Born and raised in Texas, my appreciation for good barbecue runs deep; however, I am not a BBQ expert by any means. I definitely know what I like, and at 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House in Frisco (my new ‘hood), Trace Arnold slow-cooks exactly what I love. Known as “The Rib Whisperer”, this Texas cowboy believes that the public is obsessed with bad ‘cue and hasn’t been properly introduced to the real thing. Trace’s mission, in which he certainly is a doer of, is to share his passion of great Texas BBQ (you can taste the love) and educate us with the 3 golden rules:
Rule #1: NEVER put sauce on your ribs. Good ribs don’t need sauce. And if the ribs are great, then it’s just a crime. (So moist and flavorful, but ask for the glaze if you’re hankerin’ for an even richer piece of meat.)
Rule #2: If you come to 3 Stacks and love what they serve, it is your duty to go out and bring a friend or a coworker back with you to share the knowledge. (DONE and DONE! I even tell strangers about the pit-master and his “que-nique” eats.)
Rule #3: If you ever eat anything you don’t 100% love, find Trace Arnold or anyone who works at 3 Stacks and let them know so they can fix the problem and make it right. (This proves how much of a gentleman Trace truly is. He treats his customers like old friends…and then helps with clearing the table!)
After learning about Trace’s adventures with the History Channel’s Cross Country Cookout, his national charity work, and The Ultimate Smoker & Grill that he created in ’97 (beast on wheels that’s able to slow smoke more than 2,000 lbs of meat at a time), I knew that his newly-bred restaurant would attract the right kind of attention. Crowds haven’t stopped waiting in line since Arnold and his partner, Jason Hall, opened 3 Stacks earlier this year. With three large smokers (namesake of the restaurant) standing tall at the entrance, XL booths, a plethora of flat screens, and 30+ craft beers on tap, this BBQ joint has found a home deep in the heart of Frisco.
In late September, DFW bloggers/foodies were invited and fortunate enough to sit at Trace’s table and taste the menu, “family style”. He warned us to pace ourselves, plus save room for each delicacy being prepared, but I didn’t listen. I made sure I tried it all…like the Zesty Smoked Sausage Handcrafted Pizza, burnt ends, fatty brisket, Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins, and the Ooowee Brownie. “Ooowee” is right.
Funny thing is, all of us were actually more focused on taking a perfect photo of each dish before digging in! Although, once I took my first bite, I wasn’t really capable of being social at all…whether it be through live tweet reports or table talk. I would’ve only been able to say “Yum” or “Omnomnom” anyway.
I was very happy to be sitting with BBQ
gurus as well, and thoroughly enjoyed hearing them talk shop. Even these guys reached for seconds of the non-traditional sides, including the Lemon Kale Salad, Cheesy Corn Bake, and Cabernet Mushrooms! Don’t worry, Trace also serves up classics (with a twist) such as Twice-Baked Potato Salad, Brisket Frito Pie, and 6 Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese!
You can’t leave without trying my personal favorite, the Jalepeno Fire Crackers; First, fresh jalapeno halves are stuffed with slow smoked brisket, cheese, cilantro, & red onion. Then they are thoughtfully wrapped in bacon, oven roasted, and topped with plum chipotle glaze. Of course they are served with hot, Zesty Waffle Fries and a contrasting, cool avocado ranch dipping sauce. I mean, why not?
Don’t take Trace’s “wheelbarrow ride to the car” offer just yet…stick around for desserts that cleanse the palate, warm your heart, and give Grandma’s baking a run for her money. Make any of them a la mode with a heaping scoop of Bluebell Vanilla for only an extra $.99.
Next time you’re craving great BBQ, bring a few friends to sit on the patio with while you chow down on 3 Stacked Nachos, Carolina Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches with mustard sauce, and a cold (adult) beverage. Just an idea. Interested in seeing the carnivorous menu for yourself? I dare you to click here.
3 Stacks has a well developed online presence; including, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! I also can’t help but listen to Trace’s BBQ–other than him, they do all the talking! See The Rib Whisperer’s finger lickin’ pics tell a story on Instagram, plus read what he’s “whispering” about on Twitter.
3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House:
4226 Preston Rd, Frisco, TX 75034.
(Disclaimer: My lunch was comped when dining “family style” with fellow Dallas Media. Regarding our feast, Trace hollered, “This meal is fat free! Full of fat, and free”. I actually came back a few days later, with family, in order to put rule #2 into full effect/get my TX BBQ fix. As a result, my husband happily paid for our meal and carried me out to the car.)