Thursday, December 10, 2009

Earl's Rib Palace

OKLAHOMA: Earl's Rib Palace
6816 N. Western

Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Open M-Sat 11-9, Sun 11-8

If there's an option on the menu with a name like "Earl's Binge", you know I'm ordering it. I've been coming to Earl's for years now when I visit OKC because it is the preferred joint of my family there. I'm normally drawn to the Smokestack sandwich, but on this day I needed a wider variety of protein offerings.

Along with perfectly crispy okra and a creamy yet chunky cole slaw, the Earl's Binge plate comes with ribs, brisket, hot links and bologna. Bologna tasted very little of smoke, and could have been warmed in a pan for all I could tell. Hot links had a bologna-like consistency with a one-dimensional heat with little additional flavor. Brisket was flavorful and moist, but lacked a solid smokiness. On this plate, the best item was the smoky rib with a well formed crust. The meat was moist and not overcooked, but the fat could have been more well rendered.

The real standout on this menu is the Smokestack. Layers of chopped brisket, hot link slices, barbecue sauce and cole slaw melt together between two halves of a buttered and lightly grilled bun. These items alone are decent, but together they create an incredible sandwich bursting with different flavors that work so well together.

After a pretty good meal, the rating of this joint was right on the edge, but the beauty of the Smokestack sandwich gives this joint the edge.

Rating ***
Earl's Rib Palace on Urbanspoon


JR said...

3 stars...really?
The brisket flavor is OK. No bark and it's waaaay overdone. So much so that they have to cut it into 3/4 in slices and even then it falls apart.

Corporate que at its finest IMO.

BBQ Snob said...

I apologize, but when I assign a star rating (based on distance worth traveling) to BBQ joints, I must take into account their location. This one being in OKC was simply better than the average in the area (which happens to be pretty bad), so along with that and their tasty smokestack sandwich, they got the extra star.

OK BBQ Eaters Anonymous said...

There was a time that I considered Earl's good BBQ.

Then I learned what real good BBQ is. I don't eat at Earl's anymore.


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.