Lyndsay Cordell

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is the McDonald’s of BBQ and I Mean That As a Compliment

There's a nearby Dickey's Barbecue Pit located about a block from the old paper mill. I never paid it much mind except for when I passed it during lunch hour, when mill workers lined up outside and found themselves at every table in the restaurant, sipping sweet tea from big yellow cups while wiping sauce from their mouths using crumbled napkins.

I had never tried it. Heck, I didn't even realize it was the largest barbecue chain in America until this morning. Yet, I never hear any of my friends talking about it and one quick search on Google led me to countless Reddit threads bashing the beef brisket because it wasn't "Texas" enough.

I had to try it out for myself.

Where is Dickey's Barbecue Originally From?

Dickeys Smokehouse BBQ restaurant, exterior.

Dickeys Smokehouse BBQ restaurant, exterior. (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey, in Dallas, Texas, the BBQ joint served beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, beer, bottled milk, and sodas that were served and prepared by the family. In the 60s the business expanded through the Dallas-Fort Worth area and gained popularity state-wide.

In the 90s, Dickey's Barbecue restaurants started to quickly franchise and expand their brand, quickly becoming the largest barbecue quick-service restaurant brand in the United States, bringing slow-smoked meats to cities such as Brooklyn and Salt Lake City. They also expanded internationally, opening locations in Dubai, Singapore, and Tokyo.

My Review of Dickey's Barbecue Pit

Dickey's bbq review

Lyndsay Cordell

Like most typical barbecue places, Dickey's serves all the usual including pulled pork, Polish kielbasa sausages, smoked chicken breast, smoked turkey breast, burnt ends, pork ribs, and smoked chicken wings. Their home-style sides include favorites such as barbecue beans, mac & cheese, green beans, potato salad, fried okra, and spicy jalapeno beans. Along with classic sandwiches, such as pulled pork and burnt ends, Dickey's also serves what it calls "'Cue Creations" which is loaded sides fit for a meal. These menu items include buffalo chicken mac & cheese, and one that I found extremely intriguing, the Fritos Pie Stack.

I settled on trying out three different menu items, the Pork & Burnt Ends plate, the Old School Plate, and the Fritos Pie Stack. We also grabbed three different barbecue sauces, including their signature sauce and their take on the mustardy North Carolina sauce.

The fast-casual location we visited (the one in town is closed temporarily) was minutes away from the local ski slope and its customers were a mix of skiers and blue-collar workers on their lunch break. Most used takeout but a few sat in the wooden benches in the dine-in area. The pit area was open, however, it was visibly dirty and my husband and I joked that we would see raccoons hiding in the multiple piles of cardboard boxes.

Frito Pie Stack

Lyndsay Cordell

Our food arrived quickly and after a quick photo sesh, we dug in with vigor. The burnt ends were crispy and flavorful while the kielbasa was juicy and satisfying. The real winner was the Frito Pie Stack, which I dove into gleefully. Pulled pork, beans, and melted cheese all laid on a bed of crispy Frito chips. One bite and I was instantly hooked.

I couldn't complain about the sides as well. The Mac & Cheese was cheesy and filling while the green beans were that perfect bright bite. The barbecue sauces were satisfactory, with my favorite being the spicy barbecue.

Sure Dickey's Barbecue doesn't serve cornbread or Texas toast, but they do serve barbecue at a decent price in a jiffy. I know I'll be going back soon just for the Frito Pie Stack.

READ MORE: Limited-Time BBQ Fritos Combine Corn Chips With Much Loved Summer Flavors