Sunday, November 9, 2008

Smokehouse Barbecue

LINDSAY: Smokehouse Barbecue
307 E Hwy 82

Lindsay, TX 76250

Open M-Thur 10:30-9:30, F-Sat 10:30-10, Sun 11-9:30

Lindsay is just a blip on the highway just past the Gainesville Airport, but it's home to two standout BBQ joints. For being just three doors apart, both joints have oddly similar menu items. Everything from BBQ to pizza, salads, burgers and sandwiches are available on these menus, but BBQ was the only item that got my attention on Smokehouse's menu. Dine-in is an option, but we chose to get our order in the drive-in. A 1/2 lb. of ribs and 1/2 lb. of brisket cost only $8.15, so this joint looked like a good bargain.

On the ride back to Dallas, I sampled some of each not wanting to wait until we got all the way home. My impatience was rewarded with large, lean and long slices of moist, salty brisket. I can still smell the smoke on my fingers as I type, and every bite, every chew, every morsel of this meat was heaped with smoke flavor, which was to be expected from the well formed crust and rosy, yet thin smokeline. The ribs were almost as good, but lacked the savory character of the beef. The crust was well formed and smoky, and the fat was well rendered. The tender pork from these smallish spare ribs was neither chewy or mushy, but had just the right tooth to it. Next time I'm in Lindsay, I may stop next door for a steak, but the Smokehouse is where I'll go for good 'cue.

Rating ****

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Dieter Brothers

LINDSAY: Dieter Brothers Restaurant
401 E Hwy 82

Lindsay, TX 76250


Open M-Thur 10:30-10, F-Sat 10:30-11, Sun 11-10

Just off of I-35, a big yellow billboard along Highway 82 let us know were headed towards Dieter Brothers Restaurant in tiny Lindsay, Texas, population 733. The menu is wide and varied with salads, steaks and pizza, but BBQ was the only thing on my mind. I ordered a two meat plate with sliced beef and pork ribs. The spare ribs were enormous, but all that meat came with a thick layer of poorly rendered fat. The rest of the meat was fatigued from being stored creating a tough exterior while the interior remained tender. The flavor of the meat good with smoky undertones. The brisket was better with lean slices of picture perfect meat with its rosy smokeline and black crust. The smokiness went deep into the meat, but there was little flavor complexity. Every slice was moist and pull-apart tender, and the accompanying sides were also delicious. Next time, I'll plan to drop by during a lunch rush rather than at 4:00 on a Sunday, and hope the freshly smoked meats don't look or taste so tired.

Rating ***
Dieter Brothers Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Bubba's Bar-B-Q

ENNIS: Bubba’s Bar-B-Q
210 I-45 S
Ennis, TX 75119
Open Daily 11–9

This joint is all about meat. There is a large cooling case at the entrance where you can choose your own raw steak to be grilled per your specifications. Whether you want steak or bbq, everyone waits in the same line...unless you choose to sit and order from the menu. I know, it's confusing. While admiring the large model planes hanging from the ceiling, we waited in the line and got a look at some nice black brisket. We ordered sliced brisket and ribs, and the brisket was a specimen to behold with a thick rosy smoke line and the aforementioned black crust. The smoky flavor permeated the meat, but it was unfortunately dry. The flavor was also lacking complexity beyond the good smokiness. The ribs had a rub that provided a sweet undertone to the mild smoky flavor. The pork was also a bit dry, but the overall flavor was good.

Rating ***

Bubba's Bar-B-Q & Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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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.