Decided to seek out some mom & pop joints I hadn't tried before this weekend. Decided on Wilson's BBQ and the Poly Grill (right next to Texas Wesleyan).
Both were winners, and the owners in both cases were very nice to this white girl.
At Wilson's, I got the 2-meat combo, which is enough meat for two. I got chicken and baby backs, and the combos come with beans, potato salad, pickles, onions, and two slices of soft white bread.
No one could complain that this BBQ wasn't smoked. Walk in the door, and you get smoked too (I recommend take-out). I liked the chicken, and the ribs were cooked the way I like 'em, falling off the bone. They weren't babybacks far as I could tell though. I prefer a sweeter sauce, but that's purely a matter of taste. Many would prefer this smokier, more savory sauce. The potato salad was just what it should be, similar to Dickey's on a very good day. The beans I didn't care for--I thought they were a bit overdone and could use more flavor--garlic, say, rather than just chili powder--but this too is a matter of taste. Some people love those beans. The sweet potato pie was not bad, a bit too heavy on the spice, crust not outstanding.
All in all, a genuine BBQ joint and worth a visit.
At the Poly Grill, I ordered meatloaf with cucumber salad, mashed potatoes, and corn, with peach cobbler for dessert. Although they're a Coke place, they keep Dr Pepper in the can for those of us who gotta have it.
The meatloaf was the best meatloaf I've ever had in a restaurant. The only restaurant meatloaf I've ever even liked. The mashed potatoes were good mashed potatoes, and the tomato sauce was also great. The peach cobbler wasn't perfect, but it was better than the sorry "peach cobbler" I had at the Riviera. My companion ordered the baked chicken with yams, green beans (from a can), and cucumber salad, which, btw, is one of the best cucumber salads I've ever had. Baked chicken and yams reported to be wonderful. (My dogs had the leftovers for dinner tonight, and they got two paws up.)
I don't think the guy in the kitchen was too thrilled to see our pale faces, because our orders came out wrong & all switched around the first time, and it didn't happen to anyone else. But the owner was very nice to us, joking, asking us how we heard about the restaurant, where we lived, etc.
There seem to be lots of "home cooking" places intended to evoke nostagia--if your mom was a bad cook. This is the place to go if Mom was a good cook.