- Leah Virbitsky
Texas Jack's Barbecue
Smoky, flavorful, and mouthwatering. That’s what you get when you walk in the door at Texas Jack’s Barbecue on 2761 Washington Blvd. Although fairly new to the area (as in less than two years), Texas Jack's continues to grow as more and more people discover this hidden gem. Voted as the #1 Barbecue Restaurant in the D.C. Metro Area for 2016 by the Washington Post, this restaurant has clearly established itself as "the barbecue hotspot" in Arlington, VA.
They kindly invited us in for a tasting experience and boy was it worth writing about. Just one step in the door at Texas Jack's and your senses are immediately filled with smoked brisket and good ol' Texas barbecue. The aromas of the meats from the open kitchen makes your mouth water from the moment you take a seat in the dining space.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the staff and General Manager and learn more about how Texas Jack's gets its name from the legendary cowboy John B. Omohundro (pictured) from Virginia. The venue inspired by Omohundro consists of exposed ceilings, painted white brick, wooden plank tables with metal chairs, and a large painting of the United States in the dining space area. It provides guest an urban yet western feel as they dive into their meals.
At Texas Jack’s Barbecue, you will find food influenced by a mix of American, German and Mexican culture. Head Chef, Matt Lang, has created a menu full of barbecue favorites like beef brisket, beef short ribs, St. Louis style pork ribs, pulled pork, Freebird chicken, hand-crafted sausage and so much more.
Now on to our tasting experience! We started out with a Mixed Green Salad which was dressed in a roasted shallot vinaigrette topped with pickled shallots and spiced almonds aka delicious! I decided to indulge in a refreshing Jack's Mule, which is a combination of bourbon, fresh lemon, mint, basil, and ginger beer. So good!
We were then served a large succulent platter of various meats on the menu (pictured above). This included samples of their Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork Shoulder, Pork Spare Rib and Half Mixed Chicken. Our favorites? The Pork Spare Rib and the Pulled Pork Shoulder. We've had several types of ribs in our lifetime, but these stood out in that they were not greasy or messy, they were cooked just right and melted right in your mouth after one bite. Hard to explain the flavor until you actually take a bite yourself! The Pull Pork Shoulder paired amazingly well with Texas Jack's barbecue sauce. Blake, who usually is not a fan of brisket, loved the Beef Brisket (pictured below) because of its perfect combination of smoky + tender taste.
Now we didn't just indulge in meats the entire night. We also tried a selection of their signature sides. We tried a bowl of their cheesy Mac & Cheese, Esquites, Brussel Sprouts and Collard Greens. If you have never had Esquites, we highly suggest you quickly get in the car and head over to Texas Jack's. Esquites is a mix of pan fried corn, mayo, cobija cheese, cilantro and jalapeno. It pairs perfectly with any of the meat dishes. My favorite side? The crispy Brussel Sprouts tossed in lemon and parmesan. I don't know what I'm doing wrong when I cook Brussel Sprouts, but these Texas Jack's brussel sprouts were seriously on point and I could not finish them fast enough.
To finish off the night, we tried one of their newer desserts, Banana Cream Pudding (pictured below) served with Nilla wafers in a small mason jar. It was just the perfect size to share and the right amount after stuffing ourselves with all of the incredible meats and sides.
We highly recommend Texas Jack's Barbecue to anyone who is new to the area or anyone who has not discovered this hidden bbq gem in Arlington, VA- we promise you will not leave disappointed! To see what else they have to offer, visit their website.
Here’s a fun fact: The venue itself used to serve as an old "Whitey's" which was a very popular restaurant/bar where they used to serve “broasted chicken” and play live music. Local Arlingtonians often come by to try the new "Whitey's" and get a taste of how the venue has changed and relive old memories.
*Pictures of outside, John B. Omohundro, and brisket from Texax Jack's Barbecue's Website