Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lil' Joe's Bar-B-Que

ROSEBUD: Lil' Joe's Bar-B-Que
212 N 5th.
Rosebud, TX 76570
Open Thur-Sun 11-6

You wouldn't think that a town the size of Rosebud, Texas (population 1,412) could support three barbecue joints, but then you find the small painted wooden sign for Lil' Joe's along the highway just inside the city limits. A bit of Dallas Cowboys memorabilia decorates the small dining room, and orders are placed at a back counter. I took a three meat combo of sausage, brisket and spare ribs to go.

Out at the car I could smell the smoke which got even stronger when I opened the box. The colors were right, but the black crust of the ribs was just too much. They were overcooked and falling off the bone while also being oversmoked with a distinct taste of creosote. The brisket had a more appropriate level of smoke but it was so dry it crumbled apart. A well spiced sausage was enjoyable enough, but not enough to save the plate of what was otherwise poorly executed barbecue.

Rating **

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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.