On the Move
Sep 24, 2014 08:45AM ● Published by Dia
While the name doesn’t conjure up images of perfectly smoked meats, long lines or craft beers, for many in the DFW area this is the mecca for Texas-style BBQ. What began as a catering business in Shed 2 of the Dallas Famers Market is now a full-fledged restaurant in Deep Ellum.
Justin and Diane Fourton spent the early portion of their professional careers in corporate America - Justin working for Accenture and Diane working for Bank of America. But both were raised in the DFW area by families with deep Texas roots who placed an emphasis on cooking and community. Even the name of their restaurant, Pecan Lodge, carries a part of Justin’s family with it, taking its name from Justin’s grandfather’s home at the family ranch near Abilene.
What eventually became Pecan Lodge began with Justin towing a large BBQ smoker behind his green Range Rover from one office park to the next in the North Dallas suburbs. He sold brisket sandwiches at first, and added other menu items he and Diane would come up with during late night food prep sessions. Eventually, they received catering requests from corporate customers, and the couple could barely keep up with the pace. Since they were out of space in their home, they went on to find a home at the Dallas Farmers Market.
I stood in line over a year ago with friends at that former location in the Dallas Farmers Market. I was hoping the food would live up to the hype since we got into line at 10:30 a.m. and waited nearly an hour with other admirers and first-timers. The hype wasn’t just hype, the BBQ was the best I had ever had anywhere in Texas. We marveled at how amazing the food was while sitting at folding tables on folding chairs in the middle of the cavernous Shed 2 at the Dallas Farmers Market.
The buzz was increasing with each passing day, Guy Fieri from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives showed up in 2012 to feature Pecan Lodge on an episode dedicated to BBQ. Unfortunately, the buzzkill came in early 2013 when the city of Dallas announced it was selling the Dallas Farmers Market to private investors. The new owners were planning on gutting Shed 2, leaving all the business owners, Justin and Diane had a difficult road ahead, but they finally landed on a location not too far away.
Fast forward to today, with Pecan Lodge now residing in Deep Ellum on Main Street. The lines are still there, but a full-sized dining room and patio is able to accommodate many more devotees of their meats and side items. The decor features raw woods and steel pipes with pictures and mementos from around Texas - simple and unadorned, because the focus is on the food. We didn’t wait in line very long on a weekday, but only because we had the chance to sit at the bar and order o ur selections. (Foodie Fellow Tip!)
My dining companion chose the Hot Mess, a huge sweet potato filled with barbacoa, chipotle
cream, cheese, butter and green onions. It arrives looking like a hot mess, but what a delicious mess it was. Spicy meat with creamy, smooth sweet potato is a perfect combination of protein and veggie smothered with toppings. I chose the three-meat plate with brisket, jalapeno and cheese beef sausage, and pork ribs. I was informed after placing the order the ribs were already sold out an hour and a half into the lunch rush, so I substituted the pulled pork and added a side of fried okra. The brisket has the perfect crust on the outside with meat on the inside so tender and juicy it just pulls apart with a fork. The sausage is made in house and is extremely flavorful and juicy, whereas many BBQ sausages are dry. I would also recommend the beef rib, it is as big as an adult forearm, if it is still available. There is even a beer brewed just for Pecan Lodge; Boss Lady Rustic Red from Four Corners Brewery in Dallas. It is the perfect compliment to their vinegar-based BBQ sauce made fresh daily.
The wait is worth it; don’t hesitate to make the drive out to Dallas for what many believe is the best BBQ in Texas. You should find out for yourself!