Went to Texas Smokehouse on 25th and Second for dinner on Monday with two friends.
One friend had the baby back ribs, he liked them, even though he said they were more like spare ribs.
Another friend had a salad with BBQ chicken in it. She liked it. Being one of the masses whose mouth waters at all things unhealthy, this was a pleasure I will not be partaking of anytime soon.
I had the brisket with sauce sandwich. it was good, very good for the price. The bread it was on had great character, buttery and that grill-burn on it that was aggresive without being too black. The sandwich made me want to try the pulled pork, because the sauce reminded me of the pulled pork from Waterfront. It had a nice vinegar taste to it -- but the Waterfront is better, though less complex and smoky. I had a side of okra with it, that was slimy, but still okay -- I don't mind my tofu or okra slimy.
We started with a BBQ chicken quesadilla that I wouldn't recommend.
To finish we had two deserts: smores and a Banana's Foster-type thing without the flambee. I really liked the ice cream that came with it. My friends said it was Carvel-quality, but I appreciated that the airy mild-sweetness of it didn't overwhelm the other desert components. I've come to the point where I think most ice creams are way too sweet and rich -- I think Coldstone Creamery is the Anti-Christ of ice cream: more is not better, as unAmerican as that might sound. The smores were really tasty: sweet and reminded my of the simple food pleasures of childhood. We all liked the banana dish, even thought the fact that it was grilled imparted some interesting qualities to it. I found it gave it a lighter fluid taste -- a result of a Foster-esque liquor douse that hadn't burned off fully, I suspect. One friend found that it tasted "greasy like it had been fried up with the meat;" nonetheless he was wolfing it down. I was too.
Overall, I thought it was a really good deal for the money and a nice place to add to the dining list. It also struck me that if the food went up a notch as the kitchen improved (as it tends to do in places like this), it would be terrific. I still think Waterfront Alehouse is a better place on average -- money and vibe. The staff was a little wonky: to be expected at a new establishment.
The sides could use a re-tool: they should add heart-clogging delights like fritters and hush puppies. They are going to have a hard time getting business in that location, I think. Give it a try -- good value.