Sunday, May 12, 2013

BBQ Texas Style

As soon as I landed in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area I was hungry I already have a Texas sized appetite and was thrilled when the colleague who picked me up suggested that we start our meeting day with lunch. He said, "I assume being from Montana you are not a vegetarian, so how does BBQ sound?"

We drove out to Plano and pulled up to a strip mall. This is not normally how I do BBQ, well unless I am back in DC. But this is Texas, so strip mall and BBQ joint did not scream Feed Me! First thing that struck me when I walked in to Kenny's Smoke House was the wall. It was a dark wood plank that reminded me of charred whiskey barrels. We walked in and were met by a nice hostess who sat us immediately. 

The menu looked interesting and my colleague was telling me how good the brisket was here and that they might be sold out since it was 2pm. It was after 2pm so I was hoping there was brisket still left. Before I made it too far down the menu I saw an appetizer that I HAD to try and have now decided that everyone in this world should experience the perfect TX BBQ appetizer: jalapenos stuffed with brisket and Vermont cheddar, served with a Chipotle dipping sauce. Fabulous. The brisket balance the heat from the jalapeno with smoky perfection. We  also shared the Smoke House Sampler (note: Tons of MEAT!) and it was more than enough to feed the 3 of us.

I was lucky that they had enough brisket for each of us to order. My coworker who came with me from DC has never been to Texas and has never had brisket. And the colleague we were meeting happens to be Muslim, so the only BBQ he can eat (and eats plenty of) is brisket! It was tender, moist, loaded with spices and you could see the smoke ring. It was too thick but you could certainly taste the smoke throughout the whole piece of meat. Also you must try their mac and cheese with truffle oil---the smoked Gouda, diced ham, and the LIGHT touch of truffle oil---delicious!!

Our server came over and started chatting with us about the food and asked if this was my favorite BBQ ever. I was honest and told him that I was a pretty faithful follower of The Pork Barrel in the Del Ray area of Alexandria, VA. As any good foodie, I of course had pictures from my first time eating at Pork Barrel. I showed him the "Smackin' Big Daddy" and he asked, "Did you eat that whole thing?!" "Of course I did!" was my shocked reply. I mean how do you ask that of the woman who ordered 2 appetizers and a plate of wet brisket. For the none BBQ folks out there, "wet" brisket has the lovely vein of fat still in it. Anywho, he immediately called over the general manager to see the pictures. So one conversation led to another and I started telling her how I liked the motif of the restaurant. Turns out the GM is a Somm who helped pick out the decor for the restaurant after going on a wine and whiskey distillery tour for Beam Brands. Turns out that I was sorta right about the walls...they are made with charred Marker's Mark barrels.

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