Monday, November 22, 2010
Barbecue report: Smokey’s Barbeque in Fort Worth
BBQ Snob laughs in the face of common practice and places his order 3 minutes before closing time.
FORT WORTH UPDATE: Brent Deen has moved on to another location in the Deen family located in Kaufman, Texas. Not to worry, the deft pitmaster Paul Calhoun is still reigning over things in the kitchen at Smokey Barbeque in Fort Worth, and has been given the new management post.
My last visit here was yesterday during a BBQ tour that I led through Fort Worth. Paul was there to explain his smoking procedures and what makes these ribs and brisket so special. I knew they were tour worthy after several trips which all featured stellar 'cue, including one last month where I laughed in the face of common practice and placed my order 3 minutes before closing time. This review is based on that visit.
There were a few folks left in the dining room, and I assured the cashier that I would eat fast. After the first bite of brisket, I was chomping down the rest of it with gluttonous abandon. The meat was perfectly smoky, moist, and lined with silky fat. The meat could have been a bit more tender, but this is great brisket. Ribs are just as good. The sweet and spicy rub creates a nice caramelization. This does keep a nice smoky bark from forming, but the flavor is distinct and addictive. The meat comes cleanly from the bone of these spare ribs, but there's nothing falling onto the plate.
Normally, sides aren't a big item in my ordering, but cole slaw, potato salad, and beans are available for self-service on a buffet table along with standard BBQ condiments. All of these items are made in house, and the creamy coleslaw still had a nice crunch, and the beans were robust, smoky, and full of sausage chunks. A semi-mashed version of potato salad is also worth the stomach space. After I was done stuffing myself, I couldn't help but grab a slice of that buttermilk pie. Also made in house, this rich pie is the perfect balance for all that savory meat. As I made my way out the door, I noticed that others still lingered. I felt good knowing I'd kept my promise of a fast meal, and that Smokey's kept up their end of the bargain with great food all around, even right at closing time.
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