Mac's Bar-B-Que (Dallas, TX)
Every issue of D Magazine ends with categorized lists showcasing some of the best food that DFW has to offer. Mac's is usually listed as a "D Best" for barbecue, so I thought I'd see how it measured up.
Mac's only has a counter and a humble little dining area, which works just fine for barbecue. I loved the unpretentiousness of this place. The wall decor consisted only of a few old-timey photographs of a simpler Dallas (if that's even possible) and a plaque boasting their 2010 award from D Magazine for having some of the best 'que in the city. You don't need any frills when the food speaks for itself.
I happily and hungrily ordered their Three Meat Plate: pork ribs, sausage, and beef brisket with potato salad and barbeque beans on the side. I also topped things off with a big glass of Southern-style sweet tea for good measure.
The potato salad was nice and creamy, with plenty of mustard to boot. I also found a good amount of crunch from all the veggies. It was served a little too cold for my liking, but that's easy enough to look past. Unlike the potato salad, the beans came piping hot. There was a pleasant sweetness to them, with a nice hit of spice on the back end. No canned beans here.
Apparently Mac's brisket comes chopped by default. There was lots of smoke, both visibly and to the taste. It was moist and juicy without being overly fatty. The brisket didn't really need any sauce, but I tried it anyway just for grins. Theirs is an amazingly flavorful Texas-style sauce. It was definitely a winner.
My combo plate came with a generous helping of sausage, which is always appreciated. I found a gorgeous black char on most of the slices. It had a nice crispness to the casing and quite a bit of pepper and assorted seasonings beneath. Just like the brisket, the sausage paired very nicely with the barbecue sauce.
I finished things off with the ribs. Visibly, they had a great crust and a clearly evident smoke ring. Surprisingly though, the meat was a little dry and tough. The ribs also could have used more spices (especially salt) on the crust. Most disappointing, they were a little skimpy on their meatiness, so I'm glad Mac's neglected to charge me the advertised extra $2.00 for a combo plate with ribs.
This place would be 5-star barbecue if they could get the ribs on par with the rest of their food. Next time around, I'd like to sample their somewhat unconventional barbecue frito pie. All things considered, Mac's is definitely worth checking out.