sampled 10/3/10 about 1 pm
This place was the exact opposite of the down home funky atmosphere of Honey Bear's BBQ I had the previous day. It looks for all the world like a chain, but it is actually just a very nice single location restaurant that has won many awards. Inside it is table service with young pretty waitresses who come and go at a fast pace. The little lady gave me the big build up by telling me all their meats are smoked slowly for 18-20 hours in their own pits. I opted for a 3 meat plate and they brought out some nice hot cornbread muffins to munch on while I waited for my meal. It took about 15 minutes for my meal to arrive, they were bustling, but those muffins were fabulous.
When my 3 meat plate arrived it really looked great. However when I tried to break off a rib, the bone slipped right out in my hand. In fact all 3 bones came loose immediately on grasping. KCBS and most others will tell you that's a sign of overcooking. The ribs themselves were tender and juicy but without any smoke taste. The nice sweet sauce went well with the meat. The sliced brisket looked better, but had the same problem. It sat there in nice slices until you tried to pick up a slice or poke it with a fork. Then it just crumbled away to tiny pieces. So tiny it was difficult to get ahold of with a fork, unless you scooped it. This was spoon-eating brisket! Despite the big build up, there was zero smoke flavor on the unsauced bits I could find, no bark, and no smoke ring. It was plenty moist, but if I had wanted little bits I would have gotten chopped brisket. Again, the sauce was a nice addition to the meat. My third meat was smoked link sausage and I thought this had an interesting twist. It was cut long ways and grilled as a finish, which gave it a bit of charcoal flavor and a bit of smoke. Their sausage seemed to have a heavy pork content because it almost tasted a bit like fried spam.
The sides get special mention because they were top notch. The mac and cheese was clearly made from scratch and even had a bit of baked cheesy crust on top. Just like Mom used to make! The mashed potatoes were nice and creamy with skin bits and obviously had a LOT of butter and maybe some cream in them. Both sides (and the cornbread muffins) were outstanding.
For dessert I opted for the Chocolate Overdose. It is basically like a large ice cream sandwich, between layers of cake and fudge, with hot fudge on top! It was very good, but I did not overdose.
Overall this is a good joint and I would gladly eat here again, however it is not what I consider great BBQ. It is also pretty pricey. The 3 meat plate was $20 and the dessert was $8.