On Cockrell Hill Road, just south of I-20, in southwest Dallas there's certainly a sight to behold. A barbecue smoker mounted on a trailer occupies a parking space on the corner of Cockrell Hill Rd & Gannon Ln. Drive by there any Tuesday through Thursday and you'll see smoke steadily flowing out of the smoker and then you'll look up and see Dave's BBQ in simple red letters on the corner of a small shopping center.
The second you get out of you car at Dave's you can smell that wonderful wood smoke. Nothing quite gets your mouth watering for barbecue than that particular smell. I fell in love with Dave's the moment I set foot outside of my car. Dave's is not a big place, occupying a corner spot in a small shopping center, however there are a few small tables inside and outside you can sit at if you choose to eat there.
Dave's offers all of the standard barbecue choices and sides. They do offer you a free sample when you step up to the counter to order. The hardest part after the sample is deciding what you should order. For lunch any of their sandwiches is a great choice. Brisket, pork, and sausage sandwiches are a bargain at only $4.00, and don't forget some potato salad or baked beans. These sandwiches are served on rather large hamburger buns and are packed full of the meat of your choice. If you're craving something more than a sandwich or heading out for dinner, Dave's also offers a selection of dinner combos.
Once I stepped up to the counter and was offered a free sample, I had a hard time deciding what to get besides the ribs. The sample was a small piece of brisket and sausage. Both were quite amazing. I settled on getting some ribs and brisket, but will be back again for some sausage! The brisket was absolutely amazing, with a great smoky flavor, and the addition of a small amount of Dave's secret sauce sent it over the top. The brisket slices had a nice red smoke ring with some delicious exterior bark on them as well. As great as the smoke flavor was, I would have liked a more intense smoker flavor.
I didn't know what to expect from the ribs after that great brisket. I did have high expectations after seeing the pink smoke ring on them and a nice exterior bark. I took my first bite, and knew whoever smoked these ribs definitely knows what they're doing. As most people don't know, ribs should not fall off the bone. You should be able to take a bite, the meat should pull away cleanly with your bite, and there should be a half moon shape left where you took your bite. That was exactly what happened with these ribs. The flavor of the ribs was phenomenal, and the spice that the secret sauce had put the finishing touch on them.
Aside from the barbecue, the sides are equally as good. The potato salad is some of the simplest I think I've ever seen. It had some good peppery kick to it as well, leaving me wanting more and more. The baked beans definitely had that sweetness that's expected in baked beans, and had a few bits of the barbecue in them as well. I like my beans with some spice and kick to them, so I stirred in some of Dave's secret sauce and was in barbecue heaven.
If you're looking for a place you can run into, get some barbecue, and be back in your car in a matter of minutes, then Dave's isn't the place for you. It's obvious that they care about giving you quality barbecue that they've worked on perfecting. Dave's would be a great place to go to with some friends on a spring day to enjoy some barbecue and sit at an outside table.
Aside from their restaurant operations, Dave's offers catering as well. "No Job to Big or Small" is the slogan lettered on the side of the two catering vans parked by their parking lot smoker.
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