Saturday, March 21, 2009

Evans Pit Bar-B-Que

DESOTO: Evans Pit Bar-B-Que
1100 E Pleasant Run Rd

Desoto, TX 75115


Open Tues-Sat 11-9

Evans Pit Bar-B-Que sits in a strip mall near I-35 in DeSoto, Texas, so my mouth wasn't exactly watering as I pulled into the parking lot. One side of their lease space has been turned into an odd display window with "Evans" banners and stacks of authenticating wood. The interior was a jumbled mix of wood paneled dining room dividers, a plethora of fake ferns, a non-functioning gas fireplace, and a tiny salad bar...yes, I said salad bar. My dining partner and I ordered a brisket sandwich and a rib sandwich. Both came with a styrofoam side plate for the salad bar. An employee then retreated to the kitchen to fix our meal. It worries me a bit when joints don't put their meat on display, and I usually enjoy watching my brisket being sliced, but they may have their reasons.

The salad bar was sparse but fresh, and we probably needed some greens anyway, but when the food finally arrived (it took more than 5 minutes to slice some brisket and few ribs) we were hungry for meat. The rib sandwich came with five meaty St. Louis ribs that had a thick brown sugar and black pepper rub.

Sweetness was the initial flavor followed by a hint of smokiness and some black pepper on the finish. The meat was slightly dry, but had a good level of tenderness with well rendered fat. The overall flavor was good, but the rub kept any crust from forming, and therefore the deep smokiness was missing. The brisket was could have used a jolt from the rib rub, as it was lacking bold flavor. Bites from the well crusted ends had a hint of smokiness with decent flavor, but bites not containing crust were roast-beefy. The fat from the meat had been shaved a little close, so the meat was a bit dry, but a dunk in the sauce provided the missing flavor an moisture. We couldn't identify the sauce ingredients, but we mutually agreed that it tasted similar the bean juice one would find in a can of pork 'n beans. Odd, but addictive. If the pitmaster would split the terrific rub between the ribs and brisket, both would benefit.

Rating **
Evans Pit Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

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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.