Monday, December 27, 2010

Swadley's Bar-B-Q (Original)

OKLAHOMA: Swadley's Bar-B-Q (Original)
4000 N Rockwell Ave

Bethany, OK 73008


Open Daily 10:45-9

After a long drive to Mustang in search of the original Swadley's we learned that we'd pegged the wrong location as the original. The manager there explained that the original was just outside of Oklahoma City off Route 66, so we grabbed a go cup for our iced tea and set out for Bethany.

Since we'd tried nearly every option in Mustang, we thought we'd just compare the basics -brisket, ribs and pulled pork. You can order any size serving you want here, so we opted for 1/4 of each meat with a few ribs.

After ingesting ridiculous amounts of BBQ over the last few years I've developed enough of a honed palate to recognize when meat has been smoked over wood, gas, or mesquite coals. I've even been known to identify the wood used in the smoker, but not until this visit had I been able to successfully pinpoint the brand of smoker being used. Before inquiring I told my brother-in-law that I was certain an Ole Hickory smoker was in the back. The server acted coy saying she wasn't supposed to tell, but I confirmed with the owner by e-mail that an Ole Hickory was in use, and I was pleased.

Besides the brisket being a bit more smokey and the rib glaze being just a bit more sweet and moist, the meats were identical to the Mustang location. That bodes well for quality control, and these meats were certainly of high quality. Of all the chains I've tried in OKC, I'd have to put this one at the top.

Rating ***
Swadley'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.