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If the Beer Ain’t Cold, It Ain’t Our Fault – North Main BBQ

North Main BBQ
North Main BBQ
Ann McLaughlin

It was the early nineteen eighties, in Tarrant County, Texas. For months, the ol’ man had been firing up his backyard smoker every Friday morning. By the time his wife got home from work, she would be greeted by the best ribs she’d ever tasted. As much as she enjoyed that mouth-watering barbecue, curiosity eventually got the best of her. She took the day off one Friday, explaining to her husband, “those are the world’s greatest ribs, and I’m staying home today so I can see how you make them". The ol’ man stammered and hesitated, as sweat began to pour off his brow. “Just as I thought,” she said. “And I took the day off next Friday, too. I want you to take me to the place that makes those fantastic ribs!”

North Main BBQ
Ann McLaughlin

For obvious reasons, the man in this story has never been positively identified, except to say that he is one of the many hungry North Texans who witnessed the birth of the legendary North Main BBQ.

Fort Worth has its share of flashy and famous barbecue joints, but just off the well-ridden trail sits this small, folksy place in Euless that has been called the “Home of the World’s Best Ribs”.

The restaurant was founded in 1981 by Hubert and Dollie Green, their son Ray Green, and good friend Eddie Kelsey. During the late nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties, times were tough all over, and things were no different for Green’s Trucking Service. Looking for a way to help make ends meet, Ray fired up his smoker and started making ribs for the neighbors on Friday afternoons. Before long, folks from all over started packing the place. So they opened on Friday nights and Saturdays, and people lined up for hours to savor their mouth-watering barbecue. No one seemed to mind the long wait, and friendships formed while diners drank cold beers that turned warm before they made it to a table. They eventually opened the restaurant on Sundays and, over thirty years later, guests are still willing to wait in line for the food. It may not have the atmosphere of a five-star establishment, but for $15 you can stuff your face with some of the best barbecue in the world.

North Main BBQ has received some great accolades, and the awards displayed around the place are impressive. They’ve traveled all over the country to enter competitions and have claimed some of the biggest cooking titles. There are trophies from Terlingua, Texas, plaques from Portland, Oregon and ribbons from Richmond, Virginia. They’ve also been featured on television shows, including Food Network’s, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, and they are now asked to cater events across the country. If you have the time, mosey out back to see the original “Green’s Trucking Service” building, to check out the hand-made 2200-pound “smoking armadillo” wood-fired grill, or to visit with Ray to hear tales of their famous history.

Although fame and notoriety are important, what really matters is the food - the amazing barbecue ribs, brisket, pork, sausage and chicken that are smoked to perfection and topped with an incredible tangy sauce that is just spicy enough to tingle the taste buds and make your nose run. So grab a plate, or two, pull up a chair, and prepare to get messy devouring the best barbecue in Texas, maybe the world, at North Main BBQ. It’s still BYOB, so bring a bottle or two, but remember Ray’s words of wisdom: “If the beer ain’t cold, it ain’t our fault”.