If you’ve been desperately searching the District area for heaping barbecue platters, made with painstaking love and bright and early wake-up calls to the kitchen to diligently check meats left smoking overnight, then Arlington’s new Texas Jack’s Barbecue is here to help. Chef Matt Lang oversees a menu which offers a combination of down home traditional barbecue fare, paired with Mexican and German influences, for a fresh approach which will more than meet your cravings.
Texas Jack’s offers a build your own approach to constructing a barbecue plate. Instead of set combinations, simply mix and match from the available meats and sides. The smoked meats are priced per pound or quantity, so you can order any tandem you’d like, with a recommended total of about half a pound of meat per person.
Choose from beef brisket and beef short ribs, pulled pork, St. Louis style spare ribs, chicken, and habanero pork sausage. The entire lineup delivers, with the juicy, tender beef brisket being the show stopper.
The sides are where the traditional vs. inventive approach comes center stage. There’s corn, rice and beans, and greens, but it’s in the form of Esquites, essentially Mexican street corn served off the cob and in a bowl, made with pan-fried corn mixed with cotija cheese, mayo, cilantro and jalapeno, Risotto with Porky Pinto Beans, and a kale Caesar salad.
Don’t fret that you’re missing anything in the trade-off away from tradition. In particular, the Esquites and Risotto are worth a trip to Texas Jack’s all on their own. Skillet corn bread and mac and cheese are on the way, but again, don’t expect to find standard variations.
The menu also includes barbecue sandwiches, burgers, chips and fries, along with their ’87 Cutlass Supreme Nachos. These are served in “two-door” and “four-door” portions and can be topped with either pulled pork or brisket.
Beverage director Remzi Yilmaz has also put together a high-end lineup of craft cocktails. The bar has a small, dedicated bar kitchen space allowing the team to produce its own ginger beer, along with more than half a dozen house-made syrups to add to their concoctions.
These are showcased in drinks such as the Smoked Whiskey Sour, with bourbon, fresh lemon and lime juices, egg white, and a jalapeno-peppercorn simple syrup, or the Clover Club Cocktail, with gin, egg white, fresh lemon juice and raspberry syrup. Other specialty cocktails include the Jack’s Mule, with fresh lime and mint, bourbon and the ginger beer, and the Oaxaca Smash, made with mezcal, sage, honey and fresh lemon juice.
In addition to the cocktails, a strong lineup of whiskey is available, with an emphasis on bourbon and rye. There’s also plenty of craft beer, and a selection of wines.
The space itself is large and inviting, and like the menu, a mix of rustic and modern. The dining room can peer into the open kitchen, which also offers adjacent counter seating to keep a close eye on the barbecue action. The separate bar area offers additional seating, and warm weather will bring an outdoor patio.
An extended happy hour is available from 4 to 8pm from Monday-Friday. If you stick around for a few hours more, then you can also order from the Late Night menu, available from 10 pm to 1am Sunday-Thursday, and 11 to 1 on Friday and Saturday.
Visit TXJacks.com for the full menu and other information.