Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Barbecue report: Ye Ole Butcher Shop in Plano
It is wise to try barbecue in a place that doesn't advertise it?
PLANO I'll admit that Ye Ole Butcher Shop in Plano does not advertise BBQ as their forte. They specialize in specialty game meats and highlight one in burger form as a lunch special nearly every day of the week. My stomach got the best of me when I saw that they also offered BBQ, and I thought that a butcher shop might be able to smoke some correct meat. Besides, the people of Plano need some decent 'cue in an otherwise BBQ-devoid area of DFW.
I observed some plates of 'cue at the counter as I was about to order. They resembled a BBQ stew that was positively swimming an a dark, sweet sauce. I asked for sauce on the side. When ordering here, don't be confused by the nomenclature. For some reason a "BBQ" plate is brisket, with other items being called their more common names likes ribs and sausage. I went with a rib and BBQ (brisket) combo with beans and macaroni salad. This was against my better judgment as it was buffalo burger day, and the burgers being delivered all around me looked incredibly juicy alongside their homemade onion rings.
I'll start with the positives first. Beans were smoky with a hint of sweetness and had great texture. The macaroni salad was chock full of peppers and onions and had a great smooth mouthfeel. The salad was dense, making it seem very filling. That would be important later. Ribs were overcooked and dropping from the bone as I tried to pick them up from the plate. Ironically, the exterior was dried out. This meat had no smoky flavor, and little flavor at all. I felt an apology to the cow that was needed for the brisket. The slices were so dry they bordered on brittle. The meat was devoid of flavor, smoke, or love. To be so dry, they must have been presliced in the morning and held through lunch (possibly in a dehumidifier?) Or maybe they were buffalo. The butcher shop prominently features buffalo in many forms, so could it be that they've decided on this much leaner cut for their brisket? The answer was no, it's all beef. Then I learned that they're using a Cookshack for their smoking. This began to explain the lack of smoke.
Cookshack manufactures an entry-model commercial smoker that is heated by electricity with some wood added for "flavor." Their tagline is, "We deliver the taste of barbecue to the world." Notice that they don't promise to deliver actual barbecue. That's hard to do in the set-it-and-forget-it world of electric and gas fired commercial smokers. Cookshack says it best on their website, "Anyone can do it." But from what I ate at Ye Ole Butcher Shop, maybe not. Sorry Plano, it looks like you're gonna have to wait around a while longer for good BBQ.
Pegasus News Content partner - Full Custom Gospel BBQ
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