Monday, June 15, 2009

In Search Of Texas BBQ

Sara and I went in search of Texas beef barbecue this weekend, a difficult proposition in pig-friendly North Carolina. At one time there had been a Bennett's Smokehouse and Saloon in Charlotte that served good Texas BBQ, but it had closed down long ago. I had heard that there was another Bennett's location up in Hickory, North Carolina, and in fact had even eaten there, but presumed that it had gone out of business, too. Checking on the internet revealed that it was, however, still in business. Saturday, then, found us on the road making a 68-mile journey in search of smoked beef brisket.

We found it, but the entire experience left somewhat to be desired. We had to hunt the hostess down before we could be seated. The waitress took our drink orders and, after bringing the drinks, informed us that she was serving a large group and it would be "five minutes" before she came back to take our food order.

That "five minutes" turned out to be fifteen. I'll summarize the rest of the meal:

The service was lousy.

Although the waitress took the food order correctly, the kitchen screwed it up, and Sara ended up with the top cut brisket I had ordered. After tasting it, she was happy to give it to me. It was too dry, undersmoked, as if it had been simply roasted in an oven.

French fries were cold.

Onion rings were good; plenty of onion, good fresh batter, hot when we got them.

The diet soda tasted as if it were a sugar soda, so I asked for a replacement; it tasted the same, and I realized that it was too much syrup and not enough carbonation; no fix for that.

Only one tiny tub of sauce provided, and that was overly sweet, as if it had been made from ketchup.

The 20-ish waitress kept addressing me (47 years old) as sweetie.

So: two unhappy diners, who aren't going back to Bennett's any time soon.

Note: there's plenty of good BBQ here locally, just not good beef brisket BBQ, Texas-style. I have a fondness for Texas BBQ. The search will continue, or I'll possibly start making my own at home.

1 comment:

TOTWTYTR said...

I, on the other hand, had some really good beef brisket. In Texas, of course. One of my nephews got married and the main course was brisket. How Texas is that?

And no, I didn't want to get on the plane to come home. And not just because I want more brisket.

I soooo love going to Texas.