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Dallas — Hard Eight BBQ

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    Dallas — Hard Eight BBQ

    Family owned and only three locations at present, the original (Stephenville) and two expansion locations in Ranoke and Coppell (both north burbs). Great attention to detail, have yet to order something and not like it. Ranges from the mundane (brisket — yes, it's TX, brisket is common here) to exotic (i.e. quail) and everything in between. There is always (and I do mean always) a line and it's not uncommon for them to run out before closing. If you're near the metroplex (even if you have a super long layover at DFW, since the Coppell location is less than 10 miles from the North exit), definitely give them a try. Every time my business partner comes to DFW, we go. It's his favorite BBQ place and he's a TX native and has a steady diet of BBQ.


    I've been to this place! Quite good and the self-serve pot of beans is a GREAT feature of the place! I would say the brisket is not so much mundane as it is ubiquitous ;-) I definitely would go back if I ever find myself in Coppell again.


    • mrmikemgm
      mrmikemgm commented
      Editing a comment
      Good point and you're right. It's not mundane in the sense of "just passable", it's just that in our neck of the woods, good brisket is pretty much ubiquitous and goes without saying, though I've had my share of non-passable brisket here in Texas too...

    I went to the Coppell location a few weeks ago after driving up for a conference in Irving. It was really rainy that Wednesday and I got there at 3:00, so guess what? No line!!

    It was pretty good stuff - I had a bit of a sampler plate since the meal was on my company's nickel. Some brisket, ribs and sausage with a side of potato salad. The big pot of (free) beans over by the drinks was excellent as mentioned before.

    One thing I remember as unusual is how "red" the brisket was. It had a very thick bark and I guess that was just a really deep penetrated smoke ring.

    While it didn't blow my mind, it was very good quality que. I know this is going to sound wrong or snobbish, but it almost felt like they were trying too hard to make it look "authentic" even though you can tell the place is very newly built. Cooper's in Llano definitely seemed to be the model for the Coppell location, but I've never been to the original in Stephenville, so who knows.


      Nice review Penske. Welcome to The Pit!


        Have visited the Coppell location several times over the past few years. Never been disappointed and always a line, maybe I am just very hungry after smelling that luscious BBQ waiting my turn in line to order.
        When in the DFW area stop by you won't go away disappointed or hungry.
        Last edited by Spankin' Good Q; February 27, 2015, 03:40 PM. Reason: spelling error


          Stopped by this past Wednesday on my way out of town and I was very pleased. Not blown away but it was good. It was my first time and I parked on the side with the smaller parking lot. This worked out great as I came in the back door and went straight to the bar. Didn’t have to wait in line and the bartender was not hard on the eyes either. As I said it was good but I was expecting more for my first Texas BBQ experience. Had the brisket, spicy and regular sausage, and a rib. Service and décor were outstanding but the food was just good. Maybe I over-hyped it in my head.


            Had a business meeting at my home a couple weeks ago and everyone wanted to go back to the Roanoke Hard 8, but we didn't have time, so we ordered carry out and sent someone to grab it for the group. I have to say I was very disappointed. The brisket was dry and tough, the sausage was marginal, the turkey was a little dry (still tender) but lacked any hint of flavor, and the 1/2 chickens were over cooked and devoid of flavor. Poppers definitely take a hit when they're not served immediately, but these were bad enough of the 24 we ordered we threw at least 20 of them away.

            Sad to say, but the best things we had that day were the sides...

            I know the founder died about 18 months ago. Not sure how the operations are structured, but I've definitely noticed a decline in the quality of the food at the Roanoke location. I have not been back to the Coppell location in several years.


              Been to the original in Stephensville, but generally frequent the Coppell location as it's so close to the office. Venue is terrific - captures the Central Texas / Hill Country genre. Fun time. That said, the food is ok+. Not a lot of real smoke flavor and the open fire pits are mostly used to keep the cooked meats warm. Great DFW venue, but food's a notch below the great BBQ joints in central TX.


                I had colleagues from out of state that wanted bbq and the Coppell location is close to the office, so we went. My experience with Hard Eight is that they are mediocre at best, but knew my coworkers from the west coast would like the atmosphere...open pits, smell of smoke, large space. Our meal was one of the worst bbq meals I've ever had. Period. The brisket was overcooked to the point of being inedible. Maybe it had been sitting too long in a warmer that was too hot. Ribs weren't any better. They had the consistency of jerky...really. I had one of the chicken poppers and could barely get it down due to how dry and overcooked it was. The best part of the meal was the community beans. This place always has a line of out the door, mostly of tourists and bbq novices, which is why they can stay open without putting out respectable bbq. But ask anyone that lives in Coppell and you'll know that we don't go here when we want real bbq. It's too bad. The location and building are great. I just wished Hard Eight cared enough to try and turn out decent food. At the end of the evening I found myself apologizing to my guests for the poor quality of the food and telling them this is NOT what Texas bbq is about. The best bbq choice in the vicinity is Meat U Anywhere in Grapevine.


                • JonPfeiffer
                  JonPfeiffer commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I couldn't agree with you more. I've had nothing but mediocre BBQ form Hard Eight and they are proud of it as well. I know BBQ, especially good BBQ isn't cheap, but they are way over priced for what you get. The only way to enjoy the brisket is on a potato covered in BBQ sauce.

                My wife works for the owner. She also owns a flower shop. I do some stuff for her when she needs it. She's a widow, very attractive and a real nice person. Her family is top notch and the Hard 8 in Stephenville is excellent. I'm a HS & College baseball umpire and when we have a game down there the Hard 8 is where we all go.


                  I've been to the Coppell location a few times. The food was good but the atmosphere alone was worth the price of admission. It brought back childhood memories of going to Cooper's BBQ in Llano, Texas with my parents as a kid in the 1960's when we had to a deer lease nearby. Those good ol' family memories are few and far between and awfully hard to beat!



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