Marty Bryan is building a restaurant empire in the northern stretches of the Metroplex. His steakhouse and barbecue restaurant Marty B’s opened in Bartonville in 2017, and since then he’s added a coffee shop next door and Rustico Wood Fired Grill in Flower Mound—and a Tex-Mex restaurant is coming to Argyle next year. His restaurant 1845 Taste Texas, in Flower Mound, will celebrate three years in June. Bryan said the concept was to celebrate all things Texas, like the music you hear in the background—the artists featured are exclusively Texan. The restaurant’s name includes the year Texas became part of the United States, or, as Bryan puts it, “the year that Texas allowed the other part of the country to join us.”

The restaurant’s tagline is “Designed like Dallas. Tastes like Fort Worth.” While the menu includes a large enough variety of steaks to fit in in Cowtown, there’s plenty more, like fried quail from Lockhart, shrimp from the Gulf Coast, and a smoked pork chop that is a sight to behold. The thirty-ounce, double-boned tomahawk chop weighs in at just under two pounds, and a mere plate cannot contain it. The glazed chop is served on a wooden cutting block to make for easier carving.

Bryan is dedicated to using hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats, so the pork comes from Compart Duroc. Each chop is seasoned and smoked with oak in a Little Red Smokehouse smoker and held in a warmer until ordered. That’s when it’s finished on a wood-fired grill and coated in a plum jelly glaze. It’s stunning and delicious, but I wondered why Bryan wanted to make pork the signature dish at a steakhouse. “Our real desire behind the pork chop was to be able to compete with Perry’s,” he said.

The Perry’s Steakhouse chain, which began in a Houston butcher shop in 1979, now boasts twenty locations in the U.S. It serves a 32-ounce, three-bone smoked pork chop on the dinner menu ($49), and a smaller portion (18 ounces) for lunch on Fridays that’s even more popular because it’s just $19. Embarrassingly, after 22 years in Texas, I hadn’t yet tried one, so I booked a table at Perry’s minutes after my conversation with Bryan.

A table of four men next to me all ordered the famous chop, so I watched as eight pounds of pork were sliced table-side by the server into more manageable portions. I knew what to expect when mine arrived on a warm cast-iron plate, and I quickly dug in. The meat was tender from brining and smoking. A peppery rub is generously applied to the large chunk of meat, and it’s finished with a sweet glaze, much like the process at 1845 Taste Texas. After several bites, the abundance of salt and sugar stood out most and overwhelmed the flavor of the pork. Don’t get me wrong—it’s a fine pork chop, but the only advantage it has over 1845’s is heft.

It’s hard to call thirty ounces of meat manageable, but I preferred the eating experience with the two-bone chop at 1845. The thinner cross section provides more surface area, so the seasoning doesn’t have to be so powerful, but it’s still thick enough to remain juicy after smoking and grilling. And those long Duroc ribs were a prize of their own. Bryan said there’s a reason the place doesn’t use white tablecloths and offers black cloth napkins. It made me feel more comfortable using both hands on those ribs and cleaning them to the bone before I picked up my knife and fork again to get back to the loin. “That’s exactly what we want,” Bryan said of my questionable table manners.

While I loved the pork chop at 1845, Bryan reminded me of all the smoky options I missed out on. There’s a smoked pork belly appetizer, a smoked chicken wing plate, and a smoked artichoke dip. All the prime ribs are also smoked and come with a side of smoked garlic horseradish sauce. I might try to get in before 6 p.m. again for happy hour, when every drink is half off every day of the week. The place is only open for dinner, so at lunchtime on Friday, try the chop at Perry’s. Any other time, get to 1845 Taste Texas.