Monday, April 27, 2009

Cowboys Barbeque & Rib Co.

COLLEYVILLE: Cowboys Barbeque & Rib Co.
5220 State Hwy 121
Colleyville, TX 76034


Open M-Thur 11-10, F-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-9

Update 04/2009: This joint is CLOSED. After many trying times and a heap of controversy, Mark Gabrick sold this joint to his new partner Andy Caster, who has a name change in the works. Cowboys will soon become Daddy Joe's, and you can bet that I'll be there to give it a try.

Update 04/2009: I stopped in to try this joint about 6 weeks after their original opening. I was less than impressed on my first visit, but they were just getting started back then and showed some potential. This visit started pleasantly with an offering of some steaming jalapeno cornbread and butter which I enjoyed while waiting for my plate of brisket and ribs.

The pile of brisket was neither sliced nor chopped. The tender moist meat had fallen apart into chunks. Bites with crust were flavorful and smoky, but bites without the crust were a bit roast-beefy. The ribs were the winner here. The meat was deeply red with a substantial crust. A sweet glaze had been applied while smoking, and it added a nice dimension to the overall smoky flavor. The fat was perfectly rendered creating a near silky texture with just enough tooth to it to keep it from being mushy. They were nearly perfect. As with my previous visit, all of the side items were done well. Onion rings and cole slaw were flavorful and fresh. At $14.50, the two-meat plate here is not cheap, but the helpings are large, and I was able to come away with lunch for tomorrow.

One glaring omission on this visit were the words "Great food by Dallas Green" on the sign. The first photo is from February and the second is from April.

It seems Mr. Green is no longer associated with the business, and the food seems to be better for it.

Rating ***

02/2009: Owner Mark Gabrick brought in local BBQ legend Dallas Green, winner of countless national BBQ competitions, to start a brand new (we're talking three days old) BBQ joint in the former Colleyville location of Railhead Smokehouse. Because this joint just opened, I'll cut it a little slack since they need some time to work out the kinks. One of these kinks includes having to haul in a portable smoker to sit in the parking lot until their second smoker arrives in a few weeks. On this busy Sunday afternoon, they were understaffed due to some employee call-ins, but the remaining staff kept up their pace to serve the many customers. I sat at the bar which is designed more for standing than sitting. There's little leg room so my knees bumped against the rough-hewn Austin stone beneath the bar. The beer taps along the bar sat tauntingly as this joint waits for their liquor license, so I ordered an iced tea which wanted for some filtered water.

The menu here gives surprisingly little attention to the traditional BBQ items. Appetizers, salads and steaks seem to be the focus, but as expected, I ordered a plate of brisket, ribs and the waiter recommended sausage. The tender meat of the St. Louis ribs were covered by a dark crust that also hid the layers of fat remaining on the ribs. The meat had a deep red color, and good smokiness with good flavor once the fat was scraped away. The sausage had a medium grind, mild spiciness and a slight snap to the casing. The flavor was pleasing, but lacked complexity. The brisket on the other hand was complexing. The plate arrived with slices so laden with unrendered fat it resembled medium rare bacon. I took a bite for journalistic integrity, then, for the first time in my reviewing career, I sent an item back. The obliging waiter quickly returned with a plate of lean brisket with a delicate crust and moderate smokeline. The slices were moist and tender to the point of falling apart. Outside the crust, the smoky flavor receded into roast beefyness, but the overall flavor was satisfactory. I look forward to a return trip to see if the meat reaches its competition winning potential once this joint's staff and smoker settle in. I also can't wait for a few more of those onion rings.

Cowboys Barbeque & Rib Co. on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I went there on saturday and had some nicely textured ham and fantastic beef ribs. I think there are many good things going for this place and hope to return soon.

Anonymous said...

I am sure this Dallas Green is the same Dallas Green that was convicted of Fraud in Sangamon County, Illinois. He did the same thing there to a family, said he would help a person open a new business and then did not do what he said he would do and did not have the necessary expereince to help the owner. The owner had to go to court and there is over a $400,000 judgement for Fraud against him in Sangamon County. I beleive he is banned from Rib America cook-offs in Indy, St. Louis and Naperville (Chicago Area) and the Illinois State Fair. These records and the court documents are available to all at the Sangamon County Courthouse in Springfield, IL. Good luck to this new "partner". Fraud is a serious conviction to be sure.

BBQ Snob said...

I found nothing about the fraud conviction in my preliminary online search, but that's certainly interesting knowledge.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

OMG, this place is great. Had their chili and rooster rocket appetizers tonight and loved it. No complaints from me pod'ner. Thought the interior and food was great.

Anonymous said...

I Love Cowboys Barbecue & Rib Co. I believe they a very complete menu that caters not only to meat loving Barbecue fanatics but also salad eating garden burger loving people as well. Everything from large chicken wings called Rooster Rockets to Fresh Fish Fillets of Salmon or Tuna rubbed with a unique blend of herbs and spices and grilled to perfection. My food came out moist and tender. The Barbecue sauce is incredible. It is so different from alot of the generic tasting BBQ Sauces out there. I will be back again and I will bring my friends. They will be delighted that there is something for everyone. Good Luck on the business. Everyone should come give this place a try it has nice style and atmosphere. The staff is very good and getting better every day they are open.

BBQ Snob said...

That's a great marketing scpiel almost diguised as a review. Good work!

Anonymous said...

A review is ones opinion of an establishment. I happen to have a very positive veiw of Cowboys Barbecue & Rib Co. I respect the hard work that good people do. I believe that if you can post on-line that someone accused Dallas Green of fraud You should know the facts. Dallas Green is a Hardworking Family Man who has a passion for serving good food to hungry people. He tours the country serving millions of people in his lifetime good Texas Barbecue. His brisket & Ribs have won countless awards nationwide. Alot of these awards were People's Choice votes awards. Chosen by the people. He is a true Texas Man bringing true Texas Barbecue to the people. There is no fraud in doing Honest Hard Work serving the people.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how you say the place is no longer associated with Mr. Green and is better for it since they were at the time of your visit still using Dallas Green's own BBQ Sauce, His rubb on the very flavorfull meat and his smoking techniques and expertise that he had been there sharing with them from the begining. The restraunt still bears his name Cowboy's Barbecue & Rib Co. which is a long standing family company don't let anyone fool you because they are still selling Dallas Green's family recipies to the public. Everything from the jalepeno cornbread at the begining of your meal to the smoke encrusted beef brisket that is so tender when you try to slice it, it falls apart. The coleslaw and every other side item including all the desserts and appetizer were Dallas Green's own food creations and inspirations. True your second visit was more pleasurable than the first this is due to the staff getting more seasoned with the task of cooking and serving food to the people. I wish this restraunt could have gotten it together the food presentation in the photo looks fabulous, but I've heard there not even serving Cowboy's Barbecue Sauce anymore with their food. Dallas Green is a true Texas Barbecue cooker with a passion for what he does. You know a man who loves what he does when he is willing to wake up in the middle of the night several times just to rotate Briskets from one end of the old school barral pitts to the other so they cook just right. Of course this was before the days of the Southern Pride Pitts that rotate and cook all through the night for you. But the owner of this place would not know this because he has not devoted his whole life serving food to the people and truly caring about their dining experience. Mr. Green has devoted his blood, sweat, and tears into serving good Barbeque. I wish all the best to those who truly labor in their love of Barbecue and who go about doing honest work despite what others would come against you and say or do.

BBQ Snob said...

As always, I wasn't really judging the sauce, but the meat was well smoked. Considering my visit was on 4/5/09 and Dallas Green was arrested at Cowboys BBQ on 4/3/09, I doubt he was the guy running the smokers that day.

Anonymous said...

FYI... you may want to recheck your resources, we drove by Cowboys last night (4/29/09) and it is definitely open.

We live nearby and was hoping for a good replacement to the Railhead and Sonny Bryan's, both had closed within a year. We found the food good, but the service quite bad. Even though they had only been open for a short while, waiting for 45 minutes for ribs and beans was ridiculous.

I wrote to Mr. Gambrick about the experience and to my surprise he responded very quickly. He said that he knew there were issues regarding wait times and that he was working on them, including bringing some new people in. He asked that we visit again in the near future and give him another opportunity to show improvement.

We had decided to wait a while and try them again before too long. We haven't done so yet, but after reading your blog, decided to drive by and see if it was closed... it is not closed. I'm not sure about the change of ownership, may try to find out for sure soon though.

Anonymous said...

I was just by Cowboys and it has all appearance of still being open - although I'm surprised based on my 4 less fortunate experiences with them (I certainly gave them every benefit of every doubt! - on both food and service).

Anyway, the Cowboy sign is still up despite the report in the Star Tele, there were a handful of cars in the parking lot, and a sign outside indicated some type of Mother's Day special, urging reservations to be made now.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting thread...

Dallas' name is not even that. his REAL name is, "Billy Lester Green".

Anonymous said...

I would like to let you know that I found Dallas less than stellar with his online website service. I made a purchase from him that never arrived, I kept getting excuses that he was busy on the road, that his son had died? ( like I was suppose to know that and wait for how much longer??) After 3 weeks or so of these, I asked for a refund-more delays and excuses. I finally disupted the charges with PayPal and he never answered the challenge. They found in my favor and as far as I know, he is still forbidden to use PayPal as the means to pay on his website. I still never received my refund so...

Buyer Beware.

Chris DeMille


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.