Monday, October 27, 2014

Bird Dog BBQ


I have only tried barbecue outside of the state of Texas once at this point. We had some pulled pork while we were in South Carolina. I remember it being pretty good. Colorado Springs, Colorado was the destination for a work trip. After I landed, I head straight for Bird Dog BBQ. They had good reviews on Yelp and Google. I went to the original location in Stetson Hills. The owner had worked at a County Line and wanted to open a restaurant that served Oklahoma style barbecue. I did not even know that was a style. The guy there said Oklahoma style is where you order from a counter, have the oak smoked meat cut in front of you, and barbecue sauce is served on the side. That sounds like most places I go to in Texas...


I ordered the three meat plate that came with moist brisket, ribs, hot links and sides of baked bean and coleslaw. When they were cutting the brisket, I saw that the brisket had no bark. I was confused by the whole thing. I know they were using an Old Hickory smoker, but I cannot explain it. Not enough rub or seasoning? Over-trimmed? The brisket was roast beef like, dry and falling apart. You can see the smoke ring, but it had nothing else going on for it. The pork ribs were tender and juicy. They had smoke, but it was light on the rub. The ribs were not bad but were bland and boring. The sausage was the best meat I had, and of course, it is a commercial sausage out of Denver. That is not a good thing. The baked beans with brisket were really good. The coleslaw tasted crisp and fresh.


I knew I was not in Texas anymore when I went to Bird Dog BBQ. It was not terrible, but it was not good either. They had a wasabi style barbecue sauce on the table. It was good and spicy. I am the type that thinks if you need barbecue sauce on your meat, you are probably doing something wrong. But then again, I am only an "expert" on Texas barbecue. Grade: N/A

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 5984 Stetson Hills Blvd #200 Colorado Springs, CO 80923
Phone: (719) 596-4900
Website:
http://birddogbbq.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bird-Dog-BBQ

Monday, October 20, 2014

Smokey Denmark's Smoked Meats Co.


Smokey Denmark's Smoked Meats Co. is a sausage making and wild game processing facility on the east side of Austin. They have been around for over 50 years and also sells their sausage to the public on-site. I only found out that they existed a few months ago. Shameful. Now they have a BBQ truck to serve smoked meats from. Pitmaster Bill Dumas is on a mission to stake out a piece of the Austin barbecue pie. I stopped by once on a Friday, but they were out of pork ribs. I was not going be foiled again!


This day I ordered my usual Texas trinity of moist brisket, pork rib, and sausage. I also added a link of boudin sausage. The brisket was respectable. Other than the flat being a little chewy, it was cooked well and had decent smoke and bark. I would have like to see a little more rub especially on the bottom of the brisket. The brisket was better than the first time I tried it. They also cut the brisket "correctly" this time by cutting it against the grain instead of with the grain. The rib was meaty with a good flavor. It was a little chewy and hard to bite the meat from bone. For now, the pork ribs are only available on Fridays. The smoked sausage was good and flavorful. It had a good snap, but the texture was what you would expect from a mass produce sausage. I have been on a boudin kick of late. I am trying every single one I run across. At Smokey Denmark's, they use pork shoulder instead of pork liver in the filling. The casing could barely keep the pork and rice mixture contained. It was dynamite. It had a ton of flavor, and being smoked instead of boiled, added a nice finish to it.


I am going to go ahead and add Smokey Denmark's to my rotation. I had a good meal and did not have any issues. I have tried the pulled pork before and thought it was alright, and the jalapeño creamed corn was not bad either. I did not get a chance to try the jalapeño and cheese sausage this time. I am interested in their Tuesday special which is a taco with a choice of pulled pork or brisket. Go check them out. Grade: B-


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 3505 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: (512) 385-0718
Website: http://smokeydenmark.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SmokeyDenmark
Twitter: https://twitter.com/smokeydenmark

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Granary 'Cue & Brew


Amber and I recently did a San Antonio barbecue swing. We had just left Two Bros. BBQ Market and were headed to The Granary 'Cue & Brew next. I have tried some of their items at a couple of events. I had the smoked beef cheek at Live Fire which was out of bounds and the smoked pork belly at the 2014 TMBBQ Fest. The Granary is located in a historical house at the site where the old Pearl Brewery used to be. I liked how the area has been developed because it is vibrant and contemporary. The Granary is actually the only brewery in the location now. Although The Granary only opened a couple of years ago, it did make the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ list. That has to mean something, right? The Granary 'Cue & Brew is co-owned by the Rattray brothers. Tim is in charge of the 'cue, and Alex is in charge of the brew.


The lunch menu is very different from the dinner menu. It was lunchtime still so we ordered the three-meat plate with moist brisket, pulled pork, and sausage with sides of burnt end beans and coleslaw. I also added a half pound of the ribs. You cannot get the ribs on a plate. The brisket was stellar. It was smoky, tender, and the fat was rendered perfectly. The sweet glazed pork ribs were solid. The flavors were good, and the meat required no effort to pull away from the rib. They make the beef sausage in house. It had a good flavor and grit with the right amount of fat. The casing could barely hold the meat but was chewy though. The pulled pork was succulent with a ton of flavor. The buttermilk coleslaw was crisp and fresh but lackluster. The burnt end beans were tasty and similar to baked beans. The Granary makes their own bread and pickles which adds a nice touch and value. I enjoyed the soft, moist, dense bread. I could have eaten a whole loaf of it with the BBQ.


I love what the Rattray brothers are doing here. It is great place to grab some barbecue or beer or both. The dinner menu is eclectic and strays away from the traditional barbecue you might find. Quail and pork shank are some of the options. It kind of reminds me of Lambert's in Austin. The Granary 'Cue & Brew also has lunch specials that include their housemade pastrami and pastrami beef rib. That sounds wonderful does it not? I was happy with my barbecue experience in San Antonio. I cannot wait to come back to try the other ones out there and stop by The Granary again. Grade: B+


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 602 Avenue A, San Antonio, TX 78215
Phone: (210) 228-0124
Website: http://thegranarysa.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegranarysa
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheGranarySA

Monday, October 6, 2014

Two Bros. BBQ Market


A San Antonio BBQ tour was due. The only time that I have had barbecue in San Antonio was at the original Rudy's which left a bad taste in my mouth. Amber and I went to the ACL Festival the previous day so we were exhausted from it. Somehow we still managed to head out early Saturday morning because my wife really wanted to try Magnolia Pancake Haus. When we arrived there, I had the biscuits and gravy, and they were awesome. About five minutes down the street was Two Bros. BBQ Market so we made it the next stop on the trip. I actually wanted to go to The Granary 'Cue & Brew first, but this made better sense. I have tried Two Bros. before at a TMBBQ event.


We got there right when it opened and were the only ones there. I love it when you open your car door and the first thing you smell is the smoke in the air. Everything on the menu is ordered by a quarter pound. I ordered some moist brisket, pork spare ribs, pork baby back ribs, and a link of sausage. The brisket was chewy. It needed to stay in the smoker a bit longer to break down the fat and collagen more. It did have a good bark and smokiness to it. The spare rib had a nice smoke to it, but the flavors were bland and boring. It was also a little tough to bite the meat away from the bone. The cherry glazed baby back rib is where it is at. The sweet, succulent meat was righteous. The smoke definitely put the rib over the top. The sausage they served was good. The pork and beef blend had a nice pop and was flavorful. Two Bros also has three different barbecue sauces. One is sweet, one is tangy, and one is made from molasses, coffee, and Shiner beer.


Two Bros. BBQ Market is co-owned by Chef Jason Dady and his brother, hence the name. Their restaurant made it onto the 2013 Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joints list. The location also has a huge patio with a play area for the kids. Everything on the menu had the right amount of smoke from the oak wood. It is a definitely solid choice considering the brisket could be much better on a good day. I would say we were off to a good start to the San Antonio BBQ tour. Grade: B-

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 12656 West Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
Phone: (210) 496-0222
Website: http://www.twobrosbbqmarket.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TwoBrosBBQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TwoBrosBBQ