Saturday, September 5, 2009

Randy's Bar-B-Que

DENISON: Randy’s Bar-B-Que
3315 Woodlawn Blvd

Denison, TX 75020


Open Tues-F 10-6, Sat 10-3

If you're looking for Randy's then you'll have to keep an eye out for the faded sign that reads "Lew's Bar-B-Q" out in front of this little shack in a gas station parking lot. The confusion is warranted unless you know that Randy took over ownership from Lew a while back, but kept Lew on to keep making his famous sausage stuffed jalapenos. I guess changing the sign just wasn't a priority. Orders here are strictly to-go, and I got a sack full of those fried jalapenos along with a rib sandwich and a brisket sandwich.

The ribs, seasoned with only smoke, had a good smokey flavor but little else. The ribs were dry and chewy with layers of poorly rendered fat. Each bite had decent flavor, you just really have to work for it. The brisket was in another class of 'cue. These slices had a layer of perfectly rendered fat enveloping beautiful moist slices of tender beef. The well formed crust and prominent smoke ring helped create a robust smokey flavor that lingered on the tongue.

The stuffed jalapenos are a regional oddity. These are not the cheese filled crispy nuggets you may be used to. Real jalapenos are hollowed out and filled with a spicy ground sausage and onion mixture. The peppers are then battered a deep fried, until the breading puffs into a chewy golden coating. These puppies are filling and hot. These peppers have not been castrated of their pith and seeds, and they really pack a whallop to the tastebuds.

Randy's or Lew's...who cares what the name is with brisket like this. I'll be back here to get some more of those slices, but I might just skip the ribs.

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.