Sunday, April 29, 2012

Belli Deli

Hwy 96
Kirbyville, TX 75956

Looking in vain for the much heralded jerky of the now closed Lazy H Smokehouse in Kirbyville, we happened upon the Belli Deli. A sign said BBQ just south of town on the west side of Highway 96, and we had to stop. No other customers were around, and I was beginning to wonder if there were any employees as I waited in the small foyer. To the left was a menu and an unmanned ordering window, and to the right was a door which suddenly opened to reveal a drum set, a few pieces of furniture and a rush of funny smelling smoke. The smoke I smelled outside the joint was odd, but this was all the confirmation I needed to know that they're not just smoking with wood at this joint.

A older man named John with a gravely voice talked up the brisket as he sawed off a few slices from the cold slab of meat. He urged me not to worry because he was only going to slightly warm it in the microwave. Very reassuring. He put a couple of ribs on the plate and, with his back turned, he ladled on some sauce before serving. The meats were smoked with oak, pecan and some fruitwood. Brisket had a solid smokiness, but had been overcooked to the point of crumbling. It may have been pretty good about 10 hours earlier. Huge spare ribs probably weren't good at any point on this day. Way over-smoked with a creosote flavor, they were also dried out and chewy with lots of unrendered fat.There just wasn't much to like here, and the ding of the microwave just added insult to injury.

Rating *

1 comment:

Jason said...

Just close it down, John. You clearly just don't care.


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.