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The secret is out

FORNEY, Texas – 4T's Bar-B-Q fans only have one thing to be upset about and that's pitmaster Mike Thomas' recent review and inclusion within Texas Monthly's BBQ guide by Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn may result in longer lines.
If you are a BBQ fan you've probably heard of Vaughn the “BBQ Snob” from his BBQ blog, Full Custom Gospel BBQ, or his book, The Prophets of Smoked Meats: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue. A review from Vaughn can make or break a small town mom-and-pop BBQ joint like 4T's but Thomas walked away with a 4 out of 5 review and was listed as one of eight BBQ joints to try in the “Hinterlands” of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Vaughn would later say of his first trip to Forney, "it was good...exceptionally good, in fact. Enough to warrant a return trip," despite "getting sauced." A true BBQ meat connoisseur will hold the sauce and enjoy the rich texture of the rub, the moist meat, and the hint of smoke – occasionally dipping in the right sauce.

Before Vaughn's visit, 4T's sauce policy was by request, according to Thomas. 4T's sauce policy now? Sauce on the side. “It's worked out 100 percent better for us [putting sauce on the side],” said Thomas.

After a second trip to Forney a few weeks later, Vaughn gave a full review of the joint giving it a 4 out of 5 review and said, “With all the great barbecue coming to Dallas in recent years you don't have to leave the city to eat well, but 4T's is reason enough to get out of town.”

Of 4T's brisket, Vaughn said, "[The] slices from both the point and the flat were well seasoned, smoky, and picture perfect. The lean side was as moist as you could hope for, and the fatty side was nicely rendered with an admirable pull-apart tenderness. This was great brisket."

Vaughn said the pulled pork "was about as good as you can get. There was plenty of crust in the mix of moist, smoky chunks. A bad bite couldn’t be found."

On Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ Joints list, only four have over a 4 out of 5 stars review. Of those, only one in Texas has warranted a 5 out of 5 – Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. The remaining three with an over 4 star review received 4.75 out of 5 stars and they were: Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Texas; Snow's BBQ in Lexington, Texas; and Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas.

4T's has recently made some changes to the restaurant including changing the hours from Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. until the meat is gone or 8 p.m. Thomas also recently enclosed the patio seating area and announced his expansion plans to Thomas will be adding additional dining room space by leasing space next to his restaurant and combining the two spaces.

The expansion plans will add between 30 and 40 seats, according to Thomas who is also hiring two new employees. Thomas said he expects the expansion to be open in mid-May.

“This guy [Vaughn] is the BBQ guru of Texas and there is a renaissance in Texas BBQ right now,” said Thomas who has operated in Forney since 2010. “We will see people coming around just because of that article and the rating that we got and the quality of food we're turning out here.”

Editor's Note: At the time of reporting, 4T's is a paid advertiser on
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