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BBQ restaurant to open inside the new H-E-B in Fort Worth. Is it Texas’ best chain?

Two words that almost never go together:

“Chain barbecue.”

The opening of a new chain barbecue restaurant used to be good news, particularly if it was an Underwood’s (still open in Brownwood) or even a Rudy’s from San Antonio.

Then it became bad news, from a couple of awful chains-gone-bad that will remain unnamed here.

But one Texas chain barbecue restaurant now rises above the rest.

And it will open April 10 in Fort Worth.

True Texas BBQ, 3451 Heritage Trace Parkway, will be busy at first.

That’s because it’s attached to Fort Worth’s first H-E-B supermarket.

Inside the True Texas BBQ restaurant and drive-thru in H-E-B’s location in Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.
Inside the True Texas BBQ restaurant and drive-thru in H-E-B’s location in Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Ten years after launching True Texas BBQ restaurants with a store south of San Antonio, the grocery giant will open its 29th location next to a new H-E-B near Alliance Town Center, a half-mile east of Interstate 35W and 12 miles north of downtown Fort Worth.

The menu is familiar: a highly rated sliced brisket, sausage, St. Louis pork ribs, pulled pork and burnt ends, starting at about $9 for a brisket sandwich or $12 for a plate with two side dishes. Beef ribs are an occasional special.

The True Texas BBQ menu also includes fried chicken tenders and wings.

It’s all available with side dishes such as brisket queso, serrano-pepper cornbread and the usual greens, potato salad, slaw, okra, fries and mac-and-cheese, plus pudding and cobblers.

A crowd gathers before the ribbon cutting of H-E-B’s location in Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.
A crowd gathers before the ribbon cutting of H-E-B’s location in Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Texas Monthly magazine’s barbecue editor named it the “best barbecue chain” in Texas in 2019, but wrote last year that the new DFW locations have consistency problems.

Part of that is related to the huge crowds that mob new H-E-B stores.

Just by opening, it’s the best-known barbecue restaurant in north Fort Worth.

The better-known craft barbecue restaurants that draw waiting lines in the Near Southside or south Tarrant County haven’t ventured north of Loop 820.

The top-rated barbecue restaurant in that direction is The Original Roy Hutchins Barbecue, 3000 Texas 114 in Trophy Club.

But that’s almost 14 miles from True Texas BBQ, the same distance as driving back downtown to Panther City BBQ, Hurtado Barbecue, Brix Barbecue or Heim BBQ.

A True Texas BBQ also will open in the new H-E-B Mansfield store, under construction at 1670 E. Broad St.

True Texas BBQ is open for lunch and dinner daily; truetxbbq.com.