first time visit to Hot Rod's BBQ on Main St. In Wharton with wife and just home from college daughter who couldn't wait for some real wood smoked BBQ. Based on some recent good press we chose Rod's and visited hot hungry and ready for some 'Q. Rod's delivered, sort of.
Great choice of artisan brews, served a wee bit colder would have been ok, but truly some great choices.....unfortunately expensively priced at $6 to $8 each so there was no consideration for any second round.
Lured by a review of their low and slow smoked wings we tried 3 different styles; the naked version, their BBQ sauced ones and their traditional buffalo versions. The underlying smoke came thru in all versions. They were spicy with a lovely rub, hot (temperature) still moist, very good sized, in short the highlight of the dinner....the naked version being our top pick.
Entree's were. For the most part disappointments. A half rack of ribs combo with brisket yielded ribs that were well smoked but tuff enough to require a knife to cut and tear them apart.....I don't subscribe to the 'fall off the bone mentality' but the ribs should be tender enough to readily separate without a hacksaw. The brisket slices were worse in. That they were dry, dry, dry as shoe leather and tough. I couldn't tell if this was just an old brisket or a poorly cooked one. Dated had the brisket/cheesesteak and removed the brisket slices since they were distracting. The underlying cheesesteak was not up to her expectation and led her to vote not to bother returning which is too bad as she just started a job in easy driving distance of Wharton. Wife's choice of sliders (meatloaf and pulled pork) were described as ho hum and not inspired. With experiences in Kansas City and Chapel Hill BBQ country she knows what she likes and Rod's just was not on target.
While the small sampling of corn bread and the sweet potato fries were enjoyable, and the wait staff service was quite good, friendly, polite a d attentive, the fact is aside from the good wings, we found nothing worth a return visit. My own smoked brisket on our big green egg over applewood is beats Rods for tenderness, moisture, texture, etc. Sorry as. We really wanted to find a local home run Q joint.
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