If you missed the State Fair of Texas this year, do not fret! There’s another Texas Star in town that’s here to stay, and it’s called Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ. Between the best crunchy fried okra and a year-round, operating ferris wheel ride, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ restaurant, situated in Dallas’ burgeoning Design District. Our family spent the afternoon at Ferris Wheelers a few weeks ago, making #intentionalmemories with the boys, as we rode the ferris wheel as a family and devoured half the menu!
Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ opened last year and offers original BBQ meats and side dishes developed by owner and head chef Doug Pickering. A hedge fund manager turned BBQ restauranteur, Doug has developed all of the menu’s recipes himself, right down to the variety of BBQ sauces and a very top-secret spice rub. I went to high school with his wife Amanda and Lolli and I love her mom, too, so it was especially fun to catch up with the Pickerings, while we also learned a lot about this new Dallas hot spot!
The food is delicious, and it’s even more special when enjoyed outdoors on the backyard patio during pretty weather. Step outside for “Giant Jenga” and corn hole games, plenty of seating, and a stage for live music! The backyard opens at 4 PM on weekdays and is open all day on weekends. Bring your friends, your kids, your pets, your strollers…everyone will have a good time on a nice afternoon!
The real showstopper in this BBQ joint’s “backyard” is the actual vintage ferris wheel they imported to anchor the attraction. My boys enjoyed their ride and wanted to go again and again! It’s popular with older guests as well. In fact, two marriage proposals have happened on the ferris wheel to date! I must say, the view from the top is amazing. FYI, though, it only runs on the weekends normally, and they recommend calling ahead if you’re set on riding the ferris wheel during your visit (Keep in mind, guests must be at least 4 feet tall to ride!).
This restaurant and smokehouse is also a popular spot for groups and singles. They bring in live music on Friday and Saturday nights, so go with your family for a weekend lunch or afternoon meal, but put on your boots and meet up with friends for beer and a band on a weekend night! It offers great food and a good time for all of life’s stages.
After our fun ferris wheel ride, we dove into a BBQ meat sampler tray with Doug’s special sides. The brisket, fried okra, and mac and cheese topped with BBQ potato chip crumbles were our top menu choices, but it’s hard to pick favorites when everything’s delicious! My husband especially enjoyed the jalapeño-cheese sausage link (He was in hog heaven!), while the littles particularly loved the pulled pork, smoked turkey, and seasoned waffle fries (“Better than Chick-Fil-A!” they said…and that’s saying something!).
Ferris Wheelers has been a popular location for private events (from pre-Homecoming for a high school group, to large corporate events…even a wedding reception!) and now also has a booming catering business. So, Dallasites–if all of that holiday cooking on your to-do list is giving you the winter blues, take some stress off and call in an order. Take a look at Ferris Wheelers Christmas Catering menu, and get ahead of your next holiday party or family supper flavorfully.
Keep in mind that Ferris Wheelers’ kitchen is open every day from 11 AM – 10 PM. Why not give this fun spot a try next time you’re in the mood for quality BBQ and an “off the beaten path,” outdoors atmosphere?! It’s certainly a place WHERE THE GENERATIONS MEET™ for Lolli and Me (and littles, too!). And remember…Ferris Wheelers as a go-to resource for your to-go needs, too (Link to CATERING INFO here). VOILA, Y’ALL!™ Dinner is served.
Wishing you and yours a smokin’ Christmas season!