Thursday, December 23, 2010

Swadley's Bar-B-Q (Mustang)

OKLAHOMA: Swadley's Bar-B-Q (Mustang)
308 E Mustang Rd

Mustang, OK 73064


Open Daily 10:45-9

Swadley's is undoubtedly corporate barbecue. The barn-like design on the exterior and the kitschy decorations on the interior just make it look like they're trying too hard to create that down home feel. Orders are taken at the counter as you walk in, but all of the meat is hidden away back in the kitchen. Drinks, sauce and eventually your food are delivered to your table by a server. I made my way to this location with my brother-in-law during a day long meat fest, and we mistakenly made this a stop because my poor research led me to believe this was the original location. It's actually the newest at less than a year old.

For our order we went for the "True Sampler" which offers a taste of all their meats. This is quite a deal at $14 and includes sliced brisket, pork ribs, turkey, ham, pulled pork, sausage and hot links. A side of corn was previously frozen as expected with little flavor, but the fried okra was good and crispy. The ribs needed more smoke, but they were a good place to start for moist tender meat. The rub had a hint of sweetness and the overall flavor was good on these spare ribs. Brisket had the required smokiness, but the slices were trimmed of all fat leaving them a bit dry. A dunk in the one of the three sauces (original, spicy or sweet) remedied the dryness. Slices of real turkey were plenty moist with great flavor and decent smoke. Moist and smoky pulled pork was exemplary. Fat, meat and plenty of bark mixed together to create forkfuls of happiness. Both hot links and sausages were mass produced, fat filled, finely ground and just boring. They had no memorable qualities. What was memorable was the great and attentive service. It's a nice touch especially when the meal is only halfway through and you need more of that great sweet tea. Now, if I could just get a bit more of that pork.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will never eat there again. The food is good, which is why I've kept trying, but I have no further tolerance for not getting what I paid for. Two pounds of sliced brisket should weigh two pounds, but it never has; it has weighed anywhere from 1 1/4 pounds to 1 3/4 pounds. For $13 / lb, that is simply not acceptable. (I'm an engineer who made a career out of designing measuring instruments; I know how to calibrate and use a scale.) A quart of okra and a quart of potatoes are sold by VOLUME, and so they should have the SAME volume. When they don't, it is obvious that they are not measured, instead they are simply scooped into a styrofoam box until the staff gets tired. The staff is not competent, or doesn't care, or is dishonest, or is some combination thereof. Management is the same, but managment has the responsibility of fixing the problem. These things are trivially easy to get right, but Swadleys just won't get it right. They have good competition, and the competitors will get my business in the future. Swadleys won't.


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.