Barbecue nerds argue endlessly about what denotes authentic and proper barbecue, but the key question should be whether the cooking is simply true and good. And here, Dixie’s delivers. Adhering to the central Texas style of barbecue, which means little to no sauces or rubs, the startling pure taste of slow-cooked meat is both lush and clean. Cords of alder, birch and maple firewood (not pellets) are used to imbue a gentle smokiness that never overwhelms. The signature brisket has a gloriously tender texture that only improves as the evening wears on. (Pro tip: dining at 8 p.m. or later ensures a full 12-plus hours of smoking and resting.) Boneless buttermilk fried chicken is the perfect amalgam of crisp cornmeal crust, skin and juicy flesh. For dessert, smoked pecans give the namesake pie depth and sophistication.
Though the room’s pitch-perfect evocation of a Texas roadhouse borders on Disneyesque, the restaurant is located on one of the grittiest stretches of East Hastings. The contrast will be jarring for some, but Dixie’s has opened its doors wide open for all.