BBQ is a big deal in the South and Texas is no exception. As a born and bred Dallas girl, I know BBQ and I’ve tried tons of places to find the best. Finding lists that have different places on them and making an adventure out of trying these interesting places is something I love doing. Both the D Magazine Top 10 Best BBQ and the Dallas Observer Top 10 BBQ Joints are both great places to start, but as a local you should not hold these lists to be the end all of where to eat.
I have also tried a lot of places based on local recommendations given to me by both friends and family. Which leads us to the most amazing place, that in our opinion and that of all those we have taken there, has the best BBQ in Dallas.
At the Hard 8, the first two things you are going to notice is the smell and the smoke. You will experience both from the parking lot and believe me, you are going to smell like BBQ for days, or at least until you shower. It is important to note that this place does not have a full bar but you can get most domestic beers and a good margarita, all at a pretty good price. The best way to explain the atmosphere is to combine an Elks lodge and man cave. FYI, there is extra seating outside and they do have fans, but in the summer heat they just move the hot air around.
Hard 8 is a pit BBQ place that allows the customer to select the amount of meat they want by showing the grilled meat while it is still cooking over the pit. The Hot Links, Shrimp Poppers and Brisket are all things that should make their way to your plate. Remember, if you only want a small amount of each, they are more than happy to oblige. Oh, and if you get the Brisket Sandwich, do not forget to ask for a Jalapeno Bun. You will thank me. There are also two types of BBQ sauce they keep inside that you should definitely try. I like to get a little cup of each and try it on everything. The spicy one is definitely out there, but if you mix it with the sweeter one, I think you will find a nice balance between the two and a wonderful flavor.
It is important to note that there are four Hard 8 locations and they are all the same. Their standard of preparation and consistently high quality of food makes the experience you have delicious, no matter what. This restaurant does not cut corners, whether it is for the people coming in for lunch on a Tuesday or the Saturday night dinner crowds. Your dining experience is going to be top notch.
This place does not just have wonderful meat, the sides are incredible too. Personally, the Jalapeno Sweet Corn is my favorite side, but their Potato Salad is a real crowd pleaser as well. They also have Roasted Corn on the pit cooking, which I would highly suggest if you are not into spice. Their baked potatoes are average and the mac n’ cheese is better than regular shells you make at home, but I have never been a big fan. As you can see from the picture, one of my besties loves it and so does her husband.
Did you save room for desserts? If you did not you can keep the lids on them and take them home for later, which is what usually ends up happening when we visit here. They have grandma quality banana pudding, which is a real compliment in the South and the peach cobbler is another dessert that is delish. Skip the Oreo Mud Pie and Cheesecake, they are as good as what you can make at home.
The bottom line is this place has the best BBQ in Dallas and you are missing out if you are not eating here! It is a MUST for locals and visitors alike.
Locations: The Colony, Roanoke, Coppell, and Stephenville
Tips: Trust me on this, your eyes are bigger than your stomach and you will get too much the first time if you are not carful. Bring at least 1 other person with you and sample small amounts of everything. Oh and this place is packed on the weekend, so you are going to wait. They usually sell beer in line, so get one and relax.
Must: Jalapeno Sweet Corn and Shrimp Poppers
Pass: Sitting in the outside overflow area in the summer