Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cyclone Corral

CYCLONE: Cyclone Corral
18188 Cyclone Rd
Burlington, TX 76519
Open F-Sat dinner only from 1st of May 'til end of October

I've been to some out the way places, but when you're a good fifteen miles outside of Temple, Texas, then you're out there. Janell (Mikeska) Kasberg, no relation to the El Campo, Temple or Taylor Mikeskas, runs this joint all through the heat of the summer. It opens during the rarely mild month of May, and stays open until October. The venue is entirely outdoors save the small bar, and there is no AC. After watching a great video about the joint, I was worried when the temps were topping out over 100 the Saturday I chose to dine there. Once seated in the huge dining room, it was evident that the cross breezes and the fans were going to create a surprisingly comfortable dining environment. Now that the heat of summer has passed, you have one more month to snag one of those tables before they shut down for the winter.

Dining area

It takes little more than five minutes for your food to arrive. No orders are taken here since it's family style. Our table was almost immediately covered in corn, cole slaw, potato salad, beans and three different meats.

Brisket was sliced thin, but the well formed crust was evident. It lent a nice smoky overtone to the slices, and it made for some very tender meat. The flavor was subtle sine they use little or no rub, but the meat was above average. The only problem was how quickly it dried while sitting on our plate. You could almost watch it curl during the meal.

Sausage was a well spiced and well smoked pork sausage. The casing had a good snap, and it was so good, my wife even liked it. Pork ribs were the best item. They had a great bark, good smoke, and a flavorful rub. The meat was perfectly cooked, and came from the bone with just a tug.

All the staff wear the 'No TOFU' shirts.

The smoker is out back, and they cook with direct heat in an old cotton gin dryer. The pitmaster showed me around, and explained that he starts the meat right over the hottest part of the fire, and moves it away in stages until it's off the fire completely on the warm side of the pit. Regardless of the method, the outcome was very good.

Rating ****
Cyclone Corral on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent Ribs & Brisket. Fun family atmosphere!


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.