by Steven Doyle
When you think BBQ in DFW check out Red Hot and Blue for their unique and authentic take on the Texas favorite. Our local version might be a tad different than other locations and now for a very good reason. You may have seen the reconstructions and additions at the location on Central Expressway near Walnut Hill and those charges along with a heavy food upgrade is being lead by none other than a known Dallas restaurant heavy-hitter Shawn Horne.
You will recall his name from places such as Abacus, Star Canyon, AquaKnox, Green Room, Five Sixty, Horne and Dekker, Stephan Pyles, San Salvaje and most recently at Stampede 66. With over 30-years in the hospitality and restaurant business Horne knows his way around both front and back of the house in restaurants. This is why we were excited to see him when we were at Red, Hot and Blue recently.
It was Shawn Horne that showed us some of the new additions to the property which has only expanded and opened up to a more dining room. The patio seems to be the most dramatic addition with a very high tech sound stage, a very interesting outdoor bar fashioned from a metal storage encasement, dotted with tables filling the space with nearly as many seats as inside the restaurant. Horne has also added a show smoker to help with future cooking classes that will be offered. This space will be used to bring in interesting acts to the restaurant and to a neighborhood that starting to enjoy a bit of their own culture.
The food has been given a bit of an upgrade as well. Look for some kicked up starters and entrees at a bargain price including their Smokin’ Hot Wings (wings with the smoker treatment), bacon cheese fries, and a massive onion ring basket to start.
Red Hot and Blue also is offering one pretty damned good bowl of chili in the form of a walking Frito pie. Abundant to say the least.
We enjoyed a smattering of pulled pork sliders that alone would fill the spot. You may take these Memphis-style with a crown of added Cole slaw. We also had to order the big meat platter to get a taste of the brisket and ribs. The brisket has definitely been upgraded from years past when we last visited. The brisket alone is sold for 12.99 making this version one of the hottest deal in a brisket-loving town.
The ribs are St Louis style which means they are the meaty spare ribs trimmed down of the unnecessary parts such as cartilage and breastbone, leaving what looks like baby backs, but with much more of the tender rib meat. You may order these wet or dry, the later sprinkled with plenty of the signature rub. Wet ribs are are hickory smoked then slathered with a mild yet spicy house-made mojo sauce. The ribs can also be given a sweet sauce treatment for those that prefer.
The best addition to this menu is one very killer sandwich called the Frakentorta. Think double-sized bolillo bun stuffed with a generous helping of meat: brisket, thick slices of turkey and pulled pork for good measure then garnished with tomato and lettuce. Massive in concept, delicious in taste. A beast of a sandwich that is almost a challenge unto itself.
The sides should not be forgotten as they have a bit of seriousness about them. We especially enjoyed the potato salad (made fresh each hour), the fried okra and the Cole slaw. There is much more to choose from, but we could sit and eat the very tender drop biscuits all day. Oh, the cornbread.
We look forward to the finishing touches with construction that is weeks away so we can take advantage of the patio life that Red Hot and Blue will soon offer, but until then we may go back and attempt to conquer the Frankentorta.