the week — and it’s CLOSED on Mondays; but they’re open 11am – 11pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Don’t care about any of that: there’s a new kid in town, and it’s got my number.
Sorry, Tyler; Stanley’s will have to wait until my next road trip out to East Texas.
By the way: for Memphis BBQ we have Red Hot & Blue, also in Plano. Are we spoiled, or what?