DALLAS - If you go to eat at Pecan Lodge, in the Dallas Farmer’s Market, bring an hour you don't mind burning and stomach that needs filling.
Ever since Memorial Day weekend, when Pecan Lodge was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, the lines have been more than an hour long.
"It's incredible,” said owner Justin Fourton.
The Farmer's Market has been in turmoil for years, and its future is unclear, now that the city wants to turn it over its management to the private sector.
But now, despite itself, the market is drawing crowds so big, you'd think they're giving it away free food. It's the kind of interest and foot traffic the Farmer's Market generally has failed to generate on its own.
"We get people that come in every week telling us it's the first time they've been down here, or they haven't been down here in 15 years," Fourton said. "It's good to hear those things."
It's well-deserved attention, said Texas BBQ critic Daniel Vaughn.
"There's very few places you can go in Texas and get brisket this good, every time you go,” Vaughn said. "I've been to many of them -- over 500. And this is the one I keep coming back to."
It appears the struggling Dallas Farmers Market finally has a hit on its hands, in the Pecan Lodge. The question now, is can the troubled, city-owned Farmer's Market capitalize?
No said Ron King, who oversees the Market. In fact, King said staff has had to warn other vendors to stop poaching customers off the line. However, he said new applications for vendors to lease space in the food shed are way up, possibly influenced by the lines they're seeing.
Last year, the city suddenly decided Pecan Lodge needed to build a structure around its smokehouse, forcing Fourton to close for several months. Without revenue coming in, he got down to less than $100 in savings.
Quite a turn around.
Pecan Lodge is only Thursdays through Sundays, if you plan to go.