Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ten 50 BBQ - Richardson

Ten 50 BBQ opened with much fanfare and lengthy lines last August.  Owner Larry Levine already proved he knows how to go from concept to hit restaurant when he founded Chili’s in 1975.  Levine poured enough time and money into his latest concept, Ten 50, to create quite a buzz before the restaurant even opened.

Now that we are several months in, the daily lines may have shortened a bit, but there is still a lot of talk about Ten 50 around the Metroplex.

The restaurant does two turns each day, smoking meat for the lunch crowds then pulling fresh meat out at dinnertime.  I showed up for dinner to see what the fuss was about.


Meats are selected straight from the pit outside (think Cooper’s or Hard Eight) where they are sliced and weighed.  Just like a visit to the pet store, it is hard to say “No” when the meats are right in front of you and your heart is tempted to take them all home.  I ended up with a spread of Brisket, Pork Ribs, Sausage and Pulled Pork.  I also added a side of beans inside the building, where orders are completed.

Spread of smoked meats at Ten 50 BBQ

The moist slices of brisket presented a very well defined crust outlining the thin deep-red smoke ring.  I like a nice crust on my brisket and they certainly hit the mark with this one.  The flavor, however, was a bit heavy on the salt.  The fat throughout the slices was well rendered and the meat held a delicious smokiness.  Altogether, it came together as a pretty tasty brisket.

The pulled pork was of the straightforward variety and presented a natural flavor along with good smoke and just a slight sweetness.  The hand pulled product was wonderfully moist.  In Texas, this is all that pulled pork needs to be.

The ribs were St. Louis style and displayed a relatively simple rub crowned with specks of black pepper.  The rub had some sweetness to it but its contribution to the meat was rather unsubstantial.  There was not much flavor offered in the way of smoke either.  The ribs held appropriately firm to the bone with each bite.  However, they were a bit too dry.

Ten 50 is up front about the fact that they farm out their sausage.  I like the fact that they tell you exactly where both types of sausage come from.  I took a standard link of their Meyer’s sausage and knew exactly what I was getting.  This sausage was perfectly prepared to deliver its mild black pepper spice.


Two varieties of sauce are offered at Ten 50.  The Memphis sauce only requires two descriptors: "sweet" and "vinegary". The vinegar emerges as the more dominant flavor.  I thought the other sauce, Ten 50’s “House Sauce” was a pretty good blend with some spiciness.  Neither option was necessary for my meats.

My side of beans was fine.  The beans were thick and featured a heft of onion.  An option that I skipped, but has come to be a specialty of Ten 50 was the Torpedoes: chicken or brisket filled jalapenos.

Ordering your meats from Ten 50's pit

Ten 50 BBQ sits alongside Highway 75 and actually takes its name from its location at 1050 N. Central Expressway.  The layout of the restaurant is well thought out and enhances the character of the restaurant.  You enter a covered area next to the smokehouse, passing piles of well labelled wood on your way to the warming pits to choose your meats.  The inside features a large dining area with options for single tables or communal dining.  It’s a large area that has enough room for a mass of patrons with plenty of space to move about comfortably.


It’s evident that a lot of thought went into every aspect of Ten 50 and they have done a fine job of hitting their marks.  As far as the meats go, the brisket and the pulled pork are quite good.  The ribs though, have the most room for improvement.  The investment of both time and money have set Ten 50 up for success.  If they can continue refining their meats, Ten 50 will be another feather in Levine’s cap.

Address: 1050 N Central Expy, Richardson, TX 75080
Phone: 972-234-1050
Hours: Wednesday: 11AM - 830PM; Thursday - Friday: 11AM - 9PM; Saturday: 11AM - 930PM


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*All Grades Are Based Solely on the Quality of Texas BBQ Offered at the Joint. We Aren't Looking for Burgers or Catfish!

My Grading Scale:

A = This is some of the finest BBQ you'll find anywhere. It is worth a roadtrip in itself along with any required wait.
B = This is very good BBQ, even if it is over an hour away, consider making the drive.
C = This is just average BBQ but it's worth a stop in a pinch.
D = This is a poor example of Texas BBQ. Even if it's the only place around, skip it. Apologize to any non-Texans that have eaten here.
F = This is not only a bad Texas BBQ, it is probably not suitable for human consumption.

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