If you're used to getting your barbecue the real Texas way—no plates, no utensils, just a big ol' pile of meat served on wax paper on your tray, then you may well dismiss Smoke, chef Tim Byres's Dallas restaurant before even sampling it's 'cue. That would be a mistake, as it is exceptional. There is a certain amount of self-consciousness inherent to a barbecue restaurant that serves its fare on china and tablecloths and grows its own vegetables in a garden out back, but there's nothing pretentious about the service or prices at Smoke.
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South Georgia isn't known for its brisket, but Southern Soul does it well. Smoke and seasonings are prominent but don't overwhelm the taste of tender beef. The burnt ends (chopped brisket tips; read more here) are saltier and slightly drier, but still moist, than the sliced brisket with a crispy bark.
If you're a fan of barbecue sampler plates and want it all in a sandwich, the Smokestack ($13) at Seattle's new Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen is just for you. This is a behemoth of a sandwich, one which The Who would likely describe as "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy."
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check...