Monday, August 3, 2009

The Ranch House

FORT WORTH: The Ranch House
5532 Jacksboro Hwy.
Ft. Worth, TX 76114
Open Thur-Sat 10:30-9

Update: This joint is CLOSED.

2009: After a quick search for information on this joint, I came away with little as its web presence was small. So small I had doubts that it would still be open. Walking into the dimly lit dining room was a jolt on a sunny Texas summer day. The neon did little to help the adjustment, but I bellied up to the bar for my to-go order. As I enjoyed my Budweiser I noticed how few folks were in the dining room, and how many seemed to just be there for a quick drink. I fully expected to take a few bites of what came out of this kitchen and quickly forget that it ever happened.

I could smell the smoke coming through the plastic bag as I walked to the car. Sitting inside, I opened the lid to find four well smoked ribs and thick slices of beautiful brisket. The ribs had a black crust and deep red color below it. The meat was tender if a bit dry, and the pork had a deep smokiness. Brisket slices were lean with little intramuscular fat, but it was perfectly tender and just moist enough. The robust smokiness so permeated the meat, it was hard to tell where the crust stopped and the rest of the meat began. This was simply good meat that didn't need a bit of the dark sweet and spicy sauce.

After visiting nearly 200 joints trying BBQ all over the state, I can often determine the quality of the 'cue before it even arrives on my plate, but this place was different. Despite a meager lunch crowd and a menu full of non-'cue items, this joint delivers the good stuff. Meat smoked this well should simply be drawing bigger crowds.

Rating ***
The Ranch House on Urbanspoon


PM Summer said...

What day of the week were you there? Perhaps the small crowds are a "time-of-week" thing.

BBQ Snob said...

It was at noon on a Saturday. Given the many steak options on the menu, it may be more of a dinner place. Have you been?

PM Summer said...

No, but it's on my list. I don't wander northwest much, anymore.

PM Summer said...

The more I look at that picture, the more I want to head out that way. So nice to see ribs and brisket that doesn't look like it came out of the candy apple dipping vat.

ribking1 said...

hey guys,this old place was one of the best old places in fort worth back in the day,we new one waitress that worked there 45 years when it was williams ranch house..i ate there when i wasa little bitty kid..forever..they probably still have the steaks and such for that reason..i need to make it over ther to...i love that ole place...

Anonymous said...

You'll want to update the Ranch House's hours you have posted. I went out Monday to find it closed with a sign saying closed Sunday-Wednesday. Open Thursday-Saturday 10:30-9.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see great reviews, and wish the new management the very best. It is so heartwarming to see so many people who remember "the Place" fondly. I have so many great memories growing up in the business, and yes, many the staff are still family friends. Today, I compare every steak I eat to the Ranch House's, don't think that will ever change. And, even though I live in Tennessee now, WRH will forever be the BBQ capitol for me!
Linda Williams Albritton

Anonymous said...

I trust everything that is said on this blog. But I just got back from The Ranch House and I will have to give the "BBQ snob" a pass. They told us they were out of ribs so sausage was a player for our entire party. It was merely Eckrich sausage that seemed to be cooked on a griddle instead of a smoker. The brisket that I tasted seemed dry and leathery.
Do you think we just came on a "bad day?" Are the ribs so good that they make up for the subpar other stuff?


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.