Need to stock up on some meat before my next flight!
April 4, 2012 6:32 AM   Subscribe

How easy is it to get in and out of Dallas/Fort Worth airport to go get some tasty BBQ on a Wednesday around lunchtime?

So I'm flying to Hawaii next week with a stopover in Dallas, and I've heard Texas does good BBQ. Is it totally insane to try and maybe leave the airport when I arrive at 10:25am to try and get to the nearest and best BBQ restaurant, eat, then return in time for my 1pm flight to Hawaii? I'm just doing carry-on, so luggage isn't an issue. How are the security lines there? And what would be the best nearest BBQ joint?

And since I'm starting to realize this is most likely totally insane, are there any good BBQ joints inside the airport itself? Thanks!
posted by Grither to Travel & Transportation around Dallas, TX (13 answers total)
Yeah, I think that's pretty much insane. DFW is huge and often crowded. You couldn't even get to a good restaurant before 11:00, if you're lucky, and even if you manage to get back to the airport by 12:15, that's still uncomfortably tight. If it were me, I'd be too worried about missing my flight to enjoy the food.

There are three BBQ options in the airport itself, and you have time to get to any of them--both Cousin's and Dickey's have multiple locations within the airport, for that matter. I'd probably go to Cousin's myself, but I'm not familiar enough with the differences between them to make a strong recommendation.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:45 AM on April 4, 2012

Your BBQ lunch may end up costing you $200.

Let's say you get a cab at 10:50 and take it to the Original Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse. The cab fare may run you $40, you have the cab wait for you while you go into Sonny's and some food (which may have a line out the door... maybe... depending on how early you get there and the weather outside). Then you get back in the cab, eat your food on the way back to DFW and arrive at 12:15pm. The cab bill will be ~$80+tip and then you have to hurry up through the security line, which isn't normally too bad at Terminal E and board your plane.

So you have about a 15 minute window to meet the 30 minute boarding time for you Hawaii flight -- even if all things work out perfectly.

I think that is a pretty insane plan too.
posted by LeanGreen at 7:06 AM on April 4, 2012

Had a 1:45 layover at DFW this past Sunday at around the same time of day. Place was very busy. I was on American and came into C14. There was a BBQ place nearby that I got takeout from. Don't remember the name, but it was good.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:09 AM on April 4, 2012

Alright, sounds like I'm out of luck with leaving the airport, so does anyone have any recommendations either way between Dickey's, Cousin's and Railhead? Would also love some tips on what is the best dish at each place, too!
posted by Grither at 7:19 AM on April 4, 2012

Disclaimer from proud Texan and BBQ Lover:

"Either one, please remember that you're eating food out of an may be good, but is in no way a basis for TX BBQ."

Dickey's is fine, but it's the equivalent of fast food bbq, so even not eating there before I would try Cousin's.
posted by doorsfan at 7:32 AM on April 4, 2012

I've had several BBQ meals at the DFW Dickies -- it's not bad, for airport food.
posted by Rash at 7:52 AM on April 4, 2012

As a BBQ and Dallas resident, I would recommend Cousin's, Railhead and Dickeys in that order. Dickey's is the McDonalds of BBQ. They have locations in most states.

I am pretty sure that none of the airport BBQ restaurants are smoking their meat on site, so you are basically getting a reheated meal. Don't judge Texas BBQ by this experience.

The classic order is sliced beef brisket and pork ribs with pickle slices, onions, and sides of BBQ beans and potato salad. Get the BBQ sauce on the side. Drink ice tea or Big Red.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has plenty of really good BBQ, but the great stuff is around Austin and San Antonio.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 7:55 AM on April 4, 2012

doorsfan: ""Either one, please remember that you're eating food out of an may be good, but is in no way a basis for TX BBQ.""

Rash: "it's not bad, for airport food."

Uncle Jimmy: "I am pretty sure that none of the airport BBQ restaurants are smoking their meat on site, so you are basically getting a reheated meal. Don't judge Texas BBQ by this experience."

Dang! Maybe if my flight arrives 30 minutes early and my Hawaii flight is delayed (hey, a guy can dream, right?), I'll try to get to the Sonny Bryan's Las Colinas location, otherwise airport food it is! Thanks everyone!
posted by Grither at 8:12 AM on April 4, 2012

If you are able to leave the airport, I believe the best BBQ nearby is at Hard Eight in Coppell. In the opinion of this internet stranger, Sonny Bryan's is coasting on a reputation that is no longer valid. Their original location on Inwood is worth a visit only for the old time atmosphere.

Mike Anderson's on Harry Hines is even better, but that would be a long and expensive cab ride.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 9:03 AM on April 4, 2012

My motto is "Any Dickies is better than no Dickies at all." It's the sort of place where you go with a couple of coworkers for lunch and run into the rest of your coworkers. Their ribs are not all that, but the beef, sausage, and chicken is perfectly edible BBQ without missing your flight.

Have some fried okra for me.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:57 AM on April 4, 2012

Look into delivery? Call someplace great, plead your case, prepay. Someone might do it for bragging rights.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:13 PM on April 4, 2012

Hard Eight is delicious, but as someone who works down the street from the restaurant, I can tell you that the lines can be outrageously long during the time of day you would be looking to go, so I can't suggest it.

Nthing the vote to get Cousin's in the airport. Dickey's really is the McDonald's of BBQ and doesn't really represent Texas BBQ at all.
posted by troutforbrains at 7:11 AM on April 5, 2012

So for those keeping score at home, I did try calling Hard Eight for delivery, which it sounds like they would have done ("no event is too big or small" on their website.) but unfortunately one of the "too big" events was going on today, so they were using all their catering trucks for that.

So I tried both Cousin's and Railhead BBQ, and both were pretty tasty, but I'd have to give the edge to Railhead for being a little smokier/more flavorful. Thanks again for all your suggestions!
posted by Grither at 9:09 AM on April 11, 2012

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