Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Amber made plans for us to do some wine tasting with friends around Fredericksburg. That morning, we hiked up to the top of Enchanted Rock. The views were beautiful from the summit. We worked up an appetite after walking around the park. I did not know about the rest of my party, but I was ready for some barbecue from Cranky Frank's Barbeque Company. Cranky Frank's is on the latest Texas Monthly Top 50 list. The hike took longer than I had expected, and we arrived at the restaurant just before 1 PM.
When we were standing in line, they ran out of moist brisket and pork ribs. I ended up ordering some lean brisket, pulled pork, and sausage. We were one of the last people to get brisket. The brisket had a good flavor and smoke. The slices however were dry and falling apart. It needed some BBQ sauce. Same thing with the pork. The pork came in pieces instead of being pulled. They tasted fine, but the texture was too dry for me. The sausage was pretty standard and had a good snap from the casing.
Since our visit, I have seen recent pictures of the Cranky Frank's brisket, and they look fantastic. It might be that we came in on an off day or it was just too late in the day. I will try to come back earlier next time. Go try them out and judge for yourself the next time you are in Fredericksburg. My stomach was content when we left the restaurant. I needed all that meat to absorb the wine that was about to be had. Grade: Other
Until next time, happy smoking...
Address: 1679 US Hwy 87, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Phone: (830) 997-2353
Monday, December 7, 2015
I went on a road trip by myself to Houston to attend the first Hou BBQ Throwdown. I got to Houston around 11 AM and wanted to eat some barbecue before the event started at 1 PM. Jackson Street BBQ is located downtown in the shadows of Minute Maid Park. It is a joint effort between Houston chef Bryan Caswell and Gatlin's BBQ pitmaster/owner Greg Gatlin that opened earlier this year. You cannot miss the bright red building when you are in the area.
The menu had your usual suspects (meat that is) and a bunch of sides. I ordered The Trinity (moist brisket, pork ribs, and sausage) and Burnt Ends on a Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuit. The brisket was solid but heavy on salt. It was smoky and tender, but I kept wanting more from it. The ribs had a good taste with a hint of sweetness that reminded me of the ones from Gatlin's. The end rib was chewy, but the meat from the middle rib pulled away from the bone with very little resistance. The German-style sausage was pretty standard. It had a garlic finish, and the casing was snappy. One bite into the burnt ends on a biscuit, and I was giddy. The crusty biscuit with the saucy, succulent meat was well-balanced. It was different but wonderful. Giving an option to add an egg to the sandwich could make it mind blowing. I went with dirty rice and potato salad as sides. I missed out on the rice when I went to Gatlin's so it was good that I got to sample it at Jackson St. It had a nice depth of flavor. The potato salad was fresh and better than what you would find out there.
I left a lot of space in my stomach for the Throwdown so there were a lot of leftovers for later. I did not want to put down the burnt ends on a brisket though. My wife got to enjoy the rest of it the next morning. After my visit, I found out that they failed a health inspection the prior week. It was nothing major, and I felt fine after my meal. There is a ton of space inside the restaurant. There is even a stage for musical acts. It would be a pretty cool place to hang out after a 'Stros game. Being downtown also makes Jackson Street BBQ a great choice to stop in for lunch or to grab something after work. Grade: B
Until next time, happy smoking...
Address: 209 Jackson St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 224-2400