Friday, January 24, 2014

Denton Strikes Barbecue!

Just west of the square on Hickory and down a small corridor, sits Gold Mine Barbecue. A relatively new establishment that certainly merits a visit for those looking for BBQ in Denton.

As any good "miner" of barbecue, my friends and I first did a little "prospecting" (as the menu referred to the appetizers).  I'm a fan of good Fried Pickles, so I was intrigued by their being coated with their "Gold Dust" dry rub.  Personally, I found that it made the pickles a bit gritty, like corn meal, but most of my friends thought they were quite good.

Another member of the party ordered the "Burnt Ends".  I place this is quotations because they were not at all what I was expecting.  A fan of burnt ends would expect a very rich, deep flavor, including some charring and what is known as the "bark".  These have no such flavor - albeit, they do taste very good - but I wouldn't recommend for someone that is expecting the typical burnt ends.  These were tender chunks of brisket that were covered in sauce.  I enjoyed them, but know what to expect if you order them.

Dinners come with 2 sides, and you can choose from Fries, Mac&Cheese, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Green Beans, BBQ Baked Beans, Fried Okra, or a Side Salad. Being my first visit, I went with the standard Cole Slaw and Baked Beans.  I enjoyed the cole slaw, it was akin to what you might expect at a KFC, rather than the shredded cabbage stirred I a light vinegar that is more typical with Texas BBQ.

The BBQ Baked Beans weren't as savory as I would have liked, having a very sharp, tangy BBQ flavor instead.  From the rest of the party, I'm told that the fried okra, mac & cheese and fries were all good.

But we were really there for the meat! And all of the meat we tried was very good. I selected Ribs and Sliced Brisket and neither disappointed.  The brisket was lean, yet moist, have a good smokiness and was tender and flavorful.  The ribs had a little bark and came clean off the bone.  I will warn the Texas BBQ Traditionalist - the ribs come with a little of the house original sauce on them, which is sweet, so you may want to ask for your ribs dry.  On the other hand, if you're a Carolina transplant, these may be just what you've been waiting for!

A few friends ordered Turkey and were quite pleased. They tell me it had a good consistency and smokiness and they would order it again.

The last aspect I'll mention is the pricing. If you just check their menu on the web, you may be scared off by the prices (plates run from 10.99 for a one-meat to 17.99 for a four-meat plate), but the portions are ample.  I will usually order a 3-meat plate, but the Gold Mine 2-meat plate was more than enough.

So, if you're looking for something new - or just have a hankerin' for some 'que, give Gold Mine a try!

<a href=""><img alt="Gold Mine BBQ on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:104px;height:15px" /></a>

Friday, December 27, 2013

One of the Best All-Around

Because of it's convenience to my work, I've had multiple opportunities to stop in at the Feedstore, and it never disappoints!  One of the biggest challenges with BBQ is producing a consistent product, and many of the best restaurants around can sometimes deliver dry or not-so-tender meat.

Of all that I've tried, Feedstore delivers the most consistently high-quality barbeque - and their sides are among the best as well!

A long line often forms at lunchtime, but it moves quickly as everyone chooses from their Brisket, Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork and Turkey.  They also offer a very good Catfish, for those that want something different, as well as Burgers.  You then help yourself to your choice of sides, which include two kinds of Pinto Beans, Green Beans, Cole Slaw, Mac & Cheese, Potato Salad, Corn, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy and - my favorite - Dirty Rice.  You can also ask for Fries or Fried Okra which they'll make fresh and bring to your table.

After paying, you help yourself to a warm dinner role, the pepper and onion bar and choice of sauces, although I rarely use any sauce.

The casual dinning area is full of Western and Texas décor suited well for enjoying a BBQ meal.

The Feedstore isn't flashy or fancy, but it is a comfortable place to have a good meal.  

<a href=""><img alt="Feedstore BBQ on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:104px;height:15px" /></a>

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Just Don't Get It!

I tried Cousin's BBQ at Heritage shortly after they moved in and wasn't at all impressed.  The Ribs were tough and hard to get off the bone and the rest of the meat was dry and bland.  The sides were, for the most part, forgettable.

I continued to see good reviews, and hate to publicly dislike a restaurant after only one visit, so back I went recently for a second go-around.

I'll admit, it was better - but nothing to rave about.  The ribs were pretty good this time and I liked the Broccoli Salad and Broccoli Rice, but the rest was just ok, and I question the motives of those that post otherwise. It's a nice place and the food is fine, but I can't, in good conscience, say that the food is anything special.  What's the point of reading a blog where the author gives everyone a good review?

I wish them well and I'm sure Cousin's won't lose any sleep over my not liking their food, but I just don't get it.

Cousins BBQ on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Cool BBQ Place for a Cold Beer

Without a doubt, Hard Eight BBQ is among the coolest restaurants I've ever found! The large grill full of meat that greets you as you enter and the rustic décor and outdoor/under-cover seating creates a full-out Texas experience!

A word of warning! Be careful to control your excitement when you're ordering, as you may find you've just ordered $20+ worth of meat when it hits the scale!

Inside, to the bread, sides and desserts, I would recommend passing this station rather quickly, as you've probably already got plenty of food on your tray, and you really need to save room for some beans. (albeit, I often can't resist picking up a side of cornbread salad to stir into my beans.)

Once you've paid, and finished shaking your head trying to justify why you selected so much meat, make your way over to one of the large pots of beans, beside the drink station.  You'll find onions, sausage and whole jalapenos floating along with the beans in what comprises the best tasting beans of any BBQ joint in Texas.

Chose from indoor seating, or under-cover outdoor seating to maximize the experience.  Cold beer is also only a few steps away, making this a great happy hour destination with friends.

A note to the BBQ purist, this BBQ is technically Grilled - not Smoked, as the meat is directly over the heat, but let's not quarrel over details.  Like most BBQ restaurants, timing can mean everything.  If the meat has sat on the front grill for a while, it can get dry, so survey the meats well before you make your selection as my experience has varied.

For a fun, unique dining experience, Hard Eight is a must try!

<a href=""><img alt="Hard Eight BBQ on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>
Hard Eight BBQ on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Third Time's A Charm?

On a quiet side street in North Richland Hills, at 8021 Main St, sits an old west-style building suited perfectly for a Barbecue Restaurant.  Previously under the names; Cottonbelt and most recently, Big Barn BBQ, the third incarnation is now open as "Back Forty Smokehouse".

I recently stopped in with several friends to sample this new addition to the DFW Barbecue scene on a Sunday afternoon. 

The reviews from the group were mixed.  Some said they wouldn't come back, while others said they would gladly be back.  Clearly barbecue beauty is in the tastes of the beholder! In fairness, one needs to break down some of the details to make a good evaluation of a barbecue restaurant.

First of all, the service - easy enough, you go through a cafeteria-style line as you select your meal from a large chalkboard hanging behind the counter. From the food service, to the register, to the staff offering to refill drinks and take away dirty plates, I found the service to be as good as it could be.

Cleanliness - Top marks again. No concerns about the food service or dining room areas.

Meat - The meat selection was great, with lean, moist and chopped brisket, two types of sausage, ribs, pulled pork, chicken and turkey, there's something for every carnivore.  The flavors are where the personal preferences start to come in.  The chopped brisket was already tossed with the house sauce - which was not to everyone's liking. (I presume that they would gladly chop some additional brisket and leave it sauceless, if you ask.)  Both the lean and moist brisket was good, but not very smokey, and the fat in the moist brisket didn't render in the mouth as would be ideal.  The ribs had a really good seasoning and came clean off the bone, but weren't very meaty. The two sausages were very different, they offer a German sausage, which was really no more special than sausage I've bought at a grocery and fixed at home.  The jalapeno sausage, on the other hand, was especially good and had a real peppery, spicy kick.  I didn't sample the turkey or chicken, so you're on your own for those!

Sides - Good selection of typical sides. None jumped out at us. Cole Slaw, Pinto Beans, Green Beans, Mac n Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Corn and Fried Okra (I'm probably leaving a couple out) all typical of the style you'd expect with Texas Barbecue.

Value - I have to give the value a C+. The portions were a bit small for what averaged around a $10-$13 plate.

I know the owner is from a Barbecue family and I'm sure a few changes are probably in store as things get up and running.  I'm rooting for Back Forty Smokehouse to succeed and I firmly believe that you need to stop at any restaurant (especially BBQ!) at least twice before making a final decision, so I'll be back.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Best Looking BBQ in Texas!

Those of you that have been to Texas, probably have a pretty good idea that when I'm talking about the Best Looking BBQ In Texas, I'm talking about Bone Daddy's House of Smoke!

I won't deny, the Wait Staff at Bone Daddy's is quite a draw in itself, but it also offers a cool atmosphere and some Really Good Barbeque!

I've had equally good experiences at other locations, but my most frequent stops are at the Grapevine location on William D Tate, where there's more than a little restaurant competition, but Bone Daddy's still packs 'em in.

For starters, I haven't found a bad appetizer.  For those that like to precede a BBQ meal with some BBQ, they offer Barky's Stuffed Jalapenos (Breaded and Fried Jalapenos stuffed with Chicken and Cheddar Cheese), Smokin' Tailpipes (Brisket, Corn, Onion and Peppers wrapped like an egg roll and then sliced and served with a Ranch Dipping Sauce), BBQ Sliders (choose Brisket or Pulled Pork - or two of each! - topped with Cole Slaw and served with fries), and Grill'd Wings (non-breaded, smoked and then grilled full Chicken Wings sauced and served hot with an extra bottle of warm sauce).

Any of the appetizers - along with a tall, cold beer - are a meal in themselves, but if you're ready for more, consider the Flying Pig Sandwich (Pulled Pork, Link Sausage, Glazed Ham and Smokey Bacon all piled high and served with two sides).
The ribs are also tender and flavorful - but a little saucy for our Texan Traditionalist, and for the non-barbeque fan, Daddy's Cheeseburger is a full 1/2lb and all the trimmings and they also offer a really good Chicken Fried Steak that is as big as the plate and as good as many of the "better known" Chicken Fried Steak restaurants in the area.

On food alone, Bone Daddy's House of Smoke is a great spot for some good BBQ - add in the cool atmosphere, numerous TVs for sporting events and great staff - and it's hard to beat!
<a href=""><img alt="Bone Daddy&#x27;s House Of Smoke on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;padding:0px;width:104px;height:15px" /></a>
 Bone Daddy's House Of Smoke on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Good Barbeque in New Hampshire?

In the quiet little town of Hanover, New Hampshire, down a side street and a flight of stairs, is 3 Guys Basement BBQ.  The small restaurant has a pub-like feel with very under-stated décor, fitting for the small college town.

Our server was very pleasant and knowledgeable of the menu, which included a unique selection of choices.  The most original being the Grits Sticks, that we selected as an appetizer.  The Grits are rolled and chilled on a pan, then sliced into strips and fried.  Served with a side of New Hampshire Maple Syrup, it's an awesome starter.

Burger fans should try The Pit.  Topped with BBQ Pulled Pork and a Sunny Side-Up Egg, it's loaded with flavor.

Along with the typical choices of meats, 3 Guys also offered Burnt Ends (while supplies last) and Pork Bellies.  The Burnt Ends were, unfortunately, sold out when we arrived, so I chose a three meat platter of Pulled Chicken, Pork Ribs and Pork Bellies.

The Ribs were good, but small. A good dry rub and the meat came off the bone clean, but they could have been more moist.  The chicken was very tender, and went well with the spicier house sauce.

For the Pork Bellies, imagine a thick cube of bacon that's been smoked on the grill for hours.  If you're a lover of bacon, this is for you - but if you like leaner meats, I wouldn't recommend it.

I also got to sample the Brisket.  This was my favorite of all the meats, and a definite for my next visit.

If you've read my last post, or any of my Urbanspoon reviews, you know I've got to talk about the sides!  The sides were solid.  Along with the typical Cole Slaw, Baked Beans and Potato Salad, they also offered Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Red Beans and Dirty Rice.

The Sweet Potatoes were cubed and a great BBQ compliment and the Red Beans and Dirty Rice - while not quite on par with what you'll find in Louisiana, was a good Comfort Food side dish.

If you're in Central New Hampshire or Vermont, I'd recommend a visit to 3 Guys Basement BBQ.
<a href=""><img alt="3 Guys Basement BBQ on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;padding:0px;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>

3 Guys Basement BBQ on Urbanspoon