Justin and Diane Fourton didn’t intend to set the barbecue world on fire when they left their corporate jobs to start Pecan Lodge at the Dallas Farmers Market in 2010. After rising to the

No. 2 spot on Texas Monthly’s list of top 50 barbecue joints, they earned statewide — and, thereby, worldwide — renown. But the Fourtons have always considered Pecan Lodge a Dallas restaurant.

“When we were forced to leave the Dallas Farmers Market, we had offers from other cities, but it was important to stay in the community and be supportive,” pitmaster Justin Fourton says.

Smoking the competition meant the M Streets neighbors needed a larger space. They moved the restaurant to Deep Ellum, and the crowds followed. Expect to wait in line for a bite of this carnivorous cake.

It’s not hard to understand why the food at Pecan Lodge stands out. The meat is cooked using traditional wood-fire methods that Fourton learned on his grandfather’s ranch in Abilene.

The moist brisket melts in your mouth, while the lean portion is still tender and flavorful. Fourton has never shied away from seasoning, and it shows in the sweet glaze that covers his juicy pork ribs.

From beef ribs to pulled pork and smoked turkey, there are so many meat options that it’s tempting to neglect the sides. They’re worth saving room for. Try the mac and cheese flecked with green chilies and bacon bits or the crispy fried okra.

“We want to have people come eat and come back years later and have it be just as good,” Fourton says.

Pecan Lodge, 2702 Main St.


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