Finally! Good ‘Cue in Dallas!
<p>Haven’t been by Dr. Bell’s BBQ yet? Then you’re really missing something.
Andrew Bell, who is not a doctor but completed residencies in ‘cue at Ruby’s in Austin and fine-dining at Aurora, has a winner on his hands.
His downtown Dallas smokery, Dr. Bell’s BBQ, has been open only a few weeks. The place looks hand-made, and it was: aluminum siding on the walls, paper plates, Elvis cut-outs, a plastic deer in the front window that Bell says is “free range”.
To save money, Bell and a couple of friends gutted the former Zodiac Greek grill and constructed a place that feels genuinely welcoming.
Take a sniff.
If you love bbq, then this is what heaven must smell like.
That sweet pecan smoke will hypnotize you, forcing you to order far more than you can eat, because, really, who orders a half-pound, two-meat plate when you can have a larger three-meat for a couple bucks more?
The manly cuts — brisket, pork shoulder, pork ribs — are spicy and sweet. Bell cooks them low and slow (he says he runs his Old Hickory smoker between 170-190 degrees), infusing the dry-rubbed meats with deep, smokey flavor and a cherry-red smoke ring that shows Bell knows what he’s doing. Prefer turkey or sausage? Dr. Bell smokes that, too.
You order by weight, in combos with sides, as sandwiches or as tacos, which must make terrific hangover cures.
Sides and desserts are more than afterthoughts. Bell’s collard greens and bbq pinto beans pack a sweet kick of sugar and chiles; green beans are studded with bacon. Banana pudding (thick and creamy, made from a rich vanilla custard base) and pecan pie (not too sweet and with a flaky crust) are skillfully made.
Not everything is perfect yet. A couple of pork ribs were dry, but Bell happily replaced them with better ones when notified.
Bell says “everything but the plates and the pickles” is homemade. Pulling up a chair to chat recently, Bell described his tomato-vinegar sauce as what what might result if a Mexican hot sauce and a German barbecue sauce had a baby.
“This isn’t fine dining. The only luxury here is a divided plate and a cup of ice with your root beer,” Bell told me.
Prices are unbelievably low for what Bell is offering. Meat-and-two-sides plates run $8.79-$10.79. By-the-pound meats cost $10.89. Sides and desserts are roughly $1-$2. All drinks cost $1.09.
If I were Dr.Bell, I’d load up a truck and sell this snake oil all over town, tweeting my location to loyal followers.
Like doctors did in the Old West, only better.
Dr. Bell’s BBQ, 1404 Main Street Dallas, 214-741-4552.