Friday, April 6, 2012

Inman's Bar-B-Q (Marble Falls)

707 6th St
Marble Falls, TX 78657
Open Tues-F 9-5, Sat-Sun 9-2

With a 2:00pm closing time on Saturdays, I've forlornly left the small parking lot here a couple of times. This time the door was unlocked, but entering a very dark and very empty pit room, we weren't sure if we missed out on the famous turkey sausage one more time. Soon, our eyes adjusted and a large man with a large knife inquired about our order. We took our only two options on the protein front - the aforementioned turkey sausage and sliced brisket.

Taking in the smoky air and ancient looking brick pits, I was getting anxious. The sliced brisket looked so good on the cutting board. It looked as if the briskets sit in the smoker to keep warm. Once we started eating it was obvious that this creates an incredibly dry brisket. At least a quarter inch of the perimeter of each brisket slice was unpleasantly crisp. Only a hint of smoke found its way into the meat and it didn't have a lick of seasoning. There are smoked meat purists out there that scoff the idea of seasoning their briskets. Let the smoke be the seasoning - they say. I'm in the other camp where salt makes a huge difference. I'm not going to tell anyone to change what their customers like, but I'll choose a little seasoning over naked briskets every day.

I'd tried the turkey sausage before at the first annual BBQ Crash Course during 2009's SXSW. I wasn't impressed then, but I was holding out to try it in its native environment. The link we received had a very tough casing. It hadn't been crisped under the smoke, but rather had dried into a wrinkled link. The turkey filling was bland with little seasoning. A dip in the marinara-like sauce didn't help. I wouldn't describe it as an acquired taste since nothing about it was offensive. So many folks around seem to like the turkey sausage that it must be some sort of persuaded taste where people convince themselves that they're not missing the pork fat at all. What I got on this day didn't convince me.

Rating **


Scott--DFW said...

One star? I've only been there twice, but the brisket was outstanding both times. I also really like the turkey sausage.

BBQ Snob said...

Scott - Thanks for pointing that out. I'm embarassed, but the one star was incorrect. That's reserved for especially terrible places, and this one was not. I've updated it to two stars, which reflects my experience there.

With each bite I was hoping for more from the brisket that really looked excellent, but just didn't deliver much on flavor. The turkey sausage was dried out and flavorless. There wasn't anything to like about it on this day.

Churchyard said...

Sorry to read this. Inmans' turkey sausage is ambrosia in my world, and I don't believe that I've ever seen a dry slice of brisket in the place.

Not saying that you're wrong. It is what it is, and you rate what's put in front of you. But this review genuinely surprised me. I hope that they're not getting complacent and riding their reputation; they've been a solid choice for decades in our clan -- but we only get out that way every couple of years.

Anonymous said...

I had nearly an identical experience about 3 years ago. Nobody in the place, crappy brisket that had been sitting around too long and the turkey sausage tasted HORRIBLE. I would give them 1/2 stars. JR


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.