An excellent barbecue stop from start to finish. Traditional methods & recipies; dedication to craft; and attention to detail produce great food and loyal customers. Breadth of the menu did not dilute the quality of the barbecue. This is a model of success that other restaurants should study.
- Chopped - Hand Chopped. Even with the vinegar-based dip from the kitchen, the smoke comes shining through. Many textures here: outside brown; shreds; chunks. Excellent.
The barbecue was above average, but the strawberry cobbler was a winner. Although the sliced was a bit dry, I preferred it over the chopped today. While I enjoyed the flavors in the chopped, I just couldn't get over the mushy texture of the meat (machine processed). Next time I will try the chicken and apple turnovers.
- Sliced - There is a sweetness on the meat. A bit of pink indicates smoke, but it is very mild. Although appearances would lead you to believe it is too dry... it is not.
- Chopped - Using a buffalo chopper... run very thoroughly. Texture is mushy. Dipped in the kitchen, it is a flavorful mix of meats.
I thought the sliced was better than the chopped today... primarily because it seemed the fresher of the two. The atmosphere and dip are unique, and must be experienced.
- Sliced - Smoky flavor does come through. Fork tender, with a little chew. Bonus for not being held in a steam pan.
- Chop - More fat = more flavor! Mushy... this has been held awhile? Chunks have a much better texture and smoke flavor. I like the fact that it is hand-chopped.
This joint has a solid history and good local following. My favorites were the banana pudding, Brunswick Stew, and BBQ Slaw.
- Sliced - This has been in a steam tray for quite a while. It is lean and very tender. Would be good with some fried rice, or as sweet-and-sour pork.
- Chopped - Buffalo chopper in use... meat is "minced". Moist & Tender, but where is the smoke flavor?
Solid joint with our favorites being the homemade banana pudding and pimento cheese. Barbecue is good after being re-heated and held... but excellent when consumed fresh from the smoker. Double-Boner takes a quart of pimento cheese to-go!
- Course Chop - Tender meat. Pork chop flavors. Moist & good.
- Slice - Getting a lot more smoke flavor on the slice. Very moist.
- Both main fare products had been either steamed or re-heated
- Deano brings some fresh outside brown. This is fabulous! Too bad we weren't served this at the start.
The food was in the average to good range, but with much less smoke flavor than we're used to getting. Because of time constraints, this joint was chosen over barbecue in Shelby. Would should have kept on moving, because after being in Lexington earlier this afternoon, M&K doesn't make a lasting impression on us.
- Slice - Tender & moist. Not sauced/dipped in the kitchen. Less smoke that we've seen elsewhere today. Baked?
- Chop - Good mix of meats here. Very moist/wet/watery (steam tray?).
Smoke Daddy, XO, Gus, and Jack thought the hot link was excellent. Ribs and beans were good, with the ribs narrowly missing an excellent mark. We were disappointed that we arrived too late to try the sliced brisket and cobbler.
This is just the type of joint that our BBQ Tours crew loves: Family owned/operated; No pretense; Making authentic barbecue everyday, and complementing it with homemade sides/desserts. We will be back!
- Ribs - Bark was a bit tough, but the meat underneath was worthy of the effort. These ribs have good smoke and are fully rendered. The meat is tender and juicy... but very salty. Salt from rub has penetrated through the meat, making the pork flavor take a back seat to the salt. These small ribs may have been over-rubbed (and likely kept warm for some time). They were good, but missed greatness today.
- Hot Link - Delicious. This Smokey Denmark sausage is enhanced by the pitmaster's efforts. XO feels that it is in the same league as Drexler's house-made links. Gus calls it "meat candy". It is the best meat we sample here today.
- Chopped Brisket - It is obvious that Travis and Donna are frugal in their ways, and come from a 'waste not, want not' tradition. However, there were too many chunks of subcutaneous (surface) fat included in this mixture. Instead of "chopped beef", our tray resembled "chopped fat with beef". No rating given.
XO, Smoke Daddy, Gus, and Jack would return for the ribs, sausage, and beans. Solid effort across the board. This restaurant in the Bishop Arts district felt like a barbecue place - even though it is just over 2 years old. High praise from XO: "Atmosphere is about as good as a new, urban barbecue joint can be." Keep up the good work -- we'll be back!
- Spare Ribs - Gigantic and shockingly excellent, given their size. Good color, meat/smoke flavor, texture. Fully rendered. Simple seasoning and not over-seasoned. Well done! Gus rates them a 5 out of 5.
- Lean - Slices were a bit light on intramuscular fat, but there was a thick layer of exterior fat left on each slice. Beefy, with a good smoke flavor, especially around the edges/ends. XO feels they could have been more tender if given a bit more time.
- Fatty - Moist & tender. Fully rendered, with a texture approaching melt-in-the-mouth. Beefy flavor dominates. Gus is reminded of Robyn's pot roast... and his comparison is accurate, except for the outermost edges. Only trace amount of smoke is present here.
- Pork Chop - Tender and extremely moist (Injected?). Same smoke issue as the fatty brisket... none penetrates into the heart of the chop. Edges and meat closest to the bone are the best.
- Kruez Sausage - Beefy, crumbly, loose-packed sausage with a black pepper kick. This is what real sausage tastes like!
Smoke Daddy, XO, and Gus would return for Kielbasa and barbecue beans. Most of the barbecue was tainted with bad smoke and/or spiced to the point that the meat was unrecognizable. Sides and desserts were pretty good, but skip the plain pintos in favor of the tangy barbecue beans.
- Sliced Brisket - Smoke & Salt. Firm, stand-up style brisket. Looks tender. A bit rough on the smoke.
- Rib - Good color and ring. Texture is OK, even if the rib is a bit dry. However, application of smoke and spice are overwhelming.
- Kielbasa - Good meaty sausage. Nice flavors here.
- Pulled Pork - Seasoned with table sauce??? Not sure, but the combination of sauce and smoke wipes out any meat flavor.
- Chopped Brisket - Spiced with a spice blend not found on our table. Flavor profile is weird, and so bold that you can't tast the beef.
- Jalapeno-Cheese Sausage - Good spice. OK sausage... but feels like its trying too hard to be popular. XO calls it "Liberace Meat".
Smoke Daddy, XO, and Phil Chelf would come back for the brisket, beans, and cobbler. The ribs were nearly done, and if fully rendered would also be very good. 20+ year history and nice folks make this a pleasant surprise in strip center barbecue.
- Brisket - Beefy & fully rendered. Tender meat with just a bit of chew. Good. Not too much smoke, but it is evident around the edges.
- Rib - Good color. Lightly rubbed. Good meaty flavor and finished with a sweet glaze. Mine was 'mostly done', But XO and Phil's needed more time in the smoker -- not fully rendered.
- Sausage - Commercial texture with a 'unique' spice blend. Spice profile clashes with the sauce. Not a favorite.
- Hot link - Richer flavor with a bit of kick. Consistency is still commercial-style, but flavor is good.