Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.

— Robert Redford

ssweeney's Review of Smokehouse Bar B Que

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Brisket still needs some more time to become fork tender, but some bitterness is already present here. 
  • Rib has a pretty clean flavor, and the right amount of dry rub that has a bit of spice.  Flavors are good and the rib has rendered fully... in fact it is cooked to the point that the rib is completely falling apart.
  • Sausage is a commercial product such as Hillshire Farms, but the casing is nicely crisp and 'snaps' to give access to the soft interior.
  • Beef link is overcooked.  Crisp and chewy casing packs a good meaty flavor, but even the insides are dry.  There is a nice spice on the finish.
  • Hot link is the standard variety: red casing; hot dog consistency.  It is salty with some heat at the end.

ssweeney's Review of D M Barbeque

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Sausage is VERY good!  A meaty flavor explosion with this beef/pork mix.  This has a good flavor profile, and great spice on the finish. Excellent.
  • Brisket is stand-up type.  Firm, but clean and tasty.
  • Rib is big, chewy, and fatty.  We arrive early, and these look really excellent, but still need more time to fully render.  They will be very good when finished... and are still above average, even when pulled too soon.

ssweeney's Review of Pitt Stop Bar-B-Que

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Brisket is falling apart tender...  It has been sauced and sitting in a steam tray for quite a while.  It seems silly to go to the trouble of preparing real pit barbecue, and then slicing it and holding in a steam tray.  Folks in Kansas City love this method, but Texans generally want to see their brisket carved off the roast when they order it.  Flavor is OK, but (as expected) texture is mush.
  • Ribs are also pulled from a steam tray.  There is a nice rub on the rib... but how can it still be chewy after being kept in the steam pan?
  • The sausage has a homeade bologna/salami flavor profile, with a nice spice on the finish.
  • Hot link is loosely packed, with a heat that grows and grows... until it overpowers everything else.
  • Note: Meat scores could be increased simply by finding a method of keeping food warm that does not compromise the integrity of the texture, and by keeping roasts whole until serving time.

ssweeney's Review of Lufkin Bar-B-Q

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Brisket - Finally, somebody using a dry rub.  Lean, flavorful, and accordian tender.
  • Rib is very smokey and fully rendered.  Nice flavor and texture.  Crisp/chewy on exterior, and moist and tender inside.
  • Sausage has a similar taste to homeade bologna or salami.

ssweeney's Review of CCs Smokehouse

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Brisket is chunky, chewy, and sweet
  • The rib has a pork chop consistency... chewy & needs more time to fully render.  It has a sweet glaze on the finish, but that can't make up for the chewy rib.
  • Sausage has a course grind, and a nice blend of spice and heat.  Very good!
  • Pork chop/steak has good texture and flavor.  It is quite thin and a bit crisp around the edges... is this smoked or grilled?

ssweeney's Review of Stacys Bar-B-Q‎

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Brisket has a good tenderness, although seems a bit dry on the finish.  May be just a tad of bitterness in the meat. Above average.
  • Sausage is another standard commercial product (Eckrich?).
  • Rib is extremely hot to the touch... reheat?  Meat is tender and pulls away from the bone easily. Good colors on the bark, but it is bland.  A bit greasy, but fully rendered.  This is a nice rib.
  • Jalapeno Sausage is tasty and salty, with a good amount of heat.

ssweeney's Review of Sheps Bar-B-Q

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Brisket is firm, but sliced quite thin.  Some bitterness is present in the meat.
  • Sausage is more salty and less sweet than the Hillshire Farms (Eckrich?).  Still, this is a commercial product.
  • The hot link has a yellow/orange color to it... and a different flavor profile at work here.  Hmmm.  Similar in texture to the regular sausage, but with some heat on the finish.
  • I get the knuckle end of a rib that is tough and chewy.  It does have a glazed exterior, but that is not enough to make this a good rib experience.  Has potential.

ssweeney's Review of Smokin Js

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Brisket has clean flavor.  It could use a bit more time to render a velvet texture, but this is DARN GOOD brisket!
  • Huge, Flintsonian rib... but the time has been taken to finish it properly.  The right amount of rub does not overpower, but brings out rib flavor.  Nicely done.
  • Sausage is salty and greasy... but good.  Larger diameter than we've seen to this point -- or is it just the fact that the sausage is sliced on the diagonal?  We debate.

ssweeney's Review of Cripple Creek BBQ

Weighted Overall

Main Fare:

  • Lean, stand-up style brisket.  It is tough to chew with a bit of creosote, especially on the crust.
  • This is a big rib that is trimmed St Louis style.  It also has a 'tang' associated with a dirty (smothered) fire.  This rib is chewy and tough... not fully rendered.  
  • Sausage - Hillshire Farms product.
  • Hot Link has an odd flavor that nobody is able to identify.  Good texture and heat.  Tabasco peppers?  There are two different spice profiles inside that are working against each other.
  • Hog Wing... I am torn on this because we learn that this is a commercial product that comes pre-cooked, and are just warmed on the smoker.  Even so, this may be the best thing on the menu (we didn't try the buffalo burger).  This is a tasty start to our day.

bkarau's Review of Floridas Kitchen‎

Weighted Overall

 Nice setup, but more of a cafe than a joint.  Help is great.  Meats are very good as are the traditional sides (although the CS is kinda dry).

And then they bring out the desserts.  Thank God this is the last joint of the tour.  These folks can flat-out bake.  Never seen a single crew turn out Q and baked goods at this high level.  WOW

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