Thanks to all of you from this NYC-'Hound for your brew and 'cue tips. I'm posting follow-up after a most carnivorous weekend and "squeezing in" three separate, distinctive BBQ experiences in-between many Bar Mitzvah festivities at the "Columbian Club" of Dallas.
Religious experiences aside...the Plan was for a road trip to the "Holy Trinity" of Texas 'Cue. Alas, we regret that Lockhart, Taylor or Elgin were just a bit too far for a "day-trip" drive with three crotchety guys in tow - and that I-35 was under construction, making the intended pilgrimage unfit for the limited timeframe.
However, all was not lost as we headed to East Texas, specifically the area around Tyler and Kilgore, where the locals recommended 'Cues from Bodacious and COUNTRY TAVERN (Rte. 31 near Kilgore), the one we chose 'cause the other men insisted upon ribs. Needless to say, we weren't disappointed in the overall sense, as these ribs were smokin' good, as was the brisket. Both had the tenderness and flavor and a healthy smoke ring. Less interesting were the sausage cuts (allegedly Earl Campbell's). Sauce was served in bottles. Iced tea was refreshing and the SHINER BOCKs went down easy. All that in a dark room except for the bar's beer-neons. Downtown Kilgore itself is a 1930's Art Deco preservation worth seeing. And a stop to smell the roses (in 104-degree heat) at Tyler's Rose Garden Museum was sweet.
Having tasted the good life on Friday, we ventured closer to home on Saturday afternoon to original SONNY BRYAN'S...here the ribs came pre-slathered in a deep-dark saucy pool. I'll give them a qualified thumbs-up (as I would have preferred them served clean with some sauce-bottle control). But I didn't order since I was busier trying to score 8 seats together (and if you've been to the Bryan schoolhouse you know what I mean!). Also sampled the pork, brisket and sausage and they were equally rewarding.
Sunday, getaway day, during a three-hour weather delay at DFW, completely broke down with a "two-meat" ham-slab and links sandwich from "DICKIE'S"...can't say I suffered except from the unfulfilledness of not getting to that True Texas 'Cue Country. Next time.
Another quick word about the SHINER beers - their HefeWeizen stood out amongst those in the variety pack. My suggestion for Texans visiting NYC (especially Brooklyn!) would be to head straight for the Brooklyn Brewery on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon and have yourselves a lengthy comparative tasting session. You won't be disappointed.
Our other eats turned out to be "MIA's" on Lemmon and (the Bar Mitzvah post-game show) a 2AM trip to WAFFLE HOUSE on Marsh & BeltLine...A-O-K!