Ten 50 BBQ opened in mid-August just off North Central Expressway in Richardson, and almost immediately, lengthy lunchtime lines began forming outside the sprawling building. Owner Larry Lavine is best known as the guy who founded Chili's, but that doesn't mean Ten 50 is poised for similar mega-chain status; rather, Lavine says his barbecue restaurant is a one-off that's aiming to bring an authentic Central Texas barbecue experience to the 'burbs. It's too early for Ten 50 to be subject to any formal reviews just yet, but here's what folks are saying about it thus far:
[Photo: Korri Kopsi/EDFW]
The Atmosphere News: City of Ate describes the unique setup thusly: "The restaurant, which takes its name from its address, is a 10,000-square-foot barn-like structure. The atmosphere is casual and fun, with an updated, modern country feel. ... The dining concept here is a little different from other barbecue places. Outside, you select your choice of meats right off the smokers, where it's weighed and issued a barcode indicating its cost." A Yelp reviewer loves it, saying, "It's clean, has plenty of large communal tables & even individual spots. ... It was so inviting we spent 3 hours total there between eating, hanging out with friends, & eating again." At least one Yelper is appalled by the indoor/outdoor setup, though: "You have to wait in line OUTSIDE to order your meat. I have never seen this. They have mister fans.. but still.. this is texas and it can get HOT!"
Line News: Several people comment on the long lines. One Yelper says: "We arrived at 11:30am to find a huge line outside. By the time we made it to the pit where you place your order, the time was 12:15pm." Unsurprisingly, it's wise to show up early: An Urbanspooner says, "I got there about 10:30 and there was a short line outside. They opened promptly at 10:50 and began serving." Thankfully, the restaurant caters to folks waiting in line: "Although the weather wasn't scorching today, the misting fans in the line area still helped. As a bonus, servers moved through the line with samples of Meyer's Elgin sausage, which helped to tide over the hungry masses," says City of Ate.
The Beverage News: One Yelp reviewer thinks highly of the bar situation: "The number of beers on tap is impressive. Full bar access as well." Another Yelper disagrees: "There is a large bar but they were out of Michelob Ultra. Annoying as I really enjoy a beer with my bbq and am currently on a low carb diet."
The Ribs News: An Urbanspoon reviewer is a fan: "The rib was excellent - barely sweet, good smokiness, and nice crust." A Yelper disagrees, declaring them "overcooked to the point of falling apart with minimal flavor."
The Brisket News: Brisket is of course king in Texas, and people seem to be pretty keen on Ten 50's. "The brisket I had was tender, with a thin layer of charred crust, just the right amount of mouth-melting fat, and those beautiful, colorful layers that indicate smoking done right," says City of Ate. An Urbanspoon reviewer also gives it high marks: "The brisket has texture without toughness and was good although I might have liked a little more flavor in the lean. But the moist brisket was my favorite ever."
The Pulled Pork News: A Facebook fan is very enthusiastic about the pulled pork: "Hands down the best pulled pork to ever cross my lips. Moist & flavorful, this pulled pork needs no sauce." A Yelper agrees, calling it the "star of the show. Out of this world good."
The Sauce News: A Facebook fan is split on the two sauces: "The home BBQ sauce tastes great on its own but I could not pair it with a meat where I thought it added something nice to it... Great flavor but just not right for smoked meats. The Carolina sauce was great on the other hand. Vinegary like a Carolina sauce should be." A Yelp reviewer, on the other hand, doesn't like either, saying, "They have two BBQ sauces and both of them are too sweet. We had to mix in lots of hot sauce with them just to get through the meal."
The Dessert News: Everyone seems to agree the banana pudding is killer: "Far from the ordinary mix-in-a-box, this was clearly made with care and good ingredients. If you like a good banana pudding, you will not be disappointed," says a Yelp reviewer. A Facebook commenter concurs: "Recommend the banana pudding, not sweet at all and very creamy." Even Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn thinks pretty highly of it, saying via Twitter, "There's no improvement needed on the banana pudding @Ten50BBQ. It's already spectacular."