Monday, August 13, 2012

Caddo Grocery

UNCERTAIN: Caddo Grocery
199 Cypress Drive
Uncertain, TX 75661
Open ?

There's not much about Uncertain, Texas that feels like Texas. The moss hanging from the bald cypress trees down into Caddo Lake look a whole lot more like Louisiana. When the fan boats came screaming by the dock out behind Caddo Grocery as we walked in, I half expected to see smoked gator on the menu. A few men sitting outside followed us in, one being the owner who would soon fulfill our order.

Inside, we ordered from the "Vittle Menu" where ribs, pulled pork and sausage were featured. All plates came with good spicy pinto beans and a fresh crunchy slaw. Thick and meaty St. Louis ribs were well cooked. The moist and tender meat could have used more smoke, but all that seasoning hindered a good crust formation. The powdery rub made for a dry, pasty texture and the juices of the meat ran red from all the paprika. A more subtle seasoning would probably have made for some very good ribs.

The pulled pork was better, but it received a significant boost from the homemade spicy mustard sauce. The sauce was so good I bought a mason jar full. The meat was pulled and chopped into a generous pile on a barely warmed bun. Smoke was light on the pork, but it was tender without being mushy and moist enough to hold together nicely on the sandwich. Throwing a bit of the crunchy slaw on top, I could have been in South Carolina. If you're in this part of East Texas, you could do a lot worse than this tiny store. The fellas from the porch tried to come up with some good barbecue leads for us in nearby Marshall, but none of their recommendations had much conviction. I think they were plenty happy with the smoked meat here in Uncertain, and I was too.

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.