Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shep's Bar-B-Q

1013 E. Palestine Ave.

Palestine, TX 75801


Open M-Thur 11-7, F-Sat 11-8

This joint was recently featured in Follow the Smoke, and the quality of the ribs and the side items were featured prominently in the profile. I was excited to taste the candy coated ribs and the kicked up pinto beans and green beans. I'm not sure when John DeMers visited, but he must have tasted some different beans than we did on this trip.

When we arrived at about 11:45, there was no line, but the tables were full of hungry customers. As we made our exit, the line stretched to the door. They must have been waiting for the ribs, because they were the only menu item of note here.

These ribs lived up to hype. The spicy and sweet rub coupled with the smoke and well rendered fat turned almost to a candy coating. The tender, moist meat tugged easily from the bone, and every bite seemed to build on the next creating a conundrum when there was one rib left for three people. I ate it.

The brisket was a bit roast-beefy with only crust-rich bites containing any hint of smoke. The slices were moist and tender, but the lack of a robust flavor made this some pedestrian protein. The grocery store grade sausage wasn't any better with a heavy fat, finely ground meat with little casing snap. Both meats needed the smoky sauce that was lathered on top.

The biggest disappointment was the lack of flavor in the side items. Both the pinto beans and the green beans were dumped straight from the can into the steam tray to warm. I'm not even sure if salt was added, let alone the flecks of smoked brisket that were promised in previous reviews.

Rating ***

Shep's Bar-B-Q & Catering Service on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think the writer underestimates the sides. I had green beans and potato salad and some cole slaw. All of them darn good. The beef and sausage plates with the ice tea...I love this place, and I'm from Lafayette, Louisiana, and know my spicy food. I'll be going back to Shep's.


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.