Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Our party of 24 for our visit to Smitty’s set a new attendance record for us. As with most outings these days, we had several first timers – something we love. Join us, folks!
My take on this visit is the same as my usual take: a classic atmosphere (except for the dining rooms), with detached service and great pork ribs (Dave says the ribs are "outstanding; a good amount of smokiness and a slightly sweet bast really blended well with the flavor of the meat!"). Standing next to a fire on the floor, while you wait to order and watch the men cut meat and wrap it in butcher paper = awesome. Paying for pickles = not awesome. Not being able to pay with a credit card = also not awesome.
Jenny, who manned up with us for the first time but who has quickly become a photo-snapping fixture, gives us her first review: “Brisket: some of the better brisket I've had, but I'm not a big fan of brisket. Pork ribs: Excellent glaze, good and savory flavor! It had the kind of taste that really makes me feel like I'm in the South. It was a little dry, but I'm fairly certain that's because we got there after their peak of readiness. Atmosphere: Definitely an old-fashioned meat market, lunch counter kind of feel. I was a little intrigued by the fact that there was someone whose job it was to just give you onions, tomatoes, and the like. It somehow added a more human element to it with this unavoidable face-to-face interaction that I'm guessing you don't get as much of in most meat markets. Still, it was rather cold for a while when you first walk in, and they force you to stand in that long, cold line for quite a while.”
One trip to Smitty’s in the summer, when you stand next to a fire on the floor, while you wait to order, and Jenny will be singin’ a different tune about the temp. Can I get an “Amen!”???
Russell was impressed by the manly showing of 24 but not by the beef: “Amazing that we brought 24 Man Uppers to Smitty’s! I was not disappointed in our manning up in mass like we did…but I was a bit disappointed in Smitty’s rubbery brisket on this day. It sort of tasted like day old pork loin, which is not terrible, just ‘off.’ Clearly an ‘off day’ for them. BBQ can be so hard to make consistent, especially brisket, and I think they may have cooked theirs too long or something. Smitty’s pork ribs were awwwwesome, as usual with that sweeeeet sauce, but not exactly falling off the bone on this day. they’re not too hospitable, especially for small town folks, but hey it’s a meat market!… and Smitty’s authentic meat market atmosphere...luv the site and smell of that pit fire that meats you at the door!”
Jason writes, “Pork ribs – had the skinny ends, a little overcooked, and real jerky-like. I’ll remember to ask for middle parts of the rib). Sausage – seems like they use less pork fat; I like J not super greasy like it normally was it was quite nice). Brisket – not their best but still great flavor and decent tenderness. Iced tea – this is how tea should taste!”
Todd says Smitty’s is “a staple and must visit BBQ joint in Texas, just remember to take cash.” He deducted 2 points for service b/c of the cash-only policy. I’m not a fan of it either.
Jenny’s scores – Brisket: 7; Pork ribs: 9.2; Atmosphere: 8; Overall experience: 8.14
Russell’s scores – Brisket: 7.05; Pork ribs: 9.89; Service: 7.75; Atmosphere: 10; Overall experience: 9.42
Jason’s scores – Brisket: 8.7; Pork ribs: 8.2; Sausage: 9.7; Iced tea: 9.9; Overall experience: 9.25
Todd’s scores – Pork ribs: 9.8; Blue Bell ice cream cone: 10; Sweet tea: 9.8; Service: 7.5; Atmosphere: 9.4; Overall experience: 9.5
Drew’s scores – Pork ribs: 9.65; Atmosphere: 8.8; Service: 7; Overall experience: 8.85
Dave's scores – Pork ribs: 10; Brisket: 6.5; Overall experience: 8.5
Amir’s scores – Brisket: 8; Sausage: 9.75; Pork ribs: 9.75; Overall experience: 9
Overall Man-Up Score: 8.95