Published: December 4, 2015
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Many of you might not know of an gentleman named Texas Jack Vermillion also known as “Texas Jack.” According to Wikipedia, “Texas Jack,” was born in 1842 in Russell County, Virginia, and was the second of 12 children born to William and Nancy Vermillion (née Owens) and later became a legend and traveled around the west to become a legendary “gun fighter” in the Old West.
Fast forward to 2015, and the brand new barbecue restaurant located in Arlington VA named Texas Jacks. To me there are a lot of great barbecue restaurants in the Washington D.C. area and I know a lot of great pitmasters around the country, but when I heard Matt Land was going to be the pitmaster for this new barbecue restaurant, I knew right away that this was a place that I needed to check out for sure!
For those who might not know who Matt Lang is, Matt was the winner of Best in Smoke a BBQ show that aired on the Food Network that featured some great barbecue pitmasters and he was also the head pitmaster at Fette Sau BBQ which is located in Williamsburg, New York.
Review and Rating of Texas Jack’s Barbecue
To me, great barbecue is all about three important things: 1)the smokiness of the meat; 2) the overall flavor profiles of the protein and lastly (3) when you are done eating do you want to eat even more and come back for more and at Texas Jack’s BBQ they jumped way over the bar and achieved what I think is barbecue greatness.
Food: I must say that the barbecue at Texas Jack’s was top notch. Matt did an amazing job of showcasing his passion for and expertise in smoking amazing barbecue. From the brisket to the pork ribs and to the pulled pork, the balance between flavor and smokiness was spot on. Every piece of barbecue was a party in your mouth and was extremely complex and tasty. All the proteins really shined individually and when you put all the ingredients together for the final product I thought to myself wow, the food really wants me to come back and have more.
One thing that stood out to me in a positive way was that if you were a vegetarian you had plenty of dishes to try and enjoy even at a barbecue restaurant. To me it really showed Matt’s versatilely as a cook and a cook who wants to really push the envelope.
The one aspect of the food that I was a bit disappointed in is the fact that there was only one real “traditional” barbecue side dish and that was the Mac and Cheese. I would have liked to see Matt’s interpretation of baked beans or some other great barbecue sides. I hope that in the future that they add different or at least have side specials that would feature some of the more traditional barbecue sides.
Design of the Dinning Area: To many times when you go to a barbecue restaurant you sit in the same old dinning template: pictures of pigs/cows on the wall; some sort of barbecue pit pictures, it kind of gets annoying and outdated, this isn’t the case at Texas Jack’s barbecue and I liked it. I liked how the restaurant reflected and fit in with the neighborhood in mind and the space was nice and open and making it easy for people to enjoy the great barbecue. I also liked how there was even space to enjoy the latest football game or sporting event and enjoy a craft mixed drink.
Overall Impressions: From the food to the craft mixed drinks to the design of the dinning room, Texas Jack’s BBQ will in mind quickly become a must stop on the barbecue trail in the greater Washington D.C. area. To answer my questions from before, Texas Jack’s BBQ not only has the perfect pitmaster at the helm of the restaurant the quality of barbecue reflects the best of the best. While the concept of Texas Jack’s barbecue is not your typical barbecue restaurant it surely can and will become a leader in the barbecue world in the Washington D.C. area. I can’t wait to go back and try some additional great barbecue fair!
Also of Interest:
- Barbecue Cookbook Review of Feeding the Fire: Recipes & Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling
- POLL: What is your BBQ Pit Personality?
- Follow Grilling with Rich on Twitter for the Latest BBQ and Grilling News from Around the World
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