Friday, June 5, 2009

Jesus Bar-B-Que

FT. WORTH: Jesus Bar-B-Que
810 South Main Street

Fort Worth, TX 76104


Open M-Sat 10-10

On a leasurely Saturday afternoon, Smokemasterone and I ambled back to my car after a tour of the Rahr Brewery in Fort Worth's industrial district just south of I-30. We enjoyed some excellent chopped beef and sausage from Longoria's at the brewery, but just a block away sits Jesus Bar-B-Q (& Mexican Food) so we couldn't pass it up. The vines growing on the sign attest to its age, and the fact they give nothing away (water to go is $0.35) is probably a symptom of having a flophouse named the Bunkhouse just next door.

The interior was sparse with few patrons. It seems that their to go business is more popular than the cramped booths, so the waitress didn't hesitate to take our order from the counter right as we walked in. I ordered a two meat plate with sliced brisket and ribs, and she immediately began packing up the order. I wasn't given a choice of sides, but later learned that perfectly crisp french fries and a meager salad dressed with thousand island were the only choices.

As we waited for our order to be bagged, we munched on a lemon fried pie that was a few minutes past fresh, but still tasty. Surprisingly, our order came with a bag of chips and salsa which is a first for me in my BBQ travails. I also noticed as I was about to leave that handmade business cards were available for the taking. Any benevolent printing company out there would do themselves well to trade a few hundred cards for some of this 'cue.

Inside the car, the smell of smoke wafted from the styrofoam container. Not expecting much from a Mexican/BBQ joint we sunk our teeth into the molten hot pork ribs. They were sloppily carved and a bit tough, but the flavor of the well formed crust was bold and smoky, and the meat inside was also full of flavor. The brisket was taughtly sliced with a well formed crust and a minute smoke line. The moist meat had a beefy flavor tinged with smoke, and I suspect it shared the rub ingredients that coated the ribs which were none.

Jesus challenged my preconceived notions of a joint that doesn't just specialize in their 'cue. Given my expectations, I was tempted to give it a higher rating, but comparing it to my previous body of work made me realize that even Jesus needs some work to perfect his smoked meat.

Rating **
Jessie's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon


PM Summer said...

"...even Jesus needs some work to perfect his smoked meat."

I don't think you want to go to His smoker.


I've seen that place while on the same field trip. I'll have to try it, now.

Rib Bone said...

I wish I had some current intelligence (probably ought to stop there...) about this spot, but I can offer some history. I first ate there probably 34 years ago when I was introduced to it by a couple of police officers I knew who regularly stopped there to eat while on patrol. At the time it had both the best Tex-Mex and best 'cue in Cowtown, in my opinion. I continued to eat there off and on over a few years while I lived near downtown, but then had a long gap of several years after I moved to the 'burbs and got married. When I tried it again, they had changed cooks and the flophouse had moved in. Both the food quality and the folks hanging around outside had deteriorated enough that I haven't gone back for a couple of decades, but this review suggests that I ought to at give at least the food another chance.


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.