Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rix Pit BBQ & Discount Warehouse

FT. STOCKTON: Rix Pit BBQ & Discount Warehouse
1712 N Front St
Fort Stockton, TX 79735
Open M-F 11-8

Guest Contributor: Cousin Ryan was lawyering over in west Texas, and offered up this review of a joint in Ft. Stockton.

As you walk up to Rix Pit BBQ & Discount Warehouse, something won't seem right. On the one hand, the smell of the bar-b-que smoker draws you in, whetting your appetite and making you anticipate the succulent meat inside. Yet the outside entrance made of brick and manufactured walls give the impression you're about to walk into a small-town hardware store.

If you had either thought, you'd be right, which is why this is not just a BBQ restaurant but also a "Discount Warehouse." Inside the front door you are surrounded by the trappings of a small town general store, with hardware and tools on your right and souvenirs and medical scrubs on your left (sadly, the hardware section was closed during our visit). As you pass through the "Discount Warehouse" the glow of neon beer signs lights your way toward the barbeque line where, on this day, the lunch special was chicken fried steak that looked incredible, and could be had with two sides for about $7.

Instead, so as to provide a consistent review with other barbeque joints, I had the brisket, sausage, and ribs, with bread, potatoes and gravy, and corn (aprox $13 for the three meat plate with two sides).

The restaurant offers two types of sauce - sweet and tangy. The brisket was lean and disappointingly lacked the smoky flavor I would have expected given the aroma outside. However, the taste was good although I would have preferred a slightly juicier sampling. The sausage was succulent - not too spicy, not too fatty. It was just about perfect. What the brisket lacked in smoke was made up for by the ribs. With a little tugging the ribs fell nicely off the bone while eating, and had a great smoky flavor that was complemented nicely by the tangy sauce. The corn and potatoes were as expected, neither remarkable nor distracting. Everything was freshly made. The cobbler comes in peach, cherry, or apple, and is worth saving room for. The crust is sweet and the apples in our sample tasted fresh.

Although the restaurant has limited hours and closes at 8PM, it was probably the best restaurant I have visited in my 5 trips to Ft. Stockton, and is worth the visit if you need a place to stop for lunch or dinner as you travel across I-10.

Rating ***
Rix Pit BBQ & Discount Warehouse 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.