Dallas

Big Al's 08

Big Al’s Smokehouse Barbecue

Big Al’s Smokehouse Barbecue has been smoking meats in Dallas for forty years. I recently sat down with owner Al Plaskoff to discuss a little Dallas barbecue history, and to learn where Big Al’s fits into the local story. It’s quite a legacy. There aren’t many restaurants of any type that last forty years, let along a barbecue joint in Dallas. For the first 39-1/2 years of that lifespan they’d been cooking their briskets completely…

Interview: Al Plaskoff of Big Al’s Smokehouse

Owner: Big Al’s Smokehouse, Opened 1973 Age: 69 Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserie Wood: Hickory I sat down with Al and his daughter Lauran Weiner to talk about the history of Big Al’s, the Plaskoff family and a little Dallas barbecue history. Al Plaskoff fell into the barbecue business. He wasn’t from a storied barbecue family, but rather came from a background in meat sales. Lauran’s mother is a Rosenthal and is related to Manny Rosenthal. The Rosenthal Meat Center at…

Interview: Mr. Bewley of A. N. Bewley Fabricators

This is an extended version of an interview with Mr. Bewley that ran in the New York Times on August 4th. I visited with Mr. Bewley in his house along with his daughter Rhonda and her husband Larry Lewis who now runs A. N. Bewley Fabricators in Dallas. Mr. Bewley was a pioneer in rotisserie pit building and worked with Herbert Oyler to design the first Oyler rotisseries. These are still being made today by…

Raymond’s Pit Bar-B-Q

Update: This joint is permanently CLOSED. 2013: A meat cutter stood next to a cutting block loaded with smoked meat. It was all illuminated by a heat lamp. This was where the cafeteria line commenced. A plate was stacked with sliced brisket, pork ribs and warm, buttered Texas toast. I placed it on my tray and slid down the line. If you’ve eaten at an old cafeteria style joint like this one before, you know…

Smoked in Texas: Mozzarella Company Smoked Mozzarella

Paula Lambert has been making cheese at the Mozzarella Company in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas since 1982. The store/factory produces a wide variety of cheeses, but mozzarella is the flagship as the name suggests. After mastering fresh mozzarella Paula started smoking it. The smoked mozzarella is available in half pound packages. Mine was abut $8. On her website, Paula explains that “Mozzarella can be smoked, either in a smoking chamber with intense smoke…

PL front

Pecan Lodge Frustrated at Farmers Market

Last Saturday, business was booming at Pecan Lodge in Shed #2 at the Dallas Farmers Market. I was eating tamales from La Popular, another vendor at the market, and it was great to see such vibrancy in at Shed #2. Just a few years ago, when Pecan Lodge opened, this was a different scene—the expected Saturday peak was there, but on a Thursday or Friday, it was relatively quiet. Now, even on weekdays, there’s a…