First time visit revealed a friendly, casual, and (if you go late after the crowd thins)comfortable environment. The big screens were thankfully on subtitled silent mode...
We sat at the bar and started with an order of pathetic synthetic cornbread - several wan rectangles like something out of a bad high school cafeteria.
The Abita on tap was good, but what's with the plastic cups? This isn't Smitty's in Lockhart, Texas, after all. In Manhattan, plastic drinking mugs is an annoying affectation.
Now to the main courses: My buddy got the Chicken, I got the Burnt Ends ( a Chowhound favorite, apparently), and we split a half-rack of Baby Back's. He said the chicken was delicious and juicy and not overly smoky. My burnt ends were pretty much a disaster. Again, invoking Smitty's - which is my benchmark for perfect brisket barbecue: succulent and deeply and subtly flavorrful and soulful - these ends were tough and tasteless and contravened my one overriding rule regarding the ingestion of meat: If I'm going to eat meat - and especially if I'm going to eat a lot of meat - it better be damn good, both in texture and taste.
The barbecued beans were more or less great, and the potato salad was well above par in its chunky, lightly dressed simplicity. The greens - a mixture of collards, mustard and something - were overprocessed, mushy and watery.
Oh, I almost forgot, the baby back ribs were a neat, petite, delight.
Overall, the place does not suck, nor does it compel an quick return.
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