Monday, June 20, 2011

Chasin' Tail BBQ

8656 Stemmons Frwy.

Hickory Creek, TX 75065


Open Thur-Sat 11-9, Sun 11-7

I understand the need for continued brand recognition, but I'm not sure that Chasin' Tail BBQ was well enough known as a competition BBQ team to warrant branding their new restaurant with the mildly suggestive name. Spotting it along I-35, I noticed the 'BBQ' on the sign, but all my wife noticed at 70 mph was 'Chasin' Tail'. I made a verbal note to return on the drive back in a couple of days, and she wanted to know why I was planning a family strip club adventure on a Sunday.

I half expected to see at least a stage with a pole when I walked inside, but it looked much like it did when Doc was tending the pits. I quickly noticed the QCard sign, but the only way to take advantage of the deal was to order two plates. The wife wasn't interested, but I knew my daughter would gnaw on a rib so I went for two combo plates with brisket, ribs, turkey and pulled pork.

The pulled pork was wet, and I don't mean sauced. It was soggy like it had been sitting under a metal lid whose condensation was raining down with authority. The flavors were washed out and the meat had little smoke. This turkey had some oomph with a heavy rub that had some black pepper and cayenne. The meat was juicy, smoky and satisfying.

This joint bills itself as 'competition style' meaning for ribs you can expect a sweet glaze or sauce atop agressively flavored meat. All of flavors had a good balance between spice and sweet, and the ribs were well cooked, but it was just missing a good level of smokiness. Brisket had a bit more smoke with a decent crust. The meat was over-tender, but that meant the fat was nicely rendered. For competition style, this certainly needed more flavor which were provided with a dip in the excellent sauce. It wasn't a thick sauce and was thankfully not too sweet. A bit of kick was added with visible bits of cracked black pepper and a hint of cayenne. A splash of vinegar gave it balance that was perfect for dipping slices of brisket or the grilled Texas Toast.

Sides didn't seem homemade, but they all had a few extra touches after the cans were opened. Beans tasted like they had some of the sauce mixed in and the green beans had some extra zing. A pretty good banana pudding is also offered as a side. If you want to try all the meats and sides, they have an all you can eat offer for all menu items at just $18.49. Maybe next time I'll have to come alone so I can do some proper tail chasin'.

Rating ***
Chasin' Tail BBQ on Urbanspoon

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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.