Cool the fires with dessert
If you’ve never had true barbecue-joint banana pudding, you’ve not really been born. Dallas-Fort Worth has expert-level barbecue desserts, including house-made banana pudding and fried pies that will lift you off the ground. Fruit makes it healthy, right? Pecan Lodge, Hutchins BBQ, and 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House all have murderously good banana pudding, and Hutchins’ is free with your meat purchase. Deep Ellum’s Baker’s Ribs has a standalone section for fried pies. Get a chocolate one, please. Smart human beings will also order the mescal and Key lime pie at Smoke.
Brush up on Dallas "meastory" (meat history)
It happened earlier this year: Sonny Bryan’s, the Dallas icon (on Inwood) since 1958, lit a neon, 24/7 sign. It may not be life-changing barbecue, but it’s a must-stop for your bucket list in Dallas. The history is smoked right into the walls. Onion rings are tall as the Bible. You’re not doing it right unless you have a Frito pie on your Texas bucket list, which is chopped beef, BBQ sauce, beans, chives, and cheese, topped gloriously with crunchy curls of Fritos. With a cold beer, your BBQ bucket list for Dallas can be complete.