I officially became old as hell this past month: my “little” brother turned 21 years old. For his birthday present, I decided to fly him to Dallas to spend the weekend and, of course, get him drunk in honor this milestone. Friday and Saturday were a whirlwind, ending in brunch at Smoke and followed by a day of relaxation triggered by a euphoric food coma. I knew before he came here that I wanted to take him to brunch (practically a Dallas institution) and eat some BBQ. Quick research told me that Smoke would be the perfect place to do both. I wasn’t wrong.
Walking up to the restaurant, which reminds me vaguely of a ranch house, I could already smell the smoked meats that were waiting for me. Their seating method is high tech—no chain restaurant dry erase podium in sight. They use a tablet to take down your name and phone number, and they text you when the table is ready. I’m assuming this is useful when they are really packed, but we only had a 15 minute wait, which gave us just enough time to get two bloody marys at the bar that greets you at the entrance.
The bloody marys appeared in front of us like lava lamps of alcoholic joy. With a quick mix and a sip, I could tell that these spicy cocktails would kick the hangover right out of your mouth. The glass was rimmed margarita-style with a hot spice mixture and served with a savory garnish of carrot, pickle, and green bean.
It didn’t take us long to figure out what we wanted to eat. I confidently ordered the smoked brisket cornbread hash, having already drooled over it when I look at the menu online, and Daniel ordered the pulled pork eggs benedict, which was on every table in the room we were seated.
We were certainly not disappointed. The brisket had a wonderful caramelized crust that gave it some crunch, and the cornbread in the hash brought out a sweet edge. The only thing I left was the empty plate. I tried Daniel’s pork eggs benedict and understood why it was on everyone’s table. The hollandaise sauce was the richest and creamiest I’d ever had, and the pork was smoky and sweet with the accompanying barbecue sauce.
I wasn’t too surprised that brunch was amazing. Smoke and Chef Tim Byres has been lauded in high profile places. Southern Living even named it the best breakfast in Texas last year. I will certainly be trying their dinner menu sometime.
On another note, now that my brother has left, I am saddened to return to reality, but I’m glad to have fun new memories. I introduced him to my favorite hamburger at Twisted Root (The Spicy Goat) and the magic that is Central Market. We partied on Cedar Springs at S4’s drag show and Round Up. We explored the arts district and watched The Artist at the lovely Angelika Theater at Mockingbird Station. We ate dinner at Bolsa and bought unique chocolate at Dude Sweet Chocolate. We rocked Alone by 80s band Heart at Family Karaoke, among other songs. We danced among the hipsters at Beauty Bar. We had a wonderful brunch at Smoke and we relaxed. Not bad for a stay-cation with my not-so-little-anymore brother.