Monday, May 26, 2014

Brown's Bar-B-Que

I have known about Brown's Bar-B-Que for a long time now. I just have not had a chance to come by the trailer. It used to be by a car wash, but it is now located next to Corner Bar. I guess I was a little apprehensive in going to a trailer at a car wash to get barbecue. I met up with Mike Sutter from Fed Man Walking on this day. He was finishing up another top 10 barbecue list.

I went with the three-meat plate today with the usual moist brisket, pork ribs, and sausage with cabbage and macaroni and cheese as sides. The brisket was super solid. It was moist and tender. The fat on it was luscious, and it had a nice meaty flavor. I do prefer a smokier brisket with a dark peppery bark, but I am not going to kick this brisket out of bed. The pork ribs stole the show. The rub/glaze was sweet and peppery. Just the way I like it. The ribs were meaty, tender, and juicy. The sausage was a commercial blend from Texas Sausage Company. Nothing noteworthy. The sides were excellent. The cabbage sounded healthy, but it was far from it. The bits of bacon did not help. The macaroni and cheese also had bacon in it. Not originally pictured are the smoked chicken and peach cobbler. I ate some of the chicken from Mike's plate. It was really moist, but you can still taste some smoke from the post oak. It was the perfect balance. I can see why people rave about the chicken. I am not a sweets type of guy, but the peach cobbler was pretty tasty.

I love the smells of a car wash. I am not sure why I have not gone by Brown's sooner when it was still there. Their prices are very affordable as well. The sausage they had today was not their usual custom blend. I did not get to try the pulled pork on this visit, but I will make that happen next time l go. On Sundays, they give away free barbecue if you order stuff from the bar at Corner. Free barbecue and alcohol? Win-win. grade: B

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 1901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Phone: (512) 517-8520

Monday, May 19, 2014

J & M Bar-B-Q & Catering

I lived in Lubbock for a few years when Amber was in law school at Texas Tech. There were not a lot of choices for barbecue. Our favorite spots were Rudy's and Tom & Bingo's BBQ. Tom & Bingo's was included in the 2008 Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ list. They only smoke brisket, ham, and burgers though. DV featured them in a recent article on BBQ sandwiches. I only ate J & M Bar-B-Q & Catering once when we lived in Lubbock and thought it was good. We were in town visiting because Amber's family still lives in the LBK. I only had time for one BBQ joint on this trip so I had to make it count.

When you walk in, you think you would order from the counter, but you actually order from the menu at a table. You do not get to see the meat cut in front of you. I ordered the three-meat with moist brisket, pork ribs, and German sausage. The sides I got were coleslaw and macaroni and cheese. The Certified Angus Beef logo was displayed everywhere on the menu so I assumed that they were using a better brisket. They were better off using a lower grade of beef. I ordered fatty and got lean. The waitress charged me for a quarter pound of moist to get my order "right." It was like eating dry pot roast with smoke for both types of brisket. There was no bark and the fat was rendered away and/or trimmed away. The moist fell apart when I picked up a slice. As you can see below, I ate everything but both cuts of brisket. The pork ribs were solid. The dry rub combined with the smoke made them tasty. The ribs were very tender. The commercial sausage was just okay. You could probably find something similar at the grocery store. Nothing special to note about the sides, but I did eat it all because I was hungry.

I had no idea what to expect in this visit so I came in with an open mind. I am pretty sure I would not be going back to J & M Bar-B-Q & Catering even if I lived in Lubbock. I probably should have gotten the pulled pork instead of the brisket, but that is not how I do things around here. They trim away the fat off of the brisket before it is served. Why? Look elsewhere if you are ever in Lubbock, Texas and want some 'cue. Grade: Other

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 3605 34th St, Lubbock, TX 79410
Phone: (806) 796-1164

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fuschak's Pit Bar-B-Q

Fuschak's Pit Bar-B-Q was on the Texas Monthly honorable mention list back in 2008. So at one point, they were serving pretty good 'cue. It has been a while since I have dropped in here. I remember the barbecue being above average. Fuschak's does specials during the week and all you can eat is one of them. I passed on that because ribs are not a part of the buffet. Their name is misleading. If I saw pit in someone's name, I would assume they are using a wood pit not a gas one.

I eat a majority of my barbecue meals by myself. I actually like it. I get to order whatever I want and not get judged. I wanted to try the fajita meat, but they had run out for the day. I got the three meat plate with moist brisket, ribs, and four sides! I doubled up on coleslaw and also got pinto beans and potato salad. The brisket was surprisingly solid. It had a deep smoke flavor with a decent peppery bark. The fat could have been rendered a little bit longer because the brisket was a little chewy. I wished that they trimmed the fat better and not slice with the grain too. The pork ribs were smoky and tender. They were a little dry, but I enjoyed them. It had a nice flavor from the rub. The sausage was a blend made for them was not bad. A commercial sausage is a commercial sausage though. They are all the same for the most part. Good but not great. The coleslaw was okay. The beans and potato salad were good. The roll that came with the meal was also really good.

Fuschak's is a good option for barbecue in San Marcos. I think a lot of people have forgotten about them. Directly across the interstate lies Hays County BBQ. They are better choice, but you still cannot go wrong with Fuschak's. They also have a thing on their menu that is called the Barburito. It is a burrito with brisket instead of picadillo. I will be back to try that and the fajita meat. The prices are affordable as well. Grade: C+

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 1701 Interstate 35, San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: (512) 353-2712

Monday, May 5, 2014

Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que

Everyone knows about the big three. Kreuz MarketSmitty's Market, and Black's Barbecue. They are the favorite stops on the typical BBQ crawl through Lockhart. A lot of people forget about Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que. Amber and I have been here numerous times because it is only 15 minutes from our house. We normally alternate between Chisholm Trail and Black's for dinner service. A lot of the locals like to stop in at Chisholm Trail because of the sides and the prices. We have even taken friends here sometimes.

I was on my own for this meal. I ordered the three meat plate. It is not on the menu so just ask for it. I ordered the usual Texas trinity. The plate also comes with three sides, all for under nine bucks! My sides were coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, and hash brown potatoes. The brisket was smoky with a decent bark. However it was dry and did not have a whole lot of flavor. Most of the fat was rendered away. The pork ribs were a little salty and dry. They were surprisingly good though. It had a deep smoke and was quite tasty. The sausage ring was fantastic. It had everything you would expect in a good sausage. It is your typical Lockhart sausage. The casing was popping, the fat content was ideal, and it had a nice texture. The peppery blend enlightens your taste buds. The sides all tasted good. They have a huge selection to choose from here. I think I like the hash brown potatoes best.

I get why the locals stop at Chisholm Trail. It is open late, cheap, lots of sides and no fuss barbecue. They can get you in and out pretty fast. There is also a drive through line that was about six cars deep when I stopped in. I enjoyed everything I put into my mouth. Sure it is not the best in town. If you are going to stop at the others, include Chisholm Trail if you want to do it right. They even have salad to make you feel "healthier." I somehow missed the other meats on the menu. Beef ribs, pork chops, fajitas, and fish? I will keep those in mind next time I go. Grade B-
Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 1323 S Colorado St, Lockhart, TX 78644
Phone: (512) 398-6027