Thursday, April 24, 2008

BBBBQ Review

Who cares about the citizens of the Fort enough to subject his body (and that of his friends) to heart disease, obesity and awesomeness? I do. In the name of truth and honor, I have reviewed the BBBBQ in the great Fort so that you, my loyal reader (yes, thats singular) may know exactly where to eat when the fat bomb is craving ignition.

If you'll recall, I set out to try the numerous BBBBQ places throughout a 100 mile swath in order to provide you with the greatest places for BBBBQ. This will no doubt cause many to be upset, but it will cause many others to be relieved. Now you don't have to bother eating bad BBBBQ. I am going to announce the top three, and then I will comment on the remaining. In order to protect the hard working families that run many of our places, I will not disparage a place by crowning them as "last" place. There's also a "Best Place for a Friday Afternoon" and "The Place you must go on Saturday". I made these up as I was typing.

Myself, two lawyer friends, and sometimes my wife and I attempted to eat BBBBQ across the Fort and rated them on the following characteristics: sliced beef sandwich, ribs, beans, one cold side, cobbler (if its cheap), beer availability, overall cost, ambiance and overall intangibles. We missed out on a few of these, but seriously...what did you do for us? So we're even now.

Here it is:

Second runner-up:

Tie. Yep. It's a tie between Railhead and Angelo's. Is it a cop out? No, here's why:

Angelos: The other reviewer's favorite place of these two. Had one of the best BBBBQ sliced sandwich. Has the history and ambiance and is affordable. However, it has beans that taste similar to what the styrofoam it comes in tastes like. The potato salad tastes comparable to the beans. This is never a good quality. Plus you have to ask for BBBBQ sauce. I want that stuff on the table. It stayed in the top three because of its sandwich, beer and history.

Railhead: This was my favorite of these three. The sandwich meat was a bit drier than Angelos, but the sauce, fries, cold beer and patio kept Railhead in the top three. A cold beer with ice crystal foam is pretty helpful on a hot Texas summer day. Plus, this place has some great ambiance. The ribs got a good score here as well. I would say the beans and potato salad are good here, but don't mess with that, get the fries. Overall, this is the place I would be most likely to go but I'm not sure my reviewers would agree.

Railhead - Railhead Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Angelo's - Angelo's on Urbanspoon

First Runner Up:

Wilson't BBBBQ - 5633 Lovell Ave, just south of the Camp Bowie and Horne intersection. One of the best all around meals with great potato salad, beans and wonderfully flavored and tender meats. The ribs weren't that good and the brisket was sliced a bit thick, but the juicy-ness and flavor of the brisket made up for it. You will smell like BBBBQ when you leave. I think they cook it in the back of the building without a vent. Whatever...if every breath after lunch tastes like BBBBQ, thats fine with me. It almost makes you want to jog just so you can breath more BBBBQ. But lets be honest...who jogs and eats BBBBQ? Commies. Thats who. When you order a sliced BBBBQ sandwich here, you're given a plate of BBBBQ and two slices of white bread. They lose a few points because of a lack of bun, but they made up for it with the odd stares from the lady taking orders (thinking we were lost) and the deliciousness. I don't think they serve beer, but you can probably get some next door.

Wilson's Barbecue on Urbanspoon

First Place BBBBQ in the Fort:

I'm going to preface this with this statement: I rarely feel scared in the Fort, but waiting for my friends before eating here, had my wondering how fast my truck could get out of the parking lot.

Mom's at 1509 Evans Ave. Mom's BBQ on Urbanspoon

This was recommended by a reader and was the unanimous favorite. The brisket, ribs, beans, and potato salad were all tops. I don't think they serve beer, but food was cheap. Also, ambiance scores are high because of how scared we were. We were forced to give high ambiance scores. Along with all the greatness, the BBBBQ sauce was one of the favorites with a nice vinegary flavor.

Ok, so thats the top three. I want to thank my reviewers for their help and perseverance. We ate at more BBBBQ places in the last few weeks than I care to think about. We're all plumper and happier for it though. Immediately below are our honorable mentions. Below that is a general review of a few of the other places we ate at but is by no means a comprehensive list of every BBBBQ place in the Fort. I have separated these portions because the reviews below contain more of my personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of my fellow reviewers.

Best Place For a Friday Afternoon award goes to Railhead. With the patio shaded by trees, the big center bar just waiting to serve you an ice cold beer .... And the fries... Does it get any better? The beer is notorious for its ice coldiness and the patio is famous among its patrons. There is a friday club called the "FARTS". Or something like that. Its old guys that decided to make hats to commemorate a restaurant. I have already submitted an application for admittance.

The Place You Must Go On Saturday Award goes to Hard Eight. This award was limited to places within 100 miles and Hard Eight falls into the category, by being in Stephenville at Hwy 67 and Hwy 281. Tacky interior, great beans, country music and great BBBBQ that you order outside from a giant pit then they weigh inside. The sweet tea is delicious and doesn't give you a headache from over sweetness (I'm from Texas, not Georgia). I would also recommend getting a turkey sandwich with the jalepeno bread. Delish. Thats a word you should not say here. You will be taken out back.

General Reviews:

Baileys - downtown on Taylor. If you could eat smell, you'd be getting a good deal. The BBBBQ is fine but not really worth a special trip. Bailey's Barbeque on Urbanspoon

Feedstore - Southlake - White Chapel - The brisket was a bit grity to me, but the sides were decent and the sauce was good. I like to go in and pretend like I'm really rich and then look down on all everybody else. Then I eat my BBBBQ with a specially designed silver fork and talk about Jeeves. Feedstore BBQ and More on Urbanspoon

Hard Eight Coppell - You know how you felt about the first Kincaids to open outside of the Grocery Store? Yeah...its the same thing.

Jasper's - Plano - Upscale BBBBQ. I know, I know. But I have to give it some props (because thats what lawyers do). The meat is tender and the flavor is good. But its in Plano know...yeah. Forget I put this on here. Jasper's on Urbanspoon

Sonny Bryan's - Great sauce, original BBBBQ place over in Dallas is worth a trip because it satisfies the hole in the wall criteria. The consistently good BBBBQ in a dirty place makes you almost forget you're in that other city.

Cousins - McCart, south of I-20. I was skeptical when I found out that it was in a strip center. Skepticism founded. The brisket was good, but this tasted like every catered BBBBQ meal I had ever had. Not really my style, but it seems popular. Plus, bottled Big Red is pretty cool. Cousin's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Longoria's - The BBBBQ is loved by many and has good flavor but the real key here is the brisket sausage. I don't know how it works but its awesome.

I know there are more places in the Fort, but do you need more? I gave you the top three...

Please give me your thoughts on the state of BBBBQ in the Fort.


Jason Hammer said...

Yay! Mom's wins! love, love, love it. I just had it again this Tuesday. Did you get the banana pudding?

cdees39 said...

Very nice review and I can't dispute one thing in it. Very nice

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

I didn't get the banana pudding but I'll try it next time. any other recommendations for what to try there? What about the Bolo?

Thanks cdees, did I miss any of your favorites?

Thanks for reading.

Stephanie said...

I like the BBBBQ sandwich at Spiral Diner. Be sure to get it made with seitan (which is the default way it comes). Also, their BBBBQ salad is AMAZING with the agave mustard dressing!

Michael Bourgon said...

Awesome. Glad to see Mom's win, but sad that Chop'n'Block in Granbury wasn't mentioned. Did you go? I ate there a week ago and the ribs were transcendent. The brisket is always good, sausage is surprisingly good for what it is, and the turkey is fantastic. And Thursday is all-you-can-eat, and they take it like a challenge.

Also, Wilson's: you're a braver man than I. I've driven by for years but have been terrified of actually going at night... or in the evenings... or when it's really cloudy... or overcast... But is it safer than Mom's? We go to Mom's fairly often these days. Dunno how Chow Baby found it (that's what got us to go), but it's great.

(I also had a friend once recommend a place called Adams' for ribs, with the caveat that you shouldn't go at night or in large groups, lest people think it's the beginnings of a turf war)

Hard Eight in Coppell- given that I think the Kincaid's in Southlake is perfectly acceptable, is the Hard Eight any good? I've heard some really bad things about, so haven't ever been. I've never been to the original - I have to drive past Chop'n'Block to get to Stephenville, and since I'm already there...

Finally, Spiral Diner: Just say no. You don't go eat BBQ at a Vegan restaurant. Much less one that wants to convince you to eat a vegan chili-cheese dog that has none of it. I've eaten there twice, and been amazed at what people will eat for the sake of eating vegan. They KNOW what they're missing - it's like eating at Razzoo's instead of the French Quarter. You _can_, but only if you've honestly forgotten what the good stuff tastes like. Why not do actual vegetarian cuisine, instead of a menu with 3/4 "hey, try this, it's like what you normally eat but with an inferior substitute!" If I want vegan, I'll at any of a number of Vietnamese/Thai/Indian joints before I set foot in there again. If you can't eat a chili dog anymore for physical reasons, yeah, it might do. But there's so much better vegan food out there.

/ gets off soapbox
// Go BBQ!

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

So many things to address.

Stephanie, I'm not going to knock your VBBBBQ because I've never had it. However, I can sort of see Michael's point. Either way, Spiral Diner adds a great vibe to Magnolia so I have no qualms with their ameat persona.

Michael, I haven't been to Chop N' Block yet and its because the last time I was in Granbury I was headed to Stephenville with people that I had to take to Hard Eights. But I promise I'll get there.

I'm less afraid of Wilson's than Mom's because its right off of Camp Bowie and the Ridglea crowd could probably hear your screams.

My comment about the Kincaids was in regards to the many complaints I had heard about the newer locations' quality. I'm probably not going to Hard Eights in Coppell because to me, eating BBBBQ there is more of a state of mind than anything.

Thanks for reading

Anonymous said...

puh-leeze! wilson's is ONE BLOCK off Camp Bowie with that block being an open field! You white boys need to grow some before you deserve any of that BBQ! You've been to Drew's and it is further into "the Hood".

and I think it is puddin' not pudding.

ditto on the spiral diner. the rice and beans there are great. That's what they are called. Rice and Beans. If you have to rename funky ingredients to get people to eat them then it doesn't count.

cdees39 said...

I can't think of anything you missed around here. I love the central Texas joints the most and sooo need to get to Cooper's.

I only recently discovered Mom's and it is my new favorite.

Anonymous-- I was also thinking the comments about being scared were a little weird. Neither of the locations scared me.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

The comments on being scared are for dramatic effect. It makes some people feel more authentic when they go try these places. Remember, not everybody is as adventurous as all of us.

Michael Bourgon said...

Anon: yes, Wilson's is right off the corner there. I may have to swing by on my way home and pick some up, then. I've avoided it because it is unknown and I've only ever had the opportunity to go by myself, whereas Mom's we go en masse.

Jeremy said...

Got to take this opportunity to plug for my friends at the Baby Back Shak on South Akard in Dallas. Yeah, I know, Dallas, but you went to Sonny Bryan's. You've got to get to this place. Brisket and ribs straight from Heaven. Definitely a hole in the wall, but no beer. Just stop at Fuel City on your way and get your order to go, then have your beer and BBQ in the parking lot. Seen it done many times.

I'm not a big fan of Angelo's or Railhead (except for the beer, of course). Wilson's is quite good. I will definitely go in search of Mom's.

Jake Good said...

Wilson's BBQ FTW! ... Their sweet potato pie is fantastically simple (even though it's not made in house, it's still hand made)

Anonymous said...

Great review. Railhead and Angelo's are usually so overhyped. I've been scared to try Wilson's in the past but I'm definitely going now. Also, I can't wait to try Mom's. Anyone been to Mama E's on Rosedale, east of I-35? I haven't but would like to. My favorite in the area is David's on Park Row in Arlington. It's a hole in the wall for sure and Jimmy the owner is a direct descendant of Sonny Bryant. The meats are great, as are the sides. Lots of fried side options as well. I think they serve beer too.

Michelle said...

Well now I have to go try Mom's! If you're ever out in Arlington go try Bodacious BBQ. It definitely qualifies as hole in the wall, but the BBQ is terrific and you can spit on the new Cowboys stadium from the parking lot.

Joe said...

Just had Angelo's.

Not that great buddy.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Joe, I'm not as a big of a fan as many of Angelos, but I did this review with a group of people and they all loved it.

I will admit that its got style and the sliced sandwich was tender, flavorful and affordable.

Jimbeaux said...

Does Wilson's keep weird hours? I went there for lunch on a weekday and it looked deserted (i.e., closed). Does it close one day a week?

Stace said...

Great Reviews!!! I just discovered your Blog and have been catching up and back reading the whole thing. SO NICE to see appreciation for the awesomenss of Ft. Worth. :-)

Ok, so you should give Hickory Stick a try. I grew up going there, and I still think it is the BEST ribs and brisket you will ever try. The owner's wife makes all the deserts that day, so when it is gone, that is it - so if you see something on the counter, get it while you can. I think this place certainly qualifies as a hole in the wall. :-)

Ralphie said...

Enjoyed your review, but you missed one. Lone Star BBQ, 6320 N Beach St. Ft. Worth.

Brisket so tasty you don't need the sauce, but it's good, too.

When you order a chopped sandwich, they first slice the brisket, then chop it up right in front of you.

The decor is industrial generic yuck, but the food is terrific!

Trust me on this one!


Anonymous said...

Angelo's is for ribs only. Write that down and don't forget it. If you stay with the ribs, Angelo's is a very good BBQ joint (regardless of beer, atmosphere, etc.).

Have you ever hit the Sausage Shoppe on east Seminary Drive? Oddly, I thought their chicken was the star of the show instead of the sausage. Get the Snack Plate. It is not on the menu, but it provides you with a sample of all the meats. It is a little higher than a normal meal there (approx $12), but it is the best way to get to know what the place has to offer. I don't think this place will unseat your top few on the list, but it is worth trying if you are in a BBQ rut.

Anonymous said...

There is a great BBQ place that opened in Burleson about a year ago that you should try. Roscoe's Smokehouse is owned by a couple of former employees of N. Main BBQ in Euless. All of their meats are good I'll put their ribs and pulled pork against any BBQ joint in the metroplex. Cheap beer and live music several nights a week, as well.