Monday, August 20, 2012

Bob's Bar-B-Que

HENDERSON: Bob's Bar-B-Que 
1205 Pope St. 
Henderson, TX 75652 
Open Tues-Sat 11-7 

This joint is a family affair run by the tight-lipped Bob Allen, his wife and son. A steel wood-fired pit was hidden by a fence, and they weren’t willing to give us a tour. Bob assured us that “there’s no gas up on this hill.” It’s all hickory that runs these pits. I took my order to the far end of the dining room to see just what these mystery pits might produce.

Ribs were thin and on the dry side, but not too much so. The subtle seasoning did little to hide the smoky flavor of the tender meat. The hot boudain lived up to its name with plenty of spice and good snappy casing. The last cut I tried was the brisket. It was sad uniform rectangles of gray beef with all of the fat and crust cut away. When I bit into it I was surprised by the moist meat and the hint of smoke that remained. Maybe they were holding out on me. I walked back to the counter and asked for some dark and crusty end cuts. They were happy to oblige and what I got was much improved. The fat had melted into the subtle salt rub like meat candy, and the deep black crust was smoky and crackled a bit in my teeth. I had to ask Bob why he wasn't serving this stuff to begin with, and he said the customers expect ultra-lean beef, so he gives it to him. The difference between these two briskets was incredible, and I was sad to know that the majority of people prefer the first version. Now that I knew how to order the brisket here, I grabbed a couple of pounds to go. Some friends in Nacogdoches were going to be very happy.

Rating ***


TKSsBBQ said...

Man that kinda brisket is old school east TX. I grew up in Tyler and my grandparents live in Henderson. They love Bob's because he serves his brisket dry with every single piece of fat cut off. All there friends love it b/c of that and they all get it and take it home. In the 70's and 80's there was a place called Sadler's smokehouse....many ownership changes later its still there but not sure they even serve BBQ. They served brisket just like Bob does and everyone ate thing in town. Completely dry BBQ brisket sandwiches devoid off any fat and the whole town used to eat there until they sold out and changed to a buffet. I grew up eating that kinda BBQ which is why I didn't really get into BBQ until I moved to Fort Worth about 15 years ago. Drinking a glass of water to eat dry BBQ is not my thing. We eat at Bob's everytime we go to Henderson but I always ask him for the fatty cuts too..not trimmed or you will get what you got in the box. Bob is 100% correct. What he serves is exactly what they want in Henderson.

Mike said...

good comment


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.