UPDATED FOR 2017. Scroll down for a special code to get Saturday, June 10, 2017, tickets for just $19! (Standard price is $30.)

Who doesn’t love barbecue? Texans pride themselves on their insatiable desire for smoking brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, delicious baked beans and slathering the entire plate in world- famous BBQ sauce. Now that I have your tastebuds salivating for more (don’t worry; so are mine) if you weren’t out at Valley View Center on Saturday, you missed out on being the best Texan you could be.

Bonus Fun Stuff:Quick, Enjoy A Fruity Drink On The Patio Before It Gets Hot.

Casita Tex-Mex Band

Hosted by the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Big D BBQ battle brought together over 40 companies in the Dallas area to duke it out for best BBQ. Local Yocal provided the meat, proceeds benefited Cafe Momentum, and Texans had their fill of all the BBQ they could eat. Texans helping Texans using Texas products, now that’s a lot of Texas.

Enjoying a game between bites of barbecue

Thousands of hungry attendees filled the parking lot of Valley View Center ready to try what the masters had been cooking for almost 24 hours. Sampling from The Westin Galleria Dallas (1st place brisket,) Parker University (1st place Ribs, 2nd place brisket,) Casita Tex-Mex Grill (1st place beans) and more, each attendee had their fill of Texas BBQ. Washing it down with water or beer from local craft brewery Four Corners, I couldn’t think of anything more Texan than the Big D BBQ Battle.

Big D BBQ battle by NDCC

Tasty brisket & award-winning beans from Casita

I had the chance to talk with Local Yocal’s owner Matt Hamilton, who provided all the meat, about the business and his infamous Steak 101 class. After starting his own beef company and attending local Farmer’s Markets, the idea for providing the Dallas community a local processing facility and quality beef came to fruition, bringing Local Yocal to life. Along with providing Dallas quality beef, Matt also hosts a three-hour class on Saturdays at the McKinney shop called Steak 101. You can dive into the process of cutting meat and taste 15+ cuts while sipping on your favorite beverage. 

The Reason for the Eatin’

I had to let my stomach digest all the great food, and what better way than to chat with the other attendees. Cue Chad Houser, executive director of Cafe Momentum, beneficiary of this big bbq soiree. This non-profit restaurant helps at-risk kids learn necessary life skills while being neck-deep in the culinary world. Hearing about difficulties some kids face to become a “productive member of society,” Chad decided to be part of the solution by founding Cafe Momentum.

Cafe Momentum studentsCafe Momentum students

Abisai working on the next gourmet meal

Young adults enroll in the 12-month internship and work in every part of the restaurant (washing dishes, bussing tables, waiting tables, line cook) while also receiving life skills and the help they can use to succeed. Case workers, free family healthcare and opportunities to apply at other facilities are only a few of the things Cafe Momentum provides to interns.  Chad told me about a 17-year-old in the program defining the Cafe’s success. After being in the juvy system, “Nick” joined Cafe Momentum looking to get his life back in line. The first in his family to receive a high school diploma,  he now has a full-time job and health benefits. If that doesn’t make you cry or want to hug Chad Houser, maybe the Cafe’s gourmet food will.

Photo courtesy YouTube

Cafe Momentum’s restaurant is open Thursday through Saturday from 5:30-11:00 pm. Reservations are preferred but walk-ins may be available. Serving up dishes including smoked fried chicken, pork chops and delectable desserts, these aren’t your ordinary dishes. Using as many local ingredients as possible, Chad waxed poetic about our mild winter and good rain, with their bounty of promising tomatoes. He hopes to teach hundreds of new dishes to the kids and serve to the area’s guests.


The family-friendly atmosphere, local companies and supporting an amazing cause made the Big D BBQ Battle appear to be a big success. Providing Midtown with a breath of fresh air was the sauce on the BBQ as countless Dallasites flooded the parking lot of once-popular Valley View Center. As the sun set behind the Galleria, one thing crossed my mind: This is what it means to live in Dallas, Texas.

For 2017: Use code FEEDMEFUNCITY at checkout

[Ed. Note} Big D BBQ Battle is back for 2017 and it’s bigger and BBQ-er than ever! Use code FEEDMEFUNCITY at checkout to get your all-you-can-eat samples on June 10th for just $19! Don’t wait — strap on that feedbag for cheap before our special code expires!

Things to remember!​

  • Buy all the tickets you want at the special price!
  • Being held at Addison Circle Park for 2017.
  • Benefits Guns & Hoses of NTX and Cafe Momentum
  • Everything’s included, even the bottled water, with your GA ticket June 10th. 
  • Code FUNCITYFEEDME is only valid through June 1, 2017. 
  • Good only for Saturday, June 10th, General Admission only. 
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