DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Is it BBQ or Barbeque?

Can you pick out Bob White's BBQ joint?
Can you pick out Bob White’s BBQ joint?


No matter how you spell it, BBQ is a great meal and Dallas has some BBQ I love.

Back When I Didn’t Like BBQ

My introduction to barbeque was not auspicious.  When we lived in Georgia, at least once a month Mom would bake a brisket and we’d have several meals off it.  One of those meals was chopped brisket, on a bun, with bottled barbeque sauce. (No offense Mom, but it wasn’t great.)  The side dish would be either canned pork and beans or Mom’s potato salad.  Though I’ve been told my mom’s potato salad was wonderful, I wasn’t crazy about it (it was a texture thing) and I’m not much on pork and beans either.  At our house you ate what Mom cooked or you didn’t eat, so I made a meal of her version of BBQ sandwiches and hoped the next offering would be better.

Another less-than-fond memory barbeque was the new straw handbag and watch I left in a BBQ joint on the road between Georgia and Dallas on our semi-annual trek.  The episode became a year-long telephone battle between my mom and the manager of the restaurant.  We picked up the straw purse on the next year’s summer pilgrimmage, but the manager claimed no watch had been in it.  I want you to know that I was hounded by the memory of the faux pas well into my adulthood.  As in, every time I left a reataurant with my mother she’d say, “Don’t forget to get your purse.  You remember what happened on that trip.”  Yes, Mom, I remember the brand new straw purse and watch I carelessly left in the BBQ joint.  (In my defense, it was one of the first handbags I’d ever owned and I hadn’t developed the habit of keeping up with it.  Do not do this to your child!)

Bob White’s and The Pig Stand

When we moved to Dallas in 1966, we lived in East Dallas, not far from White Rock Lake.  In those days, the southeastern corner of the lake was home to two different BBQ joints, Bob White’s and The Pig Stand.   My family usually ate at home, but from time to time, we’d have a meal at one of these old stand-bys.

Pig Stand was part of a chain of restaurants with formica table tops and red vinyl booths.  I’m pretty sure they had a row or two of covered parking for carhop service, but we always ate inside.  My dad liked their food, but I actually have no memory of what I ate when we went there.

Bob White’s was a different story.  It was a one-of-a-kind place, mostly devoted to carhop servcie and a small indoor seating area resembling someone’s home carpentry project with green vinyl upholstry.  Usually we’d enjoy the carhop experience when we ate at Bob White’s, but from time to time Dad would come home with greasy brown grocery bags that smelled like heaven.  That meant he’d stopped at Bob White’s on the way home, which meant BBQ!

My Conversion Experience

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I converted from a BBQ skeptic to a BBQ fanatic, but I’m sure Bob White’s Rib Basket had something to do with it.  I loved them with a passion.  Unfortunately, like most of the mom-and-pop restaurants of yore, Bob White’s BBQ bit the dust.  Still, BBQ is something you can find by the Basket-load in Dallas.  There are even some mom-and-pop joints still hanging on!  So don’t despair.

5 thoughts on “Is it BBQ or Barbeque?”

  1. I grew up in Dallas in the 70s & 80s. I also lived around White Rock Lake. Bob White’s was the place we went. I remember the barbeque was great (I was a kid, so not a connoisseur). However, what I really remember, was their salad dressing. (I guess that stood out because, as a kid, I rarely ate salad). It was a homemade Thousand Island dressing that I’m still craving. (So much so, I was trying to look it up and came upon this post). Back in those days, there were only two salad dressing I liked: (1) Hidden Valley Ranch made from packet with real buttermilk (nothing tastes the same these days); (2) Bob White’s Thousand Island.

    I’m missing those days, missing those people, and sure enough missing that barbeque and salad dressing…



  2. Jane – Tom is forever telling me the only ‘real’ bbq is to be found in NC in the smoked brick buildings. He claims BBQ is not an event where you throw steaks on the grill, etc. For me, it doesn’t matter. I’d never had hush puppies until the first time I went to NC with Tom after we married. I’d traveled the world but hadn’t the occasion to order Hush Puppies. I learned I could indeed eat too many. I don’t eat meat and haven’t for well over 30 years and strangely enough, I’ve never felt it was any type of sacrifice. Meat and my digestive track simply don’t get along.


    1. Now hushpuppies are a whole different subject. They go with catfish down here in Texas. And meat – honey I’m a true carnivore! Well, I love my veggies too, so maybe I’m more of an omnivore.


      1. Jane – I haven’t had good catfish since my brothers caught them out of the creek when we were kids and mom fried them in a black cast-iron skillet. My mother was a terrific cook and was known throughout the southern part of the state. There was never a ‘box’ of anything in a mix in mother’s cupboards. We used to joke that the house would burn down if mom found a cake mix in her cupboard. She cooked from scratch until she passed at 78 and she never saved left overs. They always went to the family dog!


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