Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Duncan's Smokehouse Pit Bar-B-Que

VERNON: Duncan's Smokehouse Pit Bar-B-Que
829 Wilbarger St

Vernon, TX 76384


Open Tues-Thur 11-2 & 5-8 F-Sat 11-2 & 5-9

It was Summer's Last Blast weekend in Vernon, and the classic cars were everywhere. The revving of engines was incessant, and the streets were packed. I pulled off the main drag into the Duncan's Smokehouse parking area to run in and grab a to go order.

Watching the staff open a residential oven to retrieve the foil wrapped meats was not a good sign. Then I watched as they sliced brisket from a rolled portion of the familiar muscle. Ribs and hot links were also part of the package.

Both brisket and ribs were awful, and should not have been labeled 'barbecue'. The meat were overtender, underseasoned and straight up oven-baked protein. There wasn't much to like until I bit into the bright red hot link.

Normally in a link of this bright red color, I would expect a hot dog like texture on the interior with a faint one dimensional heat. This one however had great seasoning and fine-to-medium grind with real identifiable heat. While the link was also not smoked on site, it had plenty of good flavor and a satisfying bite. It's too bad the rest of the meal was so poor and that so little attempt goes into making real barbecue here.

Rating *
Duncan's Smoke House 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.