Sunday, November 7, 2010

Y. O. Ranch Steakhouse

DALLAS: Y. O. Ranch Steakhouse
702 Ross Avenue

Dallas, TX 75202


Open: Wednesday Lunch for BBQ

Maybe it's a bit of a stretch to give this place a full review with BBQ only available once a week, but they're in the West End boldly competing with Sonny Bryan's for tourism business. I met SmokeMaster1 for a Wednesday patio lunch which is when the blue plate special is smoked brisket. Not wanting to risk our entire lunch on the quality of the brisket, we tried a variety of items.

Brisket quesadillas are normally a menu item added by frugal pitmasters looking for a good use of yesterday's product. Since these guys only do smoked brisket once a week, it was no surprise that the meat in between these tortillas had little resemblance in flavor to the main course. I don't think smoked brisket was used, but it was well seasoned, tender, and probably the best item of the day.

Seeing the title "Buffalo Reuben" on a menu requires a look at the fine print to make sure I wouldn't be in for corned beef dipped in wing sauce. Instead this was corned bison meat (maybe using that term on the menu would stave off any confusion) combined with standard reuben ingredients between nicely toasted bread. Overall, the sandwich was a good effort, but alone the meat was a bit dry and had some chewy fat within the slices. The fries were great.

The brisket plate came out sauced with rings of white onion as a garnish. A soupy but adequate side of beans and some mustardy potato salad rounded out the plate. The brisket was sliced thick, and had a good crust but no prominent smokering. One bite and it was obvious that this brisket needed more smoking time, and simply more cooking time. The meat was a bit tough and was little fat that remained was still chewy. It was saucy roast beef. Given that option, I'd stick with those brisket quesadillas next time.

Rating **
Y O Ranch Steakhouse 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.