Cattleack Barbeque Is Driving Excellence.
Welcome to Cued Up! In this new feature, we’ll bust out the wet naps and get elbows deep in sauce in order to find what makes the region’s best barbecue spots tick. We don’t just want to know what makes their ‘cue so damn delicious, though; we’ve got to cut down to the bone of these pitmasters to learn what makes each one of them so special — and why they’ve dedicated their lives to one of the most fundamentally Texas cuisines.
This week, we chowed down on Cattleack Barbeque.
Fast Facts on Cattleack Barbeque.
Where: 13628 Gamma Road.
When: Thursday and Friday 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Seating: Not too hard to find a spot.
Line: Long, but fast.
Tucked away in an industrial business area — a place one wouldn’t necessarily expect to find some of the best smoked meat in Dallas — is the almost-hidden Cattleack Barbeque.
Still, come Thursdays and Fridays, when Todd David fires up his thousand-gallon smokers, the savory smell of barbecue fills the air and David’s band of loyal followers come running.
Everything this little hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint serves is homemade — other than the chips and sodas. Todd chops almost every piece of meat himself, while his wife Misty and the other staff serve the customers. Sure, the operation is a small one, but it makes the experience of eating there all the more personal. Heck, they will even offer diners a free beer while they wait in line.
“This should be as close as we can get you to a backyard cookout, but not doing it in our backyard,” Todd says.
A large dining room filled with picnic tables makes up the seating arrangement inside. They also have a handful of smaller tables for outdoor dining. The seating was limited, but they just expanded next door and added about a hundred more seats.
For 30 years, Todd David owned and operated a disaster cleanup business. During that time, he purchased a smoker he calls “Big Mama” that he would use to help feed his crew on big jobs. Once a month, Todd and Misty would invite their customers to their offices and cook barbecue for them.
“It started with about 80 or 100 customers,” Todd says. “We got up to 400 people coming out for this barbecue. So that was kind of cool.”
After putting a plan together and selling his business, the Davids found a location to set up shop. At first, the plan was only to do catering. But, over the next few years, Cattleack Barbeque opened to the public, and eventually evolved into the prime cut barbecue joint that regulars love today.
The Pitmaster and His ‘Cue.
Todd David has history with barbecue. Growing up in St. Louis, his family did a lot of grilling. That tradition continued when David moved to Texas in the ’70s, where he would cook for people at the pool on a little Weber grill. After Todd and Misty got married, they toured everywhere in search of great barbecue.
“She and I have traveled the country eating barbecue,” Todd says. “So we know the things we like. We try to make the things we like as well as what our customers will like.”
Cattleack Barbeque typically goes through 2,000 pounds of meat in the two days a week that it’s are open. Regulars and fans take Cattleack’s meat seriously: The first time David had his homemade pastrami, he quickly ran out, and barbecue enthusiast James Shin spotted a man coming out of the line with the last four slices of it on his plate.
“I offered him $100 for the four slices of pastrami,” Shin says. “He took it. I paid him on PayPal, and we were done.”
Adds Shin: “I’ve had pastrami at the Second Avenue Deli in New York. Todd’s beats it, hands down.”