Today's the Day!
I've been and returned!
I went for lunch on Thursday, June 2, 2011.
My friend and I both are experienced BBQ smokers, (over 25 years smoking BBQ for me), and have frequented BBQ establishments all of our lives.
I first went around back to see what they were cooking with. The are using wood, and they have a little separate smoker with exhaust. So it looks like the real thing. That's good!
I purchased a combo pulled pork and ribs for $11 something; their web site is down at the moment so I can't get the details. I also added a brisket for $3.95. This came with 2 sides; I chose collards and green beans, and a thick slice of toast. The sides were pretty small portions, nondescript but OK. I didn't try the bread, but it looked good.
The ribs were good, the brisket was pretty good, but the pulled pork was on the weak side for my tastes - it was somewhat dry, and only had a slight wood flavor. It also didn't look anything like the picture on the web site. There was no 'bark' at all, but this place may hold it back like other places, in case you don't want it. I don't usually ask for it when I'm trying it for the first time, so I can see what it will be like for most people. Frequently, if you ask for it, they will provide some on your plate.
My friend had a combo - pulled pork and and chicken. He said his opinion was the pulled pork was OK, but he didn't care for the chicken. He didn't elaborate. I don't ever get chicken at a BBQ place, since BBQ is pork, and if in a generous mood, you can include brisket, so I wasn't too interested.
Here's my opinion.
I base mine on 10 points. 10 is top, best I can find, 0 is the worst I've ever had - I've never had a 0, and I would go outside and puke if I did. 5 is neutral - it's OK, neither particularly good or bad. 3-4 would be something out of a can. I wouldn't ever go back to anything below 5 unless nuclear event. I've never had a 10 at a commercial establishment, only at home-cooked BBQ, and that's understandable - they are trying to provide you with a good product for a good price, and they simply can't put the time and effort into it that someone at home can do. So that really will usually leave you with 6 - 9 for most establishments.
- Pulled pork - a little dry, but OK. Some smoke, but needed more smoke flavor. I'd say 6.5 out of 10. But this is just the first time, and no one is 100% consistent, so next time will be the charm.
- Brisket - pretty good, tender and flavorful. I'd say 7.5 out of 10
- Ribs - this was the best part of the meal. Not the best I've had locally, but I liked it. I'd say 8 out of 10.
- Sides (the only two I had were collards and green beans) - I'd say 5 out of 10.
- Would I eat here again? Yes
- Would I recommend it to BBQ afflicted? Yes
- Service - good. Quick, efficient, friendly.
- Ambiance - typical strip mall BBQ joint. Clean, busy, smells pretty good with hints of smoke.
- Value - very good. Less expensive than some places I've been.