Funny names fans, it’s time once again for a trip to Foodville. Last month I blew the lid off the top-secret well-established origin of cookbook author Crescent Dragonwagon’s name. For my efforts, I now own her Cornbread Gospels and am genuinely honored to have it on my shelf. In that spirit, then, I have high hopes of scoring a truckload of barbecued meats—and some soft-serve ice cream—after hitting Publish on this post.
Let’s begin: I’ll go on record saying I’m not a fan of chain restaurants. My money is always better spent at a one-of-a-kind eatery where the owners are on site and truly care about what they put on my plate. That said, I’ve been known to dine at chains and it’s not always horrible. Need ice cream? Bring on the DQ (invented by J.F. McCullough and son, Alex–names not funny enough to feature here). Road trippin’ with the fam? A meal at Dickey’s is fine by me.
Show of hands: how many of you have a Dickey’s nearby? With a 70-year history, this Texas-based chain claims to be “the fastest-growing barbecue chain in the United States” and its website lists locations in all but seven American states. Dickey’s is a big deal. Their food gets a thumbs-up from me and I’m especially fond of the bottomless soft-serve ice cream. (Don’t even get me started on the awesomely huge pickle jar.) But we’re here to talk (funny) names, not food, so…
Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Dallas in 1941. When he died in 1967, Dickey’s sons, Roland Dickey and T.D. Dickey, Jr., took over the business. The brothers Dickey did well and their fast-food restaurant went on to be considered “a staple in North Texas culture.” Things went so well, in fact, that they started franchising in 1994. Roland Dickey took over the Presidential helm in ’06. As of 2011, when Travis “TD” died, the company board included Roland Dickey and directors Cullen Dickey and Travis Dickey III.
I was unable to ferret out the exact lineage of the Dickey clan as they kept using the same names, but you will find many nice things said about TD in his obituary and maybe you can sort it all out namewise.
I’d hoped to find funny names on the menu as well, but outside of the Giant Stuffed Baker, Giant Stuffed Baker with Meat, and Pork and Tangler Taters, the food is named with an eye toward description rather than creativity. (You order Tender Turkey Breast with a side of Barbecue Beans, you know what you’re getting.) Alas, the funny name story ends here. I urge you all to find the nearest Dickey’s and give it a whirl. (Except for the folks in the seven abstaining states. Though franchise opportunities are available, so you can hop on the Dickey Train and make it happen.) Good food, smiles all around, and fun to tell folks you ate at Dickey’s.