Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen

DALLAS: Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen
6130 Luther Ln

Dallas, TX, 75225


Open (For BBQ) M 11-2 & 5-10

300. With this review, that's how many BBQ joint reviews are up on this website. Thank God for statins.

I learned about BBQ Mondays at Blue Plate from a quick description in the Observer, and I had always been curious about their lunch-menu-only brisket sandwich. Arriving at the restaurant (it's hard to call it joint given the white tablecloths) I encountered the smoking rig belching a mixture of oak and hickory smoke. It smelled legitimate.

I was even happier after noticing on the menu that for $11.99 I could get a a plate of brisket, ribs, pulled pork, or all three. Guess what I chose?

Dear Mr. Rathbun. You are a great chef. I enjoyed a memorable birthday dinner at Abacus earlier this year, and I thank you for it. I also thank you for providing authentically smoked meats at your fancy restaurant in Preston Center. Now, why on earth would you pour sauce all over this beautifully smoked meat, and serve more on the side? It is not necessary to employ an age old trick to cover the flavor of mediocre meat when the meat actually tastes great on its own. I implore you to educate your kitchen staff, and change this policy to sauce on the side only.

I was able to rescue a few tasty morsels from below the sweet tomatoey deluge. Slices of brisket were from the point, and the fat was rendered to an exemplary silky texture. A well formed crust and smokering helped provide a bold flavor and excellent smokiness to the meat. This was good eating grade brisket. Pulled pork also had good smoke, along with tasty bits of bark mixed in with the moist meat. The only meat that fell short was the rib. A single baby back topped off the protein pile. It had been basted with sauce, so it had no bark and little smoke flavor. The meat was moist, tender and well cooked, but was easily surpassed by the other two offerings. A side of vinegar slaw was interestingly fresh with crunchy cabbage and possibly iceberg lettuce mixed in. Surfboard shaped cornbread bites were served with butter and apple butter, and were incredibly addictive. I can't wait to try them again with a plate of brisket...sauce on the side.

Rating ***
Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Doug Zedler said...

So, why don't you just ask for sauce on the side at every joint? Could it be perceived as an insult, or are you testing them?

BBQ Snob said...

I just like to see how they'd serve it to anyone. On any second visit, I then know how to order it.

Anonymous said...

Seems like it ruins lots of your trips. I'd just tell them. You can look around and probably figure out how it's coming out of the kitchen.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

You could ask if the meat is served sauced, and if so, note this in your review. Likewise, you could automatically dock the joint a star for doing so.


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.