Monday, August 10, 2009

Smokey D’s

BRANCH: Smokey D's
E Lucas Rd and County Rd 456
Branch, TX
Open Thur-Sat, 11-7pm

It’s surely a sign of Dallas’ sprawl that this roadside joint is 35 miles from downtown and you still pass subdivisions left and right. However, from the picnic table under the canopy of a big old tree, you can forget that for a few minutes. They operate out of a trailer with a small side-box smoker in back. This is truly a no-frills operation with a small pass-through window intended to serve people taking their meal to-go. I took a seat instead as the weather was far too temperate for this time of the year.

I pulled open the box and then the foil inside to find a thickly sauced pile of beef and ribs. Not having seen the preparation, I hadn’t had a chance to specify. However, the sauce hadn’t yet made its way throughout the box, so I still got a fair sampling of the original flavor. I’m not sure when their peak business occurs in the day. I was the only one there for the length of my visit, so it appears to be some time well after noon. This might be why the brisket was still a little tough on the thick end. In contrast, the flat yielded a few smoke-packed and tender bites. The ribs stood even further down that road. They were falling off the bone and falling apart. They had a nice flavor but lacked the right balance as they came apart in my fingers. My prognosis is that the small, hand-made nature of Smokey D’s operation means that you’ll find a wider range of outcomes.

I'm highly tempted to give them a higher rating because of how good I think their best can be and the intangibles of the location. The truth is, I can't recommend going out of your way. I do think I'll give them another shot when the summer heat breaks.

Rating **

No comments:


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.