Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Smokey’s Pit Stop

EL PASO: Smokey's Pit Stop
9100 Viscount Blvd.
El Paso, TX 79925
Open M-Thur 10:30-10, F-Sat 10:30-11

It was getting late in El Paso, but this city has barbecue joints that stay open later than I'm used to in Dallas. At about 8:30 the bar was hopping inside Smokey's, but things were pretty dead at the barbecue counter. I asked for my order to-go. I could almost feel the chewy unrendered fat getting stuck in my teeth as I watched them slice off a few pitiful morsels of brisket. I then returned to my car with little hope for the rest of it.

An over-salted beef rib and pork rib hovered just above edible. They didn't really taste smoked as much as they tasted...aged, and not gently. The brisket was as tough as I'd suspected when seeing it sliced. I didn't need more than three bites to know there was no reason to return to this joint. There seemed to be a reason that the bar side of this dual business was the more vibrant one.

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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.