I’ve lived in Dallas for 15 years and I’ve been to Fort Worth less than 30 times. It’s safe to say most of what I know about Fort Worth is from what I hear (which isn’t great). So when traveling through the city a couple of weeks ago we had to turn to our trusted yelp.com phone app for a good recommendation on a place for lunch with a nice beer selection. We found it difficult to find a place in Fort Worth rated well that doesn’t have a sister in Dallas that we’ve been many times before like The Flying Saucer, The Gingerman, etc. Then we saw The Woodshed Smokehouse. 75 reviews and 3.5 stars. Normally I don’t bother with any BBQ or pub that users give less than 4 stars. After all, the choices in Dallas with 4 or more stars are more than plentiful but in Fort Worth, not so much. So we took a leap of faith and navigated our way to the Woodshed Smokehouse… and were blown away.
It turns out the Woodshed Smokehouse is a 14,000 square foot open air restaurant located right on the bank of the Trinity River and along the cool Trinity Trails. It’s one of many restaurants owned by quasi celebrity chef Tim Love. Basically everything on the menu is grilled, smoked, roasted and/or slow cooked. Many items seem to be Asian influenced Texas BBQ. The portions are gourmet style and the food is gourmet taste but the prices are what you’d expect to find at any good BBQ place or less. I could go on and on with descriptions of the amazing flavors in this food but I will let the photos we took speak for themselves.
What you really need to know is this: This place is ridiculously original (three smokers, two rotisseries, two wood grills, and a rotating variety of 4-5 woods with which to cook fusion BBQ). The building is amazing (all open air, including the bar). The service is terrific (thanks Mariah!). The food is outstanding and portioned perfectly (camp bread with pit master fat spread!). The location is super (even if it is in Fort Worth). The beer selection is plentiful and solid (25 craft beers on tap).
The Fort Worth yelpers simply got it way wrong. As we sat and enjoyed an amazing lunch with some great craft beers, we noticed an alarming amount of aluminum bottles and pitchers of light domestics. I’m guessing these are the yokels who showed up expecting a traditional BBQ place and likely just don’t “get it” and leave a negative review for a ridiculous reason. The Woodshed goes as far as to include a glossary with their menu to explain even the simplest things like Banh Mi and Aoili, but I doubt it makes a difference to the types expecting a stockyard experience.
We happened to be there on an afternoon when live music was being played. Vanilla Face Jones was the band. They play there often. Excellent sound, perfect volume and great cover choices are what you can expect from this talented band. We felt they were a great compliment to the place and helped perfect our lunch experience. Highly recommend VFJ!
Two last points to make – 1. Bring your dog. They provide you with a water dish. 2. Although I didn’t try the ribs yet, I did see another table cutting up their rack with a butter knife. Plus, sauce on the side is a great indication of the meats awesomeness.
Chef Love obviously aimed high with this idea. He hit the bullseye dead center, but unfortunately I think the target was placed over the local’s heads. Don’t believe the yelp.
Check out their easy to navigate website www.woodshedsmokehouse.com to see their incredible menu and learn a lot more cool facts about the place. Then go for yourself. I know I can’t wait to go back!
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