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Fran’s Brown Pig Pizza

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Barbecue and pizza are two items that usually don’t join forces on a restaurant menu, but in the East Texas town of Daingerfield they’ve come together at Fran’s Barbeque and Pizza since 1971. Fran’s is named for Frances Neely. She was married to Dick Neely, and worked at the storied Neely’s in Marshall serving Brown Pig sandwiches. She took the recipe for the famous sandwiches to Daingerfield, and then she added a pizza oven.

There’s a full barbecue menu, and a full pizza menu, but I went right for the Brown Pig sandwich. Just like the Marshal original it features smoked, chopped, and sauced pork, iceberg lettuce, and mayonnaise on a toasted bun.

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Fran’s Brown Pig sandwich
Neely's Brown Pig
Neely’s Brown Pig sandwich. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Having just eaten at Neely’s in Marshall before this visit, I think I prefer their more finely minced version of the Brown Pig, but they don’t have a pizza oven in Marshall. Fran’s Brown Pig pizza starts with fresh dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Then, smoked pork and barbecue sauce are added.

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Fran’s Brown Pig pizza

Maybe a Brown Pig pizza’s description doesn’t make your mouth water, and I empathize, but it actually works. The finished product tastes a lot better than it sounds. If it were all barbecue sauce it would be overwhelming, so the tomato sauce helps balance it. Then the cheese binds it all together. It’s a good slice of pizza, plus barbecue.

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And if you’re wondering about how the pork is prepared, you just have to swing around to the back of the building. There you’ll find an old pit bellowing smoke and a big stack of hickory. This is honest smoked pork, which is a lot more than most pizza joints can say for their barbecue pizza varieties.

Fran’s Barbeque & Pizza
900 Linda Dr.
Daingerfield, TX 75638
Open M-F 11-8

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  • Jan Neely Hilton

    Daniel, thanks for coming to Fran’s and trying the Pig Pizza! I remember you said you were told to try it and you were from Dallas. Wish I could have told you that my Mother never worked in Marshall at Neely’s. She did go there in 1946 to get a brown pig and my Daddy Dick was a carhop and they eventually married and had a place on HWY 80 in Longview in the 50’s. My brother Blake and I run Fran’s now as she died in 1995. Thanks for the article and pictures. I loved it!

  • Dicky Neely

    Jan and Blake are my siblings. We, along with sister Melinda, were brought up around BBQ and they carry on the family tradition. I may not be totally objective but I think you couldn’t go wrong if you stop in there one day. None better in my book.