TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
I had to meet a coworker in New Braunfels today. During the drive there I started thinking about BBQ. I convinced myself (though when it comes to BBQ, it doesn't take much convincing) that I had to have some brisket and sausage for lunch. Not just any BBQ would do, I wanted to try a place I had never had before. After a quick search on Yelp, I found CBQ with 4stars! I get out of the car and take a deep breath, first thing that comes to mind is "where's the smell of smoke". I decide the wind must be blowing the the smoke to the other side of the building. I continue inside, as I open the door I get it, the faint smell of smoke. I reassure myself with the 4 star rating. I see a "wait to be seated" sign and think what kind of TX BBQ joint is this. Shouldn't I walk up to the counter, order my brisket then carry a tray of juicy BBQ on butcher paper to the table and enjoy? Not here you don't! At the table I receive a menu and begin to make my decision. A two meat plate with moist brisket and tx sausage plus two sides. I remember reading a Yelp review about the creamy coleslaw and I saw burnt end BBQ beans menus on the menu. A few minutes later a plate is brought to my table. What's up with this brisket, it doesn't look right? The sausage looks good. Since when does diced pieces of brisket count as burnt ends? I remind myself, Don't judge a book by the cover, this place has 4 stars! Let's start with the sides. Burnt end BBQ beans - like I mentioned, the burnt ends are diced cubes of brisket with no flavor and how much sugar did you put in here? These beans are so sweet I cannot eat them. The creamy coleslaw - lots of shredded cabbage and a few shredded carrots with an entire tub of mayo doesn't make it coleslaw. I've had better coleslaw from a drive thru window. Time for the brisket - doesn't BBQ brisket have a smoke ring? What's up with the weird "bark" (I use that term loosely) it has more of a beef jerky texture and flavor to it. Did this brisket receive any smoke? If so was it wrapped in foil so the smoke couldn't reach the meat? Bill Miller's BBQ doesn't have anything to worry about when it comes to CBQ. They won't be taking any brisket business away. I'm a firm believer that if you need BBQ sauce on your brisket it wasn't cooked correctly..... so, where's the sauce? 3 choices of house made sauce. A basic sauce, a honey mustard, and a spicy. The waitress did mention that it was really spicy. I also read some Yelp reviews that it was made with ghost chilies and it was very very hot. I started with the basic - know wonder the BBQ beans were so sweet. This sauce has no smokey flavors only sweetness, I'll pass. Let's try the TX sausage - casing has a nice snap to it. Wow something that has flavor. I can eat this. It's actually a decent piece of sausage. You can see the pepper in it, wait, what's that I see? Is that a smoke ring? How is it possible for the sausage to have a smoke ring, but the brisket doesn't? I didn't bother asking where the sausage was made, but it was good. Now back to the brisket and sauce. Honey mustard sauce - again, how much honey is in here? This too is so sweet it's not enjoyable. I decide to stop with the brisket and sauce and just eat the sausage and a slice of white bread. If you find yourself standing in front of CBQ BBQ do yourself a favor. Go inside and order some sausage to go, then look across the street. Do you see the Bucee's gas station? Go over there and get you a brisket sandwich and enjoy. On my drive back home I wonder about that 4 star rating. I will not be returning to CBQ!!
Butchkluth @ CBQ, 2016-05-24 21:34:50
We had the pork tacos a sliced and abolish sausage all great love my Angelo's
douglas78@aol.com @ Angelo’s Bar-B-Que, 2016-05-24 19:35:51
I ordered the ribs and 1/2 of the brisket. The ribs were very respectable. Nice rub with just the right amount of pepper. Very juicy & smoked just right. The brisket had a nice pink ring to it & were very juicy (I'm a fan of the juicy/fat camp - always more flavor. That's what I tell my cartoligist). Big bib is a top five for me. Looking forward to coming back.
Joe Ashbaugh @ The Big Bib BBQ, 2016-05-22 18:21:56
I ordered the ribs and 1/2 of the brisket. The ribs were very respectable. Nice rub with just the right amount of pepper. Very juicy & smoked just right. The brisket had a nice pink ring to it & were very juicy (I'm a fan of the juicy/fat camp - always more flavor. That's what I tell my cartoligist). Big bib is a top five for me. Looking forward to coming back.
Joe Ashbaugh @ The Big Bib BBQ, 2016-05-22 18:21:32
Got a sliced and a coke sandwich was good I'll try again if I'm out this way
douglas78@aol.com @ Longhorn Smokehouse, 2016-05-21 18:48:33
Couldn't find this place
douglas78@aol.com @ Table 6, 2016-05-21 18:28:51
Same as the other bodacious I've had had the sliced to go
douglas78@aol.com @ Bodacious Bar-B-Q, 2016-05-21 18:25:07
Saw this place on country reporter it is fantastic hot links or chili twenty minutes later and my lips are still numb from the hot sauce
douglas78@aol.com @ Doc's Hot Links, 2016-05-21 18:17:25
More Buzz →

Review

Hickory House BBQ 03

June 10, 2014

Johnny Doyle cooks on a gas-rotisserie, but he’d do it differently if he could. He takes pride in the barbecue he puts out in his nearly forty year old Denison restaurant, so when he had pit fire that destroyed his Oylers, he wanted to replace them. “[J&R Manufacturing] told me it would be a couple months before I could get an Oyler built, so I bought two Southern Prides instead.” Now he just can’t get the bark to set on his ribs like he’d like to. I can’t be sure if it’s the cook or the cooker, but he’s right.

Hickory House BBQ 01

The ribs were tender and came away nicely from the bone. They even had a good smokiness, but the rub sat atop the meat like wet sawdust. The meat and rub had not become one, and there was no bark to speak of. That textural variation of crisp crust and moist meat is what makes a dry-rubbed rib so pleasing, but this rib was crying for some sauce. Luckily, they make a couple good ones here. The tomato-based version wasn’t too sweet with just a touch of vinegar, and livened up the ribs nicely.

Doyle’s other sauce is a regional specialty. He makes a brown gravy sauce from the flour-thickened pit drippings. It’s thick and heavily seasoned, and makes for great Texas toast dipping.

Brown Gravy 13

Hickory House brown gravy sauce

Johnny and his wife Shawn make all the sides too. In fact, there isn’t much here that’s not from scratch. If you’re used to beans from the can, a trip through Sherman, Denison, Bells, and Bonham will be a pinto bean revelation. They know how to cook them in these parts. There are few ingredients and they aren’t fortified with leftover chunks of barbecue. They’re just beans that are well cooked in a pot for long hours and seasoned with just enough salt. A side of potato salad was anything but store-bought. Chunks of egg, nearly-mashed potatoes, and good kick of yellow mustard made for a bright counterpoint to the beans. Side are also self-serve along the cafeteria line, so you can get a few spoonfuls if you like.

Hickory House BBQ 02

Then there’s the brisket. In these parts you normally need to beg for any crust to be left on the meat. The fatty end is usually chopped for sandwiches, and the sauce on the side is a foreign concept. But Johnny Doyle does it differently. A nice line of rendered fat hid beneath a crunchy bark created from hours in the pit, and few on the steam table. Brisket in the mid-afternoon is usually dried out when held in this manner, but the Hickory House beef was juicy and tender. There was plenty of smoke, pepper, and salt to flavor it too.

Maybe the ribs were better back before the pit fire, but it looks like Doyle has found his sweet spot with the brisket. He recognized me just before I left, and asked me for some tips on the ribs. I’m not sure if it was for flattery or if he was really looking to improve, but it’d be worth returning to find out as long as he keeps serving brisket like that.

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