Showing posts with label Sweetwater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sweetwater. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reader Review: Buck's Steaks & Bar-B-Q (Sweetwater, TX)

Reviewed by: Rachel Short (Austin, TX) 

The trip from Austin to Plainview and back is quite the trek for one weekend, even for five UT college girls. After several hours in the car, our stomachs began growling and even Josh Abbot tunes couldn’t distract the hunger pangs. Finally, we stopped in Sweetwater, and the thought occurred to me: barbecue. As a previous student and current twitter-follower of Drew Thornley, I decided to put my “ManUpBarbecue” thinking cap on and attempt to be a bbq connoisseur. We had two options: Big Boys Barbecue or Buck’s Steaks & Bar-B-Q. Unfortunately, our Sunday drive ruled out Urban Spoon’s more popular choice, Big Boys: closed Sundays. So Buck’s Steaks & Bar-B-Q it was! An extensive menu didn’t stop us from all ordering the same thing: chopped brisket sandwiches. What can I say? Girls will be girls. Never fear! Some would say critiquing is what we do best.

The brisket was a tad dry and slightly overcooked. However, the barbecue sauce did gain a few points. The flavorful sauce was a bit spicy with a sweet, tangy flavor. A side of potato salad had a good onion taste but nothing to brag about. Other side options included macaroni and cheese, baked beans, cole slaw and corn bread. The macaroni and cheese had an interesting texture of mayonnaise that wasn’t to my liking. And not one of us finished our baked beans or cole slaw, which were both mediocre. The portions were generous and buffet-style options gave you the choice to go back for seconds. But would you? Possibly for some more bbq sauce or an extra roll. Choose the roll over the cornbread for your bread option. The cornbread lacked a certain moistness that the rolls more than made up for. Literally, the rolls melted in your mouth! Peach cobbler for dessert was a free friendly gesture by our waitress. The cobbler had a thick, flaky crust but the peaches were a little too syrupy. The sweetness overruled the tartness, which in my opinion, a good balance between sweet and tart is a necessity for cobbler.

After a few more swigs of iced tea (not brewed to its fullest potential), my first bbq critiquing experience with the help of four friends came to an end. Note to self: Next time when road-tripping through Sweetwater and want barbecue, make sure it’s not Sunday and choose Big Boys Barbecue over Buck’s Steak & Bar-B-Q.

Buck's Steaks & Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 24, 2010

West Texas BBQ Grazing

Yesterday, I trolled around the Permian Basin, looking for BBQ, and made a couple of extra stops along the interstate drive to Abilene. I asked each place to pick my order for me. All the pics to come, but here's the rundown of the stops (in chronological order):

Johnny's Barbecue (Odessa) - ham & turkey

Longhorn Bar-B-Q (Odessa) - brisket

Bar-B-Q Barn (Odessa) - turkey

Rockin' Q (Odessa) - brisket

Johnny's BBQ & Diner (Midland) - sampler of brisket, sausage, turkey, ham, slaw, & potato salad

Brown's BBQ (Midland) - brisket sandwich

Hog Heaven (Big Spring) - baby backs

Big Boy's (Sweetwater) - pork ribs & country-style pork ribs

Not a bad day. Neither was Friday:

Cooper's (Llano) - turkey

Hard Eight (Brady) - half chicken and corn on the cob

Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (San Angelo) - brisket

RJ's (San Angelo) - brisket

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Latest pics from Big Boy's Bar-B-Que

Amber stopped into Big Boy's Bar-B-Que (Sweetwater, TX) a couple of weeks ago. Here's what she found:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010: Big Boy's Bar-B-Que (Sweetwater, TX)

It was lunch time as we hit Sweetwater, and I was planning on stopping, but I didn't know where until I saw a billboard for Big Boy's Bar-B-Que. About 5 minutes later, Amber and I were ordering. The small dining room was packed with what appeared to be regulars. The Southwesternish decor wasn't like any I've seen at any other Texas BBQ joint, but it was comfortable, relaxing.

I didn't have the bacon-wrapped jalapeno with cream cheese, but Amber was a fan. The chopped beef, along with pickles and sauce, made a good sandwich, though I'm not a fan of the sweet-sourdough bun, which is not made in house but rather in a bakery in Houston. Just too thick and heavy for my taste. But I'm obviously in the minority here, b/c I think the buns are quite popular. The owner and his wife each have their preferred ribs: His Ribs and Her Ribs. I favored Her Ribs, which had a sweet-and-tangy glaze, while Amber liked His Ribs, boneless, country-style pork ribs. I read some reviews on another site complaining about the prices, but I have no recollection of the menu's prices, so I can't weigh in.

Even though the food was good, what stood out to me about our visit was the hospitality that the owner, Gaylan Marth, showed. Smack dab in the middle of a Friday lunch rush, he took time out to visit with us at our table and take me out back to the pit area, where we spent a good 10 minutes chatting about his cooking method and the history of the restaurant. The great service stands out even more, when juxtaposed against the service we experienced at another BBQ joint that weekend - service so terrible that we left before we finished ordering.

As we pulled out of the parking lot around 1 p.m., I noticed a chartered bus emptying kids, who were crossing the street and heading for Big Boy's. I don't know whether their stop was planned or whether they were, like I, lured in by a billboard, but Big Boy's is worth the stop, if you're in the Sweetwater area.

Big Boys Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Whatcha got, New Mexico?

Made the long, beautiful drive from Abilene to Ruidoso yesterday. Only passed 1 BBQ joint between Abilene and the state line (Well, I saw a couple of others, but they were either closed for the day or no longer in business.): Big Boy's Bar-B-Que in Sweetwater (Warning: This website might make you dizzy.), the "Wind Energy Capital of the World." Really liked it. Writeup and pics to come. There's a BBQ place right near the house here in Ruidoso, so I plan to stop in today to see what kind of BBQ New Mexico has to offer.