Friday, October 2, 2009

Cousin's Barbecue

FT. WORTH: Cousin's Barbecue
5125 Bryant Irvin Road

Fort Worth, TX 76133

Open Mon-Sat 11-9

This is the second Cousin's location that I've tried, and it's the better of the two by a slight edge. After coming from Bill's in White Settlement, my mouth desperately needed some edible meat. Waiting in line, I could smell the smokiness, and my mouth watered as I watched slice after slice of brisket makes its way to other diners' plates. My plate quickly filled up with some of that sliced brisket, fanned out artfully, and some of the thick St. Louis style ribs.

The brisket has a substantial black crust with a deep smoke ring creating a robust smoky flavor. The meat was trimmed a little to clean for me, but still had good moisture and it was just chewy enough to be satisfying on the teeth. Ribs would have had the same crust, I'm sure, if not for the thick rub heavy on the chili powder that it applied far too liberally. The meat beneath it was beautifully red and juicy. Each bite had good smoke flavor with a hint of sweetness from the rub, but there was just too much rub competing for the attention of my taste buds. I wanted more of that good hickory smoke to shine through. Cousin's has a good reputation for a reason, and they're one of the few chains that does it right, so I would surely stop in again for another serving of that brisket.

Rating ***
Cousin's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

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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.