Friday, August 24, 2012

Watts & Watts Bar-B-Que

SAN AUGUSTINE: Watts & Watts Bar-B-Que
200 N US Highway 96
San Augustine, TX 75972
Open M-Thur 11-9, F-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-6

If a barbecue joint is going to get just one menu item right, it's more common to see a decent rib than worthwhile brisket. At this East Texas joint they found a way to harness the hickory smoke to create some respectable beef, but the pork didn't fare so well.

A single thick slice from the brisket was included on the combo plate. Alone, it probably would have tipped the scales at a quarter pound. Too bad that the point and the flat were sliced together. Since the grain in the two muscles is perpendicular, half of the slice will be cut with the grain instead of against it if they aren't separated. The portion here from the flat was tender and smoky, if a bit dry. The fat was nicely rendered, but the slice through the point took some chewing to get through the grain. A link of boudin was well cooked, but it lacked the good smoke of the beef. Thick pork ribs were poorly undercooked. Layers of tough meat and unrendered fat made for some unpleasant bites, so I just moved on to the potato salad and dirty rice. Both were fine, but the brisket proved most memorable.

Rating **

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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.