Friday, January 11, 2013

Sam’s Bar-B-Que (Odessa)

ODESSA: Sam's Bar-B-Que
500 S Dixie Blvd
Odessa, TX 79761
Open M-Sat 11-9

This joint is hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for. Inside a convenience store, toward the back and past the empty produce display case that now serves as a make-shift TV stand, there is a barbecue counter. I ordered a combo of the Texas trinity with a few sides, but as I was waiting at the counter for the order I noticed the dutch oven full of hot grease on the stove top back in the kitchen where a lady was frying chicken. It had a been a few days of straight smoked meat, so I needed a few pieces of that chicken.

The sausage had great flavor. The salt was heavy along with some herbs, and there was just enough fat to keep it plenty moist. The ribs and brisket both tasted like yesterday's meat. The ribs were tough and undercooked, but with great mesquite flavor from the coals they were cooked over. The brisket had the same great wood flavor, but really needed some seasoning. The meat had a beautiful crust and smokering, but the meat was just tough. A side of beans was fine, but the smooth, homemade potato salad was great.

I was in serious need of some vegetables so I snagged some steamed okra and cabbage along with the dark meat chicken. I appreciated the simplicity of each item that really allowed the flavor of the base ingredient to shine, but they all benefited greatly from a sprinkle of the salt shaker on the table. The chicken was crisp and juicy - fried perfectly. It too needed a bit of the salt, but that was an easy fix.

This is the Odessa location of the previously reviewed Sam's in Midland. I've recently gotten some negative comments from folks who visited the Midland location based on my positive review. My feeling when I was there was that I may have gotten them on a very good day, and maybe what I got at the Odessa location was more on par with the norm at Sam's. Either way it was still good for West Texas, if not great overall.

Rating ***

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I stopped in by pure coincidence one day after work. I found a place that transported me back to younger days in my life and I am so very glad I did. If you get the chance to stop in I would definitely recommend it. I work out here in the Odessa area often and I will be stopping in every time.


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.