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Restaurants & Bars

Joe Allen's, Abilene report

bishopsbitter | Oct 24, 200612:47 PM     14

Had heard a lot about this place. First the good points: The price was right (just over $20 for lunch for 2 plus tip); and the portions were decent.
But that aside, this was not quite what I expected. Things got rocky when I requested pickles and onion and was brought two micro-tubs (the sort of tiny tubs you get ketchup or mayo in) of each. Excuse me? Upon asking for more, a slightly larger tub of each was brought. Still nowhere near enough of either but I gave up. I never expected to have to beg for pickles & onions at a Texas BBQ joint. But then maybe that's it: this place has pretensions over and above joint-hood, which is a shame. I'm not complaining about their having a wine list at all. But it's like the smoke from the pit was not being allowed to properly permeate the interior of the place. I did not try their steaks which have been reported to be good. Perhaps that is their stronger suit. Unfortunately I was in town Sunday so Harold's BBQ eas closed. It sounds more like what I was after. The service here was a bit intrusive. "Is it STILL tasting alright?" Why do waiters ask such silly questions as that? Don't they really mean "Will you please hurry up and eat up so as I can turn this table and collect my tip!" ? Annoying. I also asked about cabrito and got a funny look. Again, perhaps "we're too up-market to smoke goat here fella." Well, I happen to love BBQ cabrito so that was a shame. Their brisket was a bit dry, and I found it lacked salt in a rub or whatever so to permeate the meat. The sausage was OK. The mini-ribs, OK. Everything was OK. The sauce was a step up from OK: very good sauce. But all in all something just fell short. BBQ is a chance to commune with meat, pickles and slices of onions. This was not quite a religious enough experience.

bb

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