Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes BBQ. Arlington Texas is home to such larger than life names like AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, Six Flags over Texas, Arlington Stadium, and the Jambo Texan. That’s right, the Jambo Texan.
In Arlington there is a little slice of barbecue heaven called Jambo’s. Luckily, there are two location in Arlington (and a third in Rendon TX) because they often run out of meats before dinner is over. (Takeaway hint: Go for lunch or early dinner – or call ahead to check the status). At Jambo’s they serve a monstrosity called the Jambo Texan. Two slices of Texas Toast with brisket, bologna, pulled pork, sausage, and topped with ribs.
Practical? No. Not at all. Delicious? Definitely. The real question is how to eat it. Obviously you can’t bite through a sandwich with bone in ribs on it. So the question usually becomes – after taking the ribs off, do you eat them first, or do you take the meat off and add it to the sandwich – or do you place them to the side for a finger lick-in dessert?
The Jambo Texan will assault your taste buds with quality and insult your gastric system with quantity. And if that isn’t enough, Jambo’s also has the signature “Sadie”. The Sadie is a giant baked potato that gets cracked open and buried under a mound of toppings including butter, sour cream & cheddar, cheese then topped with chopped brisket, sausage & onions and finally smothered in beans. Me personally, I like my beans on the side and then have it baptized in sauce (they have a couple of choices for you).
Another popular item is the “Hot Mess”. Everything on the menu is delicious and though it is an amazing barbecue shop proper, the french fries are amazing. There are the standard BBQ sides, but Jambo’s goes further with cowboy corn (my favorite) and bacon wrapped jalapenos. If you are a competitive eater and make it through a meal, then you can try some of their amazing cobbler. For normal people, I recommend a take home dessert.
Another takeaway hint – Jambo’s will smoke turkeys and hams for the holidays. Has dear Grandma lost her touch? Offer to bring a Jambo’s turkey or honey glazed sweet spiral cut ham, your whole family will love you more.
The best part about Jambo’s – it is affordable! It runs the same price as other local barbecue fare (and cheaper than Dallas haunts), but tastes immensely better.
Jambo’s is owned and operated by Paul and Ashton Lovato who live locally here in Arlington. They are Jambo’s “super duo”. Ashton can be seen near daily on Facebook live giving you a rundown on specials and having meat porn shows – for some reason I could stare at the brisket for hours.
In regards to quality, these folks really know their stuff. The brisket has an excellent bark on it. You can tell by the pink smoke ring that they get awesome smoke penetration – all from super sweet smelling pecan wood. For barbecue, the right ingredients include wood. No skimping here. Their smokers must be tuned perfect and the timing great, because their meats are near perfect consistently. For sauce, they have two options and one or the other should cater to the purist, no matter your taste.
Jambo’s recently opened their newest location on Division. They are helping revitalize the area as they continue to spread their craft and charm (maybe that credit goes to Ashton’s sweet smile). Stop in, grab a Jambo Texan, sit and sip on some sweet tea, and say hi to the wonderful employees who will make you feel right at home.
…and remember, everything is bigger AND better in Texas.