In the midst of the campus-wide blackout, three friends and I ventured off campus to find good food, power and air conditioning. Going off of multiple recommendations, we made our way out to Coppell for some Texas barbecue at Hard Eight BBQ, an authentic, family owned, Texas-style restaurant. After a 20-minute ride, we walked up to a barn with smoke billowing out the entrance and back door.
Not having been there before, we were a bit disoriented. A gentleman quickly recognized this and explained that Hard Eight is a unique restaurant. Unlike most eateries, Hard Eight has no hostess or waiters. Instead, you are served by the person preparing your food: you tell the chef what meat you want and how much you want. Then you weigh, pay and seat yourself.
Hard Eight is paradise to any true barbecue fan. The choices of meats are nearly limitless. They serve many cuts and styles of turkey, beef and sausage. We got a variety of the different meats on the menu. I got some of the turkey breast, the beef brisket, the spicy jalapeño and the brush poppers. I loaded up the rest of my plate with jalapeños, onions and barbecue sauce, topping it all off with their complimentary bean pot. After finding a table, we quickly blessed the food and eagerly dove into our individual mountains of meat.
The brush poppers are made with smoked chicken wrapped in bacon with jalapeños and onions. Their light spice was perfectly complemented by the sweet barbecue sauce. The brisket was tender and juicy with a rich smoky flavor. The turkey was moist and practically melted in your mouth. However, my own and our group’s favorite of the four meats was definitely the jalapeño sausage.
Since you pay by the pound, no appetite can go unsatisfied at Hard Eight.
Hard Eight has a fun and friendly atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. On Friday and Saturday nights, they host live bands outside on the patio. If you go at peak hours though, you should expect to wait. For good Texas-style barbecue, Hard Eight is reasonably priced at around $15 for a pound of most varieties of meats. Contrary to the suggestion of the name, eating at Hard Eight is no gamble. It is a great place to go get a beer, watch the game or just escape from campus for a good meal.
Monday – Thursday: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Address: 688 Freeport Parkway, Coppell, TX 75019