Monday, August 27, 2012


5750 U.S. 90 Business
Orange, TX 77630
Open Tues-Sat 11-7

It was the middle of a weekday afternoon and JB's was empty. Four of us walked in and order far less food than the folks manning the counter were hoping for. Brisket, ribs and sausage were piled on real china, and before I could get the words out, a ladle of sauced drowned the plate. I guess they noticed my dismay, so when I asked for a plate of the fatty end pieces of brisket without sauce, they gave it to me for no charge. Free meat is often the best, and this was no exception.

In the back dining room we were left alone to judge the meat without an audience. Slices of a peppery sausage were fine, but could have used more smoke. Large spare ribs were a bit tough but their strong smokiness made its way through the sauce. The pink cross-section of meat had good flavor, but just needed more time to cook. The gray slices of brisket at the bottom of the pile didn't have so much staying power, and we quickly descended on the pile of fatty and crispy edges of brisket on the other plate. A bit on the dry side, these burnt ends were still enjoyable with well rendered fat and the concentrated flavors of the smoker.

Photo by Nicholas McWhirter
On the way out we noticed them slicing a ham. They cure and smoke them in house which in this world of deli hams finding their way into smokers was a welcome sight. More free meat made its way into my gut after they sliced off a few paper thin morsels of pork. The fat was nearly half the slice, but it melted away before it hit the back of my tongue. A splash of soy sauce at the suggestion of the staff was unnecessary. This was great ham and a real treat in this corner of Texas.

Rating **

No comments:


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.