Sonny Bryan’s Barbecue

Sonny Bryan’s 24/7

The headlights from a Chrysler 300 beamed through the window and into the historic dining room of Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas. It was after midnight, and the driver was waiting for his seemingly inebriated (or maybe balance-impaired) passenger to get back with a couple chopped brisket sandwiches. I had just ordered ribs and onion rings, and a few other customers milled around waiting for their midnight barbecue snacks at the only joint in Texas that doesn’t need a…

The Bryan Barbecue Empire

If you’ve eaten barbecue in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten it at Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse. For more than a century, four generations of Bryans have operated barbecue restaurants, eventually creating a national franchise that’s now nine strong (eight in DFW and one in Utah). Their saturation in the market and ability to weather a fickle food industry over so many years makes them one of Texas’s bonafide barbecue empires. Some of this comes across in…