Monday, December 13, 2010
RED OAK: Randy’s Bar-B-Que
101 Eagle Dr
Red Oak, TX 75154
Open M-Sat 11-9
Update: I hadn't been back to Randy's since I wrote about it in D Magazine earlier this year where it was named the #2 joint in DFW. You may have noticed that Leslie Brenner of the Dallas Morning News developed her own list of DFW's best BBQ, which less than coincidentally had a few in common with my own. One missing from that list was Randy's in Red Oak, which DMN probably deemed too far from Dallas to be considered in DFW. I was hoping to see how business was going since the article came out, so I stopped in for a quick bite of fatty brisket before heading home from a mini BBQ tour of points southeast of Dallas.
A whole untouched brisket was lying on the counter when I approached. I asked for some crusty slices from the fatty end, and after five different BBQ joints on the day so far, my mouth was still watering as it was sliced. At the register I learned that business had improved over the past year, and they were able to now stay open for longer hours. Happy to hear that, I went back to the car to enjoy my beautiful beef slices. The moist, tender and perfectly smoky meat was excellent. The flavor of the unctuous beef was further enhanced by the nicely rendered fat in each. I happily munched it down and tried to get my hands just clean enough as not to oil my steering wheel on the way back into town. I hope for Leslie's sake that she at least made it here during her extensive research throughout the area as it's only twenty-five minutes from the DMN offices. It's worth the trip if even for a snack.
June 2009: I stopped in for a quick snack to see how this place was holding up. I was so impressed the first time, I had to see if it was for real. I ordered up some sliced beef and ribs. The lady behind the counter asked if I wanted brisket from the lean portion or from the fatty cap. I went for the moist goodness and was not disappointed. The brisket was so moist and tender with good smokiness, great flavor, and a silky tender layer of fat.
The ribs again had a sticky black crust with a red tint to the meat below. The smoke permeated all the way through, and the meat was incredible. This one definitely deserves a visit.
March 2009: Along Highway 342 in Red Oak sits a simple, beige metal building that houses Randy's Bar-B-Que. The smell of smoke was in the air as we pulled into the parking lot. Gratuitous Texas Stars decorated the building's exterior, just to let us know what state we're in, but we wanted to know if they knew their way around a smoker. I ordered a few slices of brisket and three ribs since we were just there for a snack. The lady with the knife sliced off three ribs, weighed them, then threw in the rib end for free. I guess she didn't realize that this part had the most flavor per square inch of any part of the rib. As she pulled the brisket out to slice it, I noticed she removed the nice crusty cap of point meat to reveal a monochromatic slab of less than tantalizing brisket. Hunched over the table, we relished every bite of the crusty, smoky spare ribs. The meat was red throughout with a moist and tender texture. Meat caramel covered the dark crust, and each bite filled my mouth with sweet smoky goodness. At one end, I encountered a true sugar cookie of smoked, seasoned sweet fat. I hadn't seen one of those in a long time, and had never tasted one in the DFW area. Unfortunately, the crustless brisket slices tasted of roast beef with little smokiness. At that point, I had to go back and request the beautifully crusty brisket I had been denied earlier.
Reluctantly, she sliced some of the meat from the point, all the while telling me that she thinks it's too fatty to serve. Back at the table, we polished off every bite of this deeply smoky tender meat. Yes it was fatty, but the flavors packed a heavy punch, and the meat was delicious. I went back to tell them how much I enjoyed the second round of brisket hoping that future customers may benefit from my advice. A higher rating would have been warranted if their best meat had been their first choice to serve, but the everyday customer can't be required to specially request their best offerings.
Posted by BBQ Snob at 6:59 AM
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.
-THE PROPHETS OF SMOKED MEAT
-THE PROPHETS OF SMOKED MEAT