*Writers Note: Big Rack’s was formerly named Cutie Pies Roadhouse. I did not have an opportunity to visit this establishment under the prior name so I cannot speak of any changes that were made. However the Cutie Pies name is still adorned on some fixtures in the restaurant.
The day seemed like the perfect kind of day for a barbecue getaway. Cold, rainy, and down right depressing weather. The best remedy for this weather, awesome barbecue. Today’s choice, Big Rack’s BBQ & Sports Grill. Big Racks, located at the intersection of Bass Pro Drive & Highway 26 in Grapevine, occupies a building that was originally a Colter’s Barbecue. I have no bad things to say about Colter’s, however it is a chain restaurant and typically you will simply get average ‘cue at a chain restaurant.
Upon first entering Big Rack’s it seemed to be like taking a step in a smaller version of Bone Daddy’s (another barbecue chain located just down the highway). I was quite skeptical of the ‘cue offered up at this joint. Concerned that their main selling point was the short shorted, halter topped waitresses. There are a few remaining ‘old garage’ signs on the walls from the days of Colter’s, but this place is serious about sports, with wide screen TVs surrounding the room assuring everyone has an unobstructed view. The menu offered a wide variety of selections, and there was a moderately priced lunch special menu as well. The single meat platter with two sides seemed to be calling out to me.
As you may or may not know, beef brisket seems to be the true test of a barbecue pit master’s mettle. So, it only seemed right to order the brisket and see what happened. Big Rack’s menu boasts a plentiful selection of side dishes. I kept it standard with the creamy coleslaw and Texas BBQ Beans. My sidekick for this journey ordered the ‘Whole Hog Sandwich’. A toasted bun loaded with pulled pork, ham, sausage, and bacon. Complimented by a heaping mound of crispy french fries.
As the two plates came to rest on the table and we got our first look at what lay in front of us, I was again skeptical of the brisket. It did have a well formed smoke ring, which made one think it couldn’t be too bad, yet I still had my doubts. As my fork hit the brisket my doubt soon turned to excitement. The meat was quite tender and sliced easily. Then the first bite…AMAZING. An extraordinary flavor of smoke filled my mouth, followed by amazing beef flavor. After a slight linger a bit of spice came in and made me temporarily forget about everything else except this brisket. After making it through half of the serving of brisket on the plate, it was time to pay attention to those sides. The Texas BBQ beans were exquisite as well. At most barbecue places I typically ‘doctor’ up the beans with some barbecue sauce and at times pepper. However, these needed no after touches. A sweet peppery delight hits you first, followed by that familiar spice. The perfect remedy for all this spice? That creamy coleslaw. A quick look revealed small bits of apple mixed in with the carrots and cabbage. One bite, and it was love. The sweetness of the apples creates a something that’s far from your typical slaw experience. It was the perfect ending for the spicy ride of brisket and beans.
So, if you find yourself in Grapevine and get that hankerin’ for some great barbecue, head on over to Big Rack’s BBQ & Sports Grill. Unlike that other place down the highway, this place has great barbecue not just great waitresses.