A new barbecue restaurant has opened in North Dallas with a unique kitchen setup. Called Blu's Barbeque, it opened in June at 17630 Preston Rd. in a cute building that used to be a barber shop, a few blocks north of Campbell Road.
Co-owners Zachary Bergenholtz and Terrence Hill had been doing catering for the past few years when they decided to set up shop as a restaurant as well.
"Whenever we'd cater an event, people kept asking where our restaurant was located," Bergenholtz says. "After being asked so many times, we decided it was time."
Their menu includes smoked meats such as Angus beef brisket, pulled pork, pork spare ribs, and Akushi smoked sausage in pork and beef or jalapeño.
Sides include smoked baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and a five-cheese mac 'n cheese, because a mac 'n cheese with one cheese or two cheeses or three cheeses or four cheeses is clearly just not enough cheeses. Which cheeses? They do not say. It's part of their recipe. Their secret recipe.
They also do sandwiches including brisket, pulled pork, and sausage for $6 to $8. And they rotate in specials such as burnt ends, smoked chicken, sweet potato casserole, and a peach cobbler dessert.
This is just their opening menu. Bergenholtz says they're being cautious to make sure they get things right and will add more items like tacos as they grow. There are also plans to add beer and wine, and they hope to open more locations, as well.
"We want to make sure our food quality is great," he says. "All our sides are made from scratch every day. The brisket and pork are smoked for 16 hours, so if we sell out out of meat, we can't just throw more on, that's it for the day."
In its few short weeks of being open, the restaurant has already garnered positive reviews about its charred crust and judicious proportion of fat, along with its attentive service in which customers can specify how much or little fat they want.
Both he and Hill are pitmasters and co-manage the restaurant, which relies on a custom-built smoker that can hold 1,600 pounds of meat.
"We also do catering from pick-up or delivery to full service on-site events with anywhere from a dozen to 1,000 people," he says.
The location used to be Lucky's Barber Shop, where Bergenoltz himself regularly got his hair cut. They executed some masterful ninja moves to transform it into a restaurant.
"I love the location," he says. "It's a small space, we have about 48 chairs. But it was too small to have seating and a kitchen, too. So we installed a cargo shipping container and attached it to the building, and made that our kitchen. I think that makes us the first shipping container restaurant in Dallas."