Wednesday, June 8, 2011
MESQUITE: Slabs Bar-B -Q
4401 N Galloway Ave
Mesquite, TX 75150
Open M-Sat 10:30-9, Sun 10:30-7
I was in Mesquite on a fruitless search for a new joint called Mr. Blackwell's Smokering BBQ (if anyone out there knows something about this place, let me know) when I realized I'd need to feed my craving for smoked meat elsewhere. Slabs was just up the road and I hadn't been in a while. They've got a new sign but not much else has changed including the menu. Those same boring sides accompanied an order of brisket and ribs.
Ribs are smoked, then finished on a charcoal grill that really heats up the kitchen. The added flavor it noticeable but not particularly worth savoring. Surprisingly, despite the double cooking method these ribs could have been a bit more tender. Luckily a dip in the sauce helped the flavor. The brisket was much better. A smoky flavor and good level of seasoning made these tender slices quite enjoyable without the sauce. I'll skip the sides and ribs next time and focus on that tasty beef.
2009: Take out's the only available way to take in the 'cue at this tiny storefront that shares a building with a gas station. The interior is worn in like a comfortable shoe showing age but not fatigue. The talkative owner serves up his wares with a friendly smile, and he's not shy with his portions. My styrofoam box was filled with sliced brisket and dark smoky ribs. Alongside were some grocery store grade sides of beans and slaw, but the accompaniment was of little importance.
The ribs seemed to have little flavoring added other than smoke, but could have used the umph of a little salt. The meat was deeply smoky with a nice crust and good reddish meat underneath. The meat was bit tough with some spots of poorly rendered fat, but they were still tasty ribs. The brisket was hard to get a handle on. From the photo, you can see that this was not picture perfect brisket, but what deceived the eyes could not get past the tastebuds. The meat was not intensely smoky, but the smokiness lingered behind the other robust flavors of salt and something that bursted with umami flavor that I just couldn't put my finger on. The fat that looks to be tough and chewy was perfectly rendered with more of that elusive flavor. On my next visit, I'll be a bit more inquisitive, and maybe I can get some answer about that tasty brisket.
Posted by BBQ Snob at 7:54 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