Friday, August 26, 2011
DALLAS: Baker’s Ribs
4844 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
Open M-Sat 10:30-9, Sun 11-8
Update: I had two kids in the car. I was determined to show my wife, who'd abandoned me for the evening, that I could handle a two year old and a one month old for dinner. Barbecue was the obvious choice without my wife's input to consider, and my two year old likes ribs so Baker's Ribs was the destination. A combo plate of brisket and ribs along with some peach cobbler was sure to be enough for all of us to eat well.
As my son thankfully slept in his carseat perched on the booth, my daughter quickly grabbed a rib to gnaw on. The brisket was a mix of fatty and lean with the fatty end having plenty of smoky black crust. The lean slices were a bit dry, but the great smokiness was there as well. A bit of seasoning would have brought out the flavor a bit more. Ribs had a nice flavor from the rub, but had gotten overtender after a day's worth of storage. The meat retained plenty of moisture and had good smoke, but the brisket was just better on this evening.
One thing they do well at Baker's is the sides. The heavily dilled potato salad and the creamy mac & cheese were great as expected, but I wanted to dig into the peach cobbler. Never having gone beyond the free soft serve, I didn't know what to expect, but the cobbler was good. Big chunks of peaches clung to a doughy coating. It was made even better by a shot of that soft serve that the two year old really enjoyed. Dinner accomplished.
2009: A forlorn storefront with a missing banner sits along north Greenville Avenue in Dallas. A sign with the familiar pig logo of Baker's ribs rests on a concrete base near the front door. A bell rings as you enter announcing your arrival to the staff. I've visited this location in the past before I began writing about all of my smoked meat experiences, and never remember it being as good as the Deep Ellum location, so I had to refresh my memory.
My memory could not have been further off. An excellent dill flecked potato salad and some buttery green beans came along with a three meat plate of ribs, brisket and pulled pork. They forgot to pull their pork, so the flavorless meat was left in chunks which required some sauce to give them a boost. Ribs were perfectly cooked creating a great texture that needed a slight tug to get off the bone, and a thin layer of perfectly rendered fat. The juicy meat was topped with a slight crust that gained a load of flavor from a sweet and spicy rub. Brisket had been cooked a bit too quickly resulting in slightly dry meat, but the hickory smoke and beefy flavor were incredibly intense beneath the deep dark crust. I'm now happy to know I have a great BBQ option in Dallas no matter which Baker's I step into.
Posted by BBQ Snob at 8:04 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