There are nearly as many styles of barbecue as there are opinions about it. In Texas, we know regardless of what you put on it, all barbecue starts with low heat and wood smoke.
2533 White Settlement Road
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Angelo's is an old-fashioned Texas barbecue joint in the best sense. It's in an unassuming building with a wood-paneled exterior. Inside, the walls are covered with stuffed and mounted animal heads. Everything on the menu is great. But like any self-respecting Texas barbecue joint, the brisket is the specialty. The tender, smoky pork ribs are succulent. And you can wash everything down with what they advertise as "the coldest beer in town!"
Railhead is a youngster compared to Angelo's—it's only been around for 20 years. But in that "short" time, the pitmaster has been turning out fantastic smoked meats. The brisket is outstanding and the chicken is done well. The Chop Beef Sandwich is a favorite all day long and can't get away without an order of french fries topped with caramelized onions.
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que
301 Stockyards Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76164
Cooper's is fairly new to Fort Worth, but the original Llano location is one of the stalwarts of Texas barbecue. Their specialty is the "big chop," a mesquite-smoked pork chop. They also sell most every other kind of meat you can smoke, including the hard-to-find cabrito (look it up). Customers rave about the Jalapeno Sausage.
6262 McCart Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76133
No offense to anyone, but we generally steer clear of barbecue chains. We prefer one-of-a kind places. Cousin's is a Tarrant County chain with six locations. And two of them are inside DFW Airport. That just doesn't seem right. We're willing to give Cousin's a pass, though, because it's so good. Areas where they excel - the chopped beef sandwich and loaded (with brisket) baked potato.
3801 E. Belknap
Fort Worth, TX 76111
Sammie's is another old-time place in Fort Worth. They opened in 1946 and have been serving up the smoke ever since. We're partial to the sausage, but the chicken is tender and moist and fans rave about the Pork Plate and thin, vinegary sauce.
Casstevens Cash & Carry
5209 F.M. 2738
Lillian, TX 76061
Lillian is the kind of town that you can blink and miss. It's a tiny unincorporated burg just southwest of Mansfield. But the barbecue that comes out of this wide spot in the road is something special. Casstevens is actually a Diamond Shamrock gas station in "downtown" Lillian, and they serve their meats from a counter inside. Ribs are the house specialty, but they're only available on Fridays. And the brisket is excellent--moist and smoky, with just enough fat and a nice smoke ring. Notice the smoker out front when you pull in. It's chained to the gas station's 50-foot-tall sign in the parking lot, right alongside the road.
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