Go ahead and try Cattleack Barbeque now. Two reasons: Pitmaster and owner Todd David sells some of D-FW's best brisket, says Dallas Morning News special contributor Mark Vamos, and because lines are about to get longer.
The small shop, open just Thursday and Friday for lunch and infrequently on Saturdays, will appear on a new Food Network show called Incredible Edible America with the Dunhams hosted by ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his wife, food blogger Audrey Dunham. Dunham's puppets are expected to make appearances on the show, too. They'll tour through five cities, Dallas included.
When the 'Dallas' episode airs June 26, 2017, it'll include shots from three well-known restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area:
Cattleack Barbeque, where David will demonstrate how to make the Toddfather, a sandwich stacked with brisket, pulled pork and a hot link.
Maple Leaf Diner, a Far North Dallas restaurant where cameras will focus on its chicken-fried steak and waffles (with bacon in there somewhere, too, obviously).
Woodshed Smokehouse, one of several Fort Worth restaurants from TV personality and Texas chef Tim Love, where the show will feature a 16-hour smoked beef shin and a smoked chocolate pie.
Incredible Edible America, a 30-minute show, will premiere June 5 on Food Network. The premiere focuses on Austin; the Dallas episode lands a few weeks later, on June 26.
I got the rare opportunity to sit in on part of the filming when Incredible Edible America stopped into Cattleack. As was typical for any visit to the restaurant (which barbecue enthusiasts found a few years back and tried to keep secret), we waited in line while Todd and Misty David chatted with regulars and served them barbecue and free beers. Two people at my table might be seen clanking giant beef ribs in a "cheers" motion. (They also might not be on the show at all.)
I wasn't present for filming at the other D-FW restaurants, but any exposure for local restaurants on Food Network is bound to net them new customers, longer lines and notoriety.
On Incredible Edible America, the Dunhams tour the country looking for good food. Besides Dallas, the couple will stop in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Austin. For those counting, that's two Texas cities. Nice.
"Jeff Dunham's signature sharp wit combined with Audrey Dunham's culinary knowledge adds even more flavor to the series, making them the perfect pair to take viewers on this uniquely entertaining food tour as they uncover the most incredible and undeniably delicious dishes," Courtney White, senior vice president of programming at Scripps Networks Interactive, says in a statement.
Besides eating barbecue, chicken 'n' waffles and beef shin and chocolate pie in D-FW alone, the Dunhams will also sample loaded tater tots, soft-serve ice cream on a doughnut cone, and a yard-long sandwich in other cities. I'm wondering how one eats a sandwich that's three feet long, and whether it's harder than eating a Boomstick at a Rangers game. That one's only two feet long and is suddenly feeling kind of ... small?
Tune in to Food Network on June 5 for the Dunhams' culinary adventures, and keep an eye out for their stops in Texas.
This story was updated May 16, 2017 after the TV schedule was announced.