Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hard Eight Bar-B-Que

BRADY: Hard Eight Bar-B-Que
2010 S Bridge St.
Brady, TX 76825
Open M-Thur 10:30-9, F-Sat 10:30-10, Sun 10:30-9

Update: This joint is CLOSED.

2008: The Hard Eight brand is well known to many Dallasites who've driven down Highway 67 to visit the Stephenville location. The second location in Brady took over the former Lone Star BBQ location. After my first Hard Eight experience in Coppell, I wasn't expecting much. The meat is ordered in the same way, right at the pit, and the smell of sweet mesquite while waiting my turn to order made my mouth water. This is an intelligent business strategy. Display the entire menu to a load of hungry folks and dare them not to over-order. A friend and I took the bait with both lean and fatty brisket and pork ribs. The ribs were long and thin with a salt and pepper rub reminiscent of Cooper's style, but this one had a better balance of more pepper and less salt. Every bite of the ribs contained some of that rub, so it was hard to detect any smoke flavor. The rib meat was nicely tender with well rendered fat, but they needed to be thicker to stand up to that rub. The thick slices of brisket made for a nice rub to meat ratio. The brisket was mildly smoky with little difference in overall flavor between the fatty and lean brisket. This was due mainly to the fact that the meat needed more time on the smoker to adequately render the fat. While this experience was better than my first in Coppell, I was anxious to get to Stephenville for a comparison to the storied original location.

Rating ***

Hard-Eight Pit Bar B Que on Urbanspoon


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.