Cattleack owners Todd and Misty David clearly respect barbecue tradition: they covered an outside wall with murals of modern pioneers such as Aaron Franklin, Wayne Mueller, and Tootsie Tomanetz. But the Davids are making their own way in the meat world, cooking dishes such as beef bologna, spicy beef boudin, and Wagyu pastrami ribs, which are so big that the bright red meat seems to wave from the bone like a flag. The specials go fast, so get here early if you want anything beyond the standard menu (which, for the record, is hardly a consolation prize). The many varieties of house-made sausages are impeccably crafted, as is the Wagyu brisket, which exhibits the perfect balance of smoke, seasoning, and beefy flavor. The pulled pork is sui generis for Texas because the Davids bought a North Carolina whole hog cooker; the result is tangy, moist, and richer than meat taken just from the shoulder. It’s available daily, and each serving is topped with cracklins. The large dining room, with its friendly vibe and many photos of loyal customers, exudes confidence and conviviality.
Method: Post oak; offset and wood-fired rotisserie smokers and direct-heat pit
Pitmaster: Todd David, 64
Pro-tip: David hosts a Pits & Punch fireside chat at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month, where he fields questions about all things barbecue.
Drinks: Beer & wine