Three of us walked in and one had a large camera. Teresa, the owner, looked up from her table, cigarette smoke encircling her face and a yapping dog sitting in the chair next to her. "What's that thing for?" she asked in an accusatory tone. I said it was used for taking photos. "Well, no shit." was the response. I continued and explained that we were just here for some barbecue, if that was alright.
A three meat combo plate featured some dry pork shoulder, decent sliced brisket and sad slices of limp commercial sausage all drowning in sauce. The owner stood over the table with her arms folded awaiting our assessment. She asked specifically about the sausage which was her favorite. I let her know that it was just cheap mediocre sausage in my opinion, and was my least favorite item on the plate. There wasn't much to like besides the onions rings and hand battered okra.
We moved on to the Curly Special which was a pile of chopped beef and melted mozzarella on a bed of poblanos. The peppers were nicely roasted with good flavor and they brought this mess of a plate together. The amount of cheese made it hard to enjoy more than a few bites, but the brisket beneath was a bit better than the sauced version on the combo plate.
The biggest mess came out at the end of the meal. We mentioned out next stop would be Cattlemen's outside of El Paso because we'd heard good things about the beef ribs. Teresa retreated to the kitchen and haughtily returned with two bones worth of beef ribs. The meat was so overcooked that it was sloughing off the bones before we even got it. She said this was her best item so we dug in. After one bite the back of my throat filled with the bitter flavor of oxidized beef fat. These had been cooked the previous day and held far too long in the warmer. As a general rule, fat starts to turn bad before the meat and it's more evident in fatty cuts like a beef rib. This fat had actually started to decay, and the result was truly awful. Luckily we had already paid and Teresa had taken her surly self to the kitchen to fill another order. After spitting the beef rib out back on to the plate, we couldn't dash out the door fast enough.