Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse (the original)

It gave me the chills to know that I could’ve been sitting in a seat where Julia Child or Stephen Pyles himself might have been sitting when they came to Sonny’s Smokehouse for barbecue (The Inwood and I-35 location, that is). To be honest my expectations were very high for this place. Aside from it’s reputation for being the barbecue choice of celebrity stars, Sonny Bryan’s has a reputation for serving up outstanding barbecue. To be honest, hearing the rumors about good barbecue doesn’t easily excite me since one person’s idea of outstanding seems to be just OKAY to me. I guess I would consider myself a barbecue snob. The history of the place is pretty fascinating. I mean, for a place that’s been around since 1958, they’ve got to be doing something right, right?

Well my friend Lan and I both ordered different things. Lan ordered a chopped beef sandwich which she remarked as being flavorful and tender. I ordered the 1/2 pound combo plate of chopped beef, pork ribs, and jalapeno sausage. The brisket was a little on the dry side but add a little bit of their tangy barbecue sauce and the problem was fixed. The sausage was good, full of flavor but I did not taste the jalapeno. The ribs could be improved. I thought it was a little dry and chewy. I honestly wish they had beef ribs but maybe we’ll leave that for another adventure on another day. My plate came with a choice of 2 sides. I opted for their potato salad which tasted pretty standard with a mayo and mustard dressing and the cole slaw was vinegar based and heavy on the celery seed seasoning. I don’t know if I’m in a hurry to come back here for the food but the service was pretty outstanding. This original location is run by friendly faces who smile when you walk in and make you feel at home. Manager Emily gave us a run down on the history which I think added to the eating experience of Sonny Bryan’s.

This humble restaurant looks small from the outside and you’ll be surprised to find that the dining area is made up of two rows of school desks, forcing you to eat directly across from strangers and strike up random conversations with the person sitting around you. A couple who were sitting across from us told us that the Inwood location was the best one out of all the other locations in the metropolitan. Apparently Sonny’s has expanded as far to Utah with 7 other location around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Jim, the husband told us that him and his wife frequent this location at least twice a week because the barbecue pit is so old, it adds flavor to the cooked meats.

Some things I will have to come back for is their famous onion rings, pulled pork and pulled chicken. Also they have a nice selection of beers.

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