Red River BBQ Shootout Tonight
DALLAS — If you’re headed for Dallas today and can’t wait until Saturday morning to get your Red River Rivalry on, you might happen to downtown Dallas for the first-ever Red River BBQ Shootout.
The Red River Shootout Party starts at 5 p.m. in the Main Street Garden, 1920 Main Street. Oklahoma City icon Leo’s BBQ will be on the pit today representing Oklahoma versus Cousin’s BBQ of Fort Worth, cooking for Texas.
Pitmaster Charles Smith earned the right to fight for Oklahoma in a preliminary competition on Thursday night, besting Elmer’s of Tulsa and Van’s Pig Stand of Shawnee. Smokin’ Joe’s Rib Ranch and RV Park was scheduled to compete but had to drop out at the last due to an emergency.
Cousin’s narrowly defeated famous Black’s Barbecue from Lockhart, Baker’s Ribs and Big Daddy’s from Wylie, Texas.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of the preliminary judging, which was done blind. Samples were brought to the tables unmarked by wait staff and scored without consultation with the pitmasters. Leo’s scored highest for Oklahoma, Cousin’s scored highest for Texas.
So Smith will vie for bragging rights and $1,000 this evening. The winner will be decided by People’s Choice. Cousin’s has a pretty good advantage, so if you’re a Leo’s fan who will be in Dallas for the big game, you might happen over to this preparty to show your support for the iconic barbecue joint, which has seen it’s share of hard times in the last year.
Leo’s has reopened its doors to it original 36th and Kelley location, but the downtown spot is closed. I’ll be sharing more information about Leo’s next week in Mood, but for now come on down and get some of that good hot barbecue sauce.
Winner will be announced at 8:30 p.m. by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Live music will be provided by three bands, including Oklahoma veterans The Damn Quails at 5:30 p.m.