|Hutchins BBQ in McKinney has some of the best prices in the DFW area. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
We kicked off the Posse's "DFW Top 7 BBQ Tour" Monday at Hutchins BBQ in McKinney and we came away agreeing unanimously that the smoked meat bar had been set very high for the rest of the week.
"If I lived up here I'd probably eat here once a week," Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said of Hutchins. "I can't believe how this place has stayed under the radar."
The brisket and ribs were outstanding and the turkey was good. The only meat we sampled that didn't measure up was the sausage.
"The sausage is definitely something I'm missing on," owner Tim Hutchins said afterwards. He said he now buys sausage commercially, but he is working on his own recipes and hopes soon to be offering different links.
All this week the Posse is touring the 7 DFW-area joints that made Texas Monthly's new Top 50 list, released last month. We're going for lunch and, except for Saturday, hitting just one place a day so we can actually eat a whole meal for a change. Normally on our tours, we cram so many places into one day that eating a full meal is a mission impossible.
We also published our itinerary in advance so that any friend of the Posse who wanted to join us could. Blogger Cody Neathery did, as did Don Soula, a friend of Posse veteran Jim Rossman. Posse regulars Daniel Goncalves and Phil Lamb also made the trip to McKinney, located about 35 miles from downtown Dallas.
|Hutchins has outdoor seating and a large indoor dining room. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
Along with good barbecue, Hutchins has good prices. The three-meat platter, with two sides, is $11.99. The place also offers an all-you-can-eat option for $16.59, plus drink. That might be the best barbecue value in North Texas.
"Our weekends have been out of control," Hutchins said of the increase in business since Texas Monthly's list came out. He said he's cooking about 100 briskets each on Fridays and Saturdays.
Monday's lunch crowd was no slouch. By 12:30 p.m. or so, just about every table inside the place was full.
Hutchins, 33, is currently using four big Oyler pits, two of them on trailers behind the restaurant. The place is open for lunch and dinner and only closes on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Hutchins said he uses pecan wood to smoke pork ribs and poultry, and a mix of mesquite and hickory on brisket.
"I want a little more robust flavor on my brisket," he said.
Hutchins' father, Roy, opened a barbecue place in Princeton in 1978 called Roy's Smokehouse. The restaurant moved to the current site in 1990, and has undergone some changes since. Another Hutchins opened in Frisco in 1994 and eventually was renamed Randy White's.
Tim Hutchins said he started working in the family business when he was 14, washing dishes, started working the pits when he was 19, and, in 2006, took over sole operation of the McKinney restaurant. He regularly hits other top spots in the state to benchmark them against his joint.
"I've had to bring my game up a bit," he said.
|A three-meat platter with two sides is $11.99 at Hutchins BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
Here's our itinerary for the rest of the week, if you happen to be in the neighborhood stop by and say hi.
DFW Top 7 BBQ Tour
11:30am: Hutchins BBQ, 1301 N Tennessee St, McKinney, 972-548-2629. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9:30pm.
11:30am: Meshack's Bar-B-Que Shack, 240 E. Ave. B, Garland, 214-227-4748. Open Tues-Sat 10:30am-until the meat runs out.
11:30am: Lockhart Smokehouse, 400 W. Davis, Dallas, 214-944-5521. Open every day from 11am til they're done.
11:30am: Pecan Lodge, 1010 South Pearl Expressway, Farmer's Market Shed #2, 214-748-8900. Open: Wed-Sun 11am-til the meat runs out.
11:30am: Bartley's BBQ, 413 E. Northwest Hwy, Grapevine, 817-481-3212. Open Tue-Thur 10:30am-8pm, Fri -Sat 10:30am-9pm.
11:00am: Longoria’s BBQ, 100 Christopher, Everman. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-6pm, Sat 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1:00pm: Cousin's Barbecue, 6262 McCart Ave, Fort Worth, 817-346-2511. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-3pm.
|Owner/pitmaster Tim Hutchins gives us a pit tour after lunch. He is currently running four large Oyler pits to keep up with demand. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
|The t-shirt says it all at Hutchins BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|