Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stricks BBQ (Hattiesburg, Ms)

The worst BBQ I've ever put into my mouth.
Everything was awful...just awful. Imagine the smell of a dirty diaper mixed with vapor fumes, Gutter Punk B.O., and Walmart on a Saturday. Now imagine that smell in your mouth and you have Strick's BBQ.

Due to the fact that I crawled out of that place alive, Strick's BBQ will be receiving a 0 out of 5 stars. Strick's should be happy that my 5 star scale doesn't go into the negative numbers. They should also be happy that I'm not making a citizens arrest for attempted murder.

0 out 5 Stars.

This has to be a excerpt from their webpage...

The Pitmaster

Before Strick's can serve you delicious St. Louis Style Ribs, delightful smoked Ham, Turkey, and Brisket, they have to be conditioned by Edward.

Edward Extine is our pit master. He has been preparing pork ribs, chicken, and many other meats, loading and firing the pits, and removing it for over thirty years now.

This is an art. Knowing when to load the pit at just the right time to have it ready to serve is a trade that is learned over a long career.

You won't find Edwards' name next to any of the other pit masters in the states competing for ribbons and bragging rights. What you will find is thousands of satisfied customers that return to Strick's for their world famous, slow cooked, hickory smoked bar-b-q.

Strick's BBQ will be receiving a 0 out of 5 stars.

Strick's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stonewall's BBQ (Hattiesburg, Ms)

Stonewall's BBQ had a lot of gaul to print "Award Winning BBQ" in their logo. Award winning my ass is what I have to say. This will be short...

Ribs - tough & dry.
Pulled Pork - tasted like fat flavored candy.
Cheese Potato Casserole - tasted like it sounds.
Bread Pudding - no bourbon in the sauce, too much cinnamon.
BBQ Sauce - a glorified "KC Masterpiece" by Kraft.

Now it wasn't all bad, they had a real good Smoked Chicken. Also, being in New Orleans for so long, I'm impressed that they actually have a smoker...

The fact that I only ate half my platter and was left with an upset stomach all night doesn't help their case for a good score...

Stonewall's "Award Winning" BBQ will be receiving a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Click here for the Stonewall's website

Stonewall's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Squeal BBQ (New Orleans, La)

It’s pathetic that what excites me today is a BBQ Restaurant in New Orleans that actually has a smoker. Shamefully, smoking meat is a very rare occurrence in the New Orleans BBQ world. Fortunately, I stumbled into Squeal BBQ that carried the smell of hickory smoke half a block away. To quote the Prophet Ice Cube " I didn't even have to use my A.K., I got to say it was a good day".

As I walk to the front door, I see the charcoal smoker out front, I lean in to see that the thermostat is riding an even 200…not bad. With ample outdoor seating I choose to sit inside and look at the paintings of Coco Robicheaux and Dr. John…sure not Texas style decor but I won't hold that against them. Let me cut to the chase with the food. The St. Louis Style Ribs were great, perfect texture with an ok rub. The meat has flavor therefore they don't give you a lot of sauce to hide behind. My only criticism is that they weren’t smoky enough. The Chicken was also smoked with the white meat being a little dry. In their defense, chicken is an easy meat to over cook in a smoker. I was underwhelmed with the dry rub they used for the chicken and ribs. The homemade French fries were tolerable, potato salad was above par, and the Corn Maque Choux came across as canned corn with too much cummin and no diced tomato to accompany.

After saying all that, you might want to grab your diaper, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I don’t think I can do a better pulled pork than Squeal BBQ. I’m also going to go out on another limb and say that Squeal's pulled pork might be in the Top 5 all time pulled pork! It had just enough hickory flavor to it, it was moist, great seasoning, and not drowned in sauce. When you can eat pulled pork dry and it not be overrun with fatty pieces, you’ve hit gold…and I did! They also had a corn/cheese grits side item that was incredible. What also made this place so great is that they don’t serve any vegetables. That’s right, the kitchen has no salad in the back…it’s a nice way of telling the vegans to go back to California.

The sight of a smoker at this BBQ place, though it should be a given, has put me in a generous mood. It’s nice to find a BBQ place that doesn’t have to hide behind BBQ sauce to create good food. Due to the smoker, the incredible corn/cheese grits, the reasonable price, and awesome pulled pork, Squeal BBQ on Oak St. will be receiving a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Squeal Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bywater Restaurant & BBQ (New Orleans, La)

Another hot summer day goes by in New Orleans with the oven set to an even 250 degrees for some New Orleans BBQ. What is wrong that sentence? Keyword: OVEN. Is it so hard to buy a smoker when you own an establishment that has the word BBQ in it? I've always grown up thinking that BBQ = smoked meat. Never in my life did BBQ = BBQ sauce. Well New Orleans is living up to it's Oven baked name quite nicely with Bywater BBQ.

Located in the Bywater neighborhood in New Orleans, Bywater BBQ lives up to every hipsters stereotype from a quip waiter to a neat yet cluttered yet clean yet old atmosphere. My first alarm went off when I saw everything on the menu from Pizza to Red Beans and Rice. I felt like I was in the Harrahs Casino Restaurant. I quickly glanced at the BBQ page and ordered the 4 meat platter as I drank my Andygator on tap (big plus).

While you are about to hear the same old song and dance from me, I will step out on a limb and say, this is the best oven baked BBQ that I have yet to taste in New Orleans. The brisket and the pulled pork melt in your mouth, the white meat on the chicken is as juicy as the dark, and the ribs are nice and succulent.

The sides were incredible. Homemade and baked penne style macaroni and cheese and a red skin style potato salad that has more vinegar than usual (a good thing). I give these sides a 5 out of 5.

Now to give a restaurant something I'm good at...criticism. When you are doing Oven Baked BBQ (OBBBQ), obviously the flavor you get comes from the sauce, not the meat. You need to have a damn good sauce when you are doing OBBBQ. Their sauce was very tangy and tasted more like a heightened ketchup. Due to the fact that there was no smoker in this process, the meat did not have that crunchy sear on the outside that we all love so much. You would almost think that these people might be the kind of people that boil their meat before they bake know who you are. The meat was so tender...but a little too tender...almost slimey. For a 19$ entree of a four meat platter, I expect someone to roll me out of there in a wheel barrel. Unfortunately, I was able to walk out just fine.

We ended the meal with a Brownie ala mode with cheese cake ice cream that put me in a coma.

Overall: I give the sides and desert 5 out of 5 stars. However this is not a BBQ joint. They do not smoke their meats, their sauce is a glorified ketchup, and BBQ makes up about 10% of their menu. While I will come back many more times, I will never get the BBQ again.

Lesson learned; Don't let the BBQ name make you think you are getting real BBQ.

Bywater Restaurant and BBQ will be receiving a 3 out of 5 stars.

Bywater Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon