Thursday, December 17, 2009
I’ve noticed Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Q every time I’ve passed through San Marcos on I-35, and after two years, I figured it was time to stop in. There were just 4 of us, which is not bad, considering it was a rainy day and that 11 of us had stuffed ourselves silly at The Salt Lick the night before.
It’s a quick, interstate trip from Austin to San Marcos, so the journey is nothing to speak of. The place doesn’t have the most inviting feel, overall, but the building itself is fairly cozy, unless you mind antlers on the wall. The meats are cooked out back, so I was expecting smokers, but they use three industrial rotisseries. This is not necessarily a bad thing – we’ve had some great rotisserie-cooked food (think Meyer’s in Elgin) – but smokers are always a plus.
The food was fairly good. I had a 2-meat plate: chicken, turkey, green beans, and firecracker corn. The chicken I got was a quarter white. I traded my breast for Mark’s thigh (That sounds awful, when I say it out loud.) and found the wing and leg to be flavorful, if unspectacular. The turkey had a good taste, but the portion was small. (I left feeling hungry, so I had a grilled chicken sandwich from Dairy Queen before having a cigar with Mark at the Xikar event at C.I.G.A.R. in San Antonio.) Like Mark, I thought the sauce made the meats better. The green beans weren’t bad, but I didn’t get past a couple of bites of the corn, which I expected to be a skillet-type corn, not creamed corn with shredded cheese. It wasn’t bad; it was just not what I wanted. I should’ve asked, so that one’s on me. All in all, decent BBQ, if you want something quick, right off the interstate. Mark has a review, and then it’s on to the scores…
Mark: “Brisket: good oak and hickory smoked flavor, but very lean and too chewy. The piece I had had zero fat on it, though, so it'd probably be more moist and tender if I had a different part of the cow. Chicken: decent; more flavorful closer to the skin and pretty dry in the middle, but that didn't stop me from eating the whole thing. Sauce: made everything better. Cole slaw: as with everything else at Fuschak's, it's entirely homemade. Just the right proportion of creaminess, sweetness, and crunchiness. The best I've had so far. Cream corn: I applaud the uniqueness of putting mayonnaise (or whatever that was) with corn, but the texture and taste were far different than I expected (thought it would be a tad sweet and not quite so thick), and I couldn't eat more than 2 or 3 bites. Service: the guys that showed us around the back (including a young Mr. Fuschak - the founder's nephew) were very forthcoming and friendly, but only once we identified ourselves as being associated with the blog. At first, the crew up front made no eye contact with us and were very short. When Drew asked if they had a pit out back, the guy at the register replied abruptly with a "yeah," but in a distinct "well duh!" tone of voice. I almost laughed out loud at the "what the hell would you wanna do that for?" face the girl manning the drive-thru station gave Drew when he asked if he could see the pit for himself. Overall: good country feel and decor, 3 ample cookers out back, a drive-thru, and a variety of BBQ burrito offerings mean I'll probably be checking this place out again at some point. The meal cost less than usual, but the proportions of meat were less, too. Two meats and two sides didn't fill me up - and I'm a skinny dude. Had to follow it up with a small DQ Blizzard to ensure the stomach was full before lighting up a cigar at a nearby smoke shop. Recommendable, and probably a bit above average, but not in the top tier of south central Texas BBQ joints.”
Rich’s scores – Barburrito: 7.5 (beans overpowered everything else); Legendary Fajita: 8.3; Firecracker corn: 7; Atmosphere: 7.5; Overall experience: 7.8
Brad’s scores – Barburrito: 7.5; Atmosphere: 8.25; Firecracker corn: 7.85; Overall experience: 7.65
Drew’s scores – Chicken: 8.5; Turkey: 8.2; Atmosphere: 7.6; Overall experience: 7.9
Mark’s scores – Chicken: 7.6; Brisket: 7; Sauce: 9; Cole slaw: 10; Firecracker corn: 4; Service: 6.5; Atmosphere: Overall experience: 7.5
Overall Man-Up Score: 7.7125