Monday, April 23, 2012

Virginia Barbeque

ARLINGTON: Virginia Barbeque
2290 SE Green Oaks Blvd. Ste. 100
Arlington, TX 76018
Open S-Thur 11-9, F-Sat 11-10

If you're not going to do beef well, then don't bother smoking brisket. That's especially important when you open a BBQ joint in Texas and it's called Virginia Barbeque. Their website specifically points out that they only do pulled rather than sliced brisket, and the Arlington location of this growing chain would have been wise to heed their CEO's words. Their meat cutter isn't so familiar with this muscle.

Every bit of brisket I got had been sliced with the grain. Given that it was also undercooked, it made for an especially chewy meal. There was nothing redeeming about it.

It's pulled pork shoulder that is the chain's specialty, and what would be better to order than the Virginia version? Unlike the Carolina version with vinegar sauce that's also on the menu, this one is mixed with a sweet tomato sauce. It's perfect for a sloppy joe BBQ sandwich, but not particularly smoky. I couldn't really get much of the pork flavor either. Ribs on the other hand were undeniably porky. They were on the drier side, but not too dry. The overwhelming flavor wasn't the rub or the smoke, but of ham. I'm not sure if these had been cured in some way like some pink salt in the rub (I doubt it), a extra long trip inside the smoker (they weren't that dry), or an extended dip in a salt brine (more likely, but unconfirmed). Either way, they had the right level of tenderness, and were still pleasing enough.

Sides showed some love with tempura-like and herb seasoned onion rings, sweet and salty corn muffins and some respectable banana pudding. They may have provided a few things to return for, but don't get the beef.

Rating **

No comments:


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.