Thursday, October 28, 2010

Red River Bar-B-Que

HAMILTON: Red River Bar-B-Que
706 North Rice Street

Hamilton, TX 76531


Open W 11-2, Thur-Sat 11-8, Sun 11-2

Only the wife from this husband-and-wife team was working on this busy Saturday. To put it mildly, she was in the weeds. Making cream gravy to order for the chicken fried steak special wasn't helping. I'm a patient guy at these small joints, but 20 minutes for a two-meat plate is a bit of a stretch. While we waited, we took in the OU-UT decor. The "house divided" idea loses some steam when memorabilia from either team is placed haphazardly on either side of the space whose floor is crimson on one side, and burnt orange on the other. Also, the "OU" door is locked forcing all patrons to enter the "UT" side. The scene was made more surreal by the gaggle of severely obese men sitting at a table in front of the only television. It was a Saturday, and prime football viewing time, but these guys were watching an infomercial. I thought maybe we were all forced to watch it because the busy owner couldn't spare the time to change the channel, but then one of the guys whipped out the remote and turned it to a global warming documentary on the History Channel. We were miles from the Red River Rivalry.

Sauce covered meat was a disappointment. It came alongside small portions of potato salad and beans which were of grocery store quality. That sauce was also a sweet commercial version which kept the meat's flavor from coming through. Brisket was tender and moist, but little smokiness could be detected. The same was true for the large spare ribs, but they were also undercooked and chewy. Given the chaos in the kitchen, I felt like I may have just caught them on a bad day. Either way, I don't know if there was enough promise to bring me back.

Rating **
Red River Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

gcue said...

Had the same experience last summer. We stopped there for a sliced brisket sandwich on the way to South Padre. Fifteen minutes after ordering a single sandwich, we were asked if we wanted sauce on the sandwich or on the side. The quality was not worth the wait.

I won't stop again.


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.