The Slow Bone Came Out Fighting.
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 The Slow Bone.
Fast Facts on The Slow Bone.
Where: 2234 Irving Blvd, Dallas.
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day but Christmas.
Seating: Not hard to find a spot.
Line speed: Long but quick.
Wood used: Hickory.
The Slow Bone barbecue stands on the corner of Irving Boulevard and Wycliffe Avenue, not far from the Hilton Anatole. This hip little barbecue shack has been in the game for a little over three years now, and has developed a very loyal following. The Slow Bone doesn’t stray far from traditional Texas barbecue and they are proud of it.
“Were not blazing any trails as far as that goes,” says Jeffery Hobbs, Slow Bone’s pitmaster and manager of operations.
And with a serious focus on providing quality smoked meats and a menu of nontraditional sides, Slow Bone doesn’t need to stray far from classic Texas barbecue.
The Slow Bone isn’t owner Jack Perkins’ first foray into the Dallas food seen. A few years ago, he opened another spot popular with locals, Maple and Motor, a burger joint that was once featured on Diners, Drive- Ins and Dives. After a while, though, Perkins decide he wanted to do more than just burgers.
“Jack had a hankering for some barbecue and started messing around with some briskets,” Hobbs says.
It wasn’t long before he was entering his brisket in to the local barbecue competition Meat Fight. In 2012, the first year Meat Fight was held in a proper venue Perkins took home the gold for best brisket.
“We enjoy going out to eat, seeing what other people are doing and understanding what delicious food taste like,” Hobbs says. “It was very easy for us to identify if this brisket is really good or if these ribs are really good.”
It wasn’t long after winning Meat Fight that Perkins started looking at opening a barbecue joint of his own. When it was time to start a team Perkins was looking at Hobbs as the pitmaster, however, the timing wasn’t right initially.
“I was still kind of in full sit-down, fine-dining restaurant mode,” Hobbs says.
During this time Perkins would find another pitmaster and a building. The spot they found had previously housed two other barbecue joints by the name of BW’s Barbecue and Backyard Barbecue. After some remodeling to make the place feel “less like a cave,” Perkins and his team opened The Slow Bone in 2013.
The Pitmaster and His ‘Cue.
Jeffery Hobbs has spent a lot of time in the kitchen. In fact, he pretty much grew up there.
“I grew up in the kitchen with my mom,” Hobbs says. “My mom was a stay at home. I was the oldest of three kids. It’s kind of how she kept an eye on us.”
However his focus wasn’t on cooking at first. For a time, Hobbs was considering going into the psychology field. It was during a school assignment while working on his psych major that made him realize that some of his best memories each took place in the kitchen — and listening to other people’s problems for a living wasn’t necessarily for him, either. So he took some time off from school to get a job in the restaurant industry.
Early on, he found a job making pasta at a local Olive Garden and worked his way up in the kitchen. Hobbs enjoyed working with food so much he went back to school, this time for cooking.
“My first real job at restaurant in Dallas was Celebration over on Lover’s Lane,” Hobbs says.
He would spend the next few years moving up to fine dining, which is the world he was working in when he was first approached by Perkins. Desiring a change of pace, Hobbs took the position as pitmaster of The Slow Bone in early 2013, using his culinary experience to perfect some of the recipes.
The Slow Bone has all the traditional items barbecue goers crave. The brisket is juicy and has a perfect bark that is full of flavor, and the smoked cilantro sausage always sells out fast. The barbecue isn’t the only thing Slow Bone focuses on.
“We have some great sides that have been on the menu since day one, and will continue to stay on there,” Hobbs says. “That’s one of the things that Jack wanted to focus on a lot.”
The large list of sides includes all the normal stuff like homemade pinto beans and fried okra. But Slow Bone also a few items that stand out like the tomato cucumber salad, buttered squash, and they even do tamales.
“The Brussels flower is a Brussels sprout and cauliflower gratin. That’s one of the more popular nontraditional sides,” Hobbs says.