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Comment Archives: Locations: Restaurants: Barbecue: 4 Stars

Re: “Jack's BarBCue

I caught the scent of delicious hickory smoke wafting through the parking lot. This was a good sign. I "checked in" on Yelp and received an offer for "1 free Hand Rub." Despite the obvious and hilarious double entendre, I declined the offer. I prefer to make my own rubs.

After a quick perusal of the menu, I decided to make my 3 Meat Combo a true cross-section of America: Tennessee pork shoulder, Texas beef brisket, and St. Louis pork ribs. For my two sides, I picked potato salad and mac & cheese. Their combos also come with either cornbread or toast, which is a no-brainer of a decision.

The mac & cheese was creamy and cheesy, but nothing special. The potato salad was slightly sweet, with just enough mustard to help the taste without being overpowering. Their cornbread has a flaky consistency similar to pound cake, and was equally as sweet. This was a great palate cleanser in between the side dishes and the main event.

I ended up with a leaner cut of brisket, which despite my fears was actually very tender. My slices had a dark black crust and a deep red smoke ring. The flavors were really nice, and there was plenty of smoke. It wasn't quite the Central Texas brisket I hoped for, but it was still very good.

The pork shoulder had a nice smoky hue and lots of bark mixed throughout. The meat was tender, but bordering on mushy. The bark packed the most flavor, though the rest also had a nice taste. There was a decent amount of smoke here too.

Their St. Louis ribs had a good crust and a decent smoke ring. They weren't as meaty as I would have liked, but the flavors were great. Each bite had ample smoke, although some coarse black pepper would have made the crust even better. The meat was tender, succulent, and juicy, but not falling off the bone. And yes, that's a good thing.

Surprisingly, the pulled pork shoulder was my favorite part of this meaty trio. I usually find myself unimpressed by pulled pork, but Jack's proved that any meat can be fantastic if you know how to smoke it.

Read my full review, complete with pictures:

The Barbecue Fiend

http://barbecuefiend.blogspot.com/2014/03/jacks-bar-b-que-nashville-tn.html

Posted by Jared Kocurek on 09/05/2014 at 2:32 PM

Re: “Judge Bean's BBQ

As a native Texan, Judge Bean unsurprisingly and thankfully gravitates toward brisket rather than pulled pork. A man after my own heart. He is also apparently a descendent of the infamous Texas lawman Judge Roy Bean, which is just awesome.

Part of me was anticipating a counter-service barbecue joint, but Judge Bean's uses waitresses. As I frequently do when dining alone, I saddled up to the bar. The very friendly bartender took great care of me. In fact, everyone I encountered here was exceptionally welcoming. Clearly the staff has been instructed on the finer points of Texas charm as well as Texas 'que.

Since Judge Bean's specializes in Texas-style barbecue, and since I was feeling a little homesick, a Texas Trinity was in order. I got their 3-Meat Smokehouse Combo with brisket, ribs, and sausage, as well as potato salad and cowboy beans for my two sides. I also couldn't help tacking on a piece of their so-called Texas Sushi for good measure.

My Texas Sushi appetizer came out first. What you have here is a jalapeno stuffed with sausage and cream cheese, wrapped in brisket. It's kind of like a California roll, except for men. The brisket had a nice smoke ring and was quite tender despite being a leaner cut of meat. I found a great hit of smoke and heat in each bite, tempered nicely by the cream cheese. Good thing I had a big glass of sweet tea to cool things down. The entire thing was absolutely fantastic.

I enjoyed their mayonnaise-based potato salad, which was a nice change of pace from the mustard-based potato salads I usually find in my travels. Without the overpowering mustard flavors, I could really taste the pickles and pimento. According to the menu, the cowboy beans are "not a sleeping partners favorite," so I'll apologize in advance to my wife. The beans had a ton of flavor, and there was definitely some spiciness to them.

The brisket had a deep red smoke ring which perfectly matched the equally smoky flavor. The dark black bark was also extremely tasty. Though lean, the brisket was magnificently tender. What little fat there was had been rendered beautifully. In addition to signifying the proper cooking time/temperature, this also tells me that Judge Bean's truly cares about their product.

Barbecued sausage seems to be a rare find in Middle Tennessee, so the Czech in me was happy to see it at Judge Bean's. The casings were very crisp, with each bite "popping" in my mouth. I could really taste the smoke, which isn't always the case with sausage. This was most assuredly not made in-house, but it was still really tasty.

These ribs didn't have as much of a crust as I was expecting. I did, however, appreciate that they weren't served drowning in sauce. The meat was very tender, but sadly had no bone retention. Perhaps this was an attempt to appease local demands for "falling-off-the-bone" ribs. That being said, they had a nice smoke level and an all-around great flavor.

Next time I eat at Judge Bean's, I may just order up a dozen pieces of Texas Sushi and call it good.

Read my full review, complete with pictures:

The Barbecue Fiend
http://barbecuefiend.blogspot.com/2014/09/judge-beans-bar-b-que-brentwood-tn.html

Posted by Jared Kocurek on 09/05/2014 at 2:15 PM

Re: “Rooster's Texas Style BBQ

I love BBQ and I've tried most every place around here. This is not far from my office (Music Row), so we have gone there a few times for work.

First, if you don't know, Rooster is the guy that owns it (you'll usually see him walking around), and his brother is the one that owned Judge Beans (and has since sold it to some other guys, so the two no longer have a formal business relationship). The menu is similar to JB's in some respects (I get the brisket and chicken wraps at both places), but different in others. JB's clearly took the recipes and dishes and tinkered with it a bit. I like Rooster's brisket and chicken, but I'm shocked that they don't have pulled pork. Maybe it's a Texas thing. But, most of the main dishes are very tasty. I'm not a fan of their style of fries - very thick cut (I prefer thin and crispy instead of thick and soggy), but to each his own. I love the onion straws, really tasty.

The service has been up and down when we've been there. The staff is always friendly, but the food has not always been timely. The last two times our group has gone there for lunch, our orders have taken around/at least 30 minutes to come out, no exaggeration. In one case we had afternoon meetings and told them we would have to leave if it didn't get there soon, which it did. But, then this happened the next time we went. Anything past 10 minutes is stretching it, and this went way over the line. But, other times the food has come out in plenty of time.

I would love to try their steaks, but they are WAY too expensive for a BBQ place that is serving steaks. Or maybe my expectations are too low. If I'm going to drop $30 on a dinner entree, I expect a real plate (not styrofoam) and real utensils (maybe they give you metal ones with the steaks, I don't know, but most times you just get plastic). Maybe it's good, but I haven't gotten brave enough to risk wasting the money.

If I were going to change anything about the place I'd make the service more consistent, add pulled pork to the menu, and make their fries smaller/crisper.

Posted by WoodsIsATroll on 08/01/2011 at 11:35 AM

Re: “Bar-B-Cutie

Classic smokey Memphis-style bbq in the original location of the iconic Nashville eatery. They didn't get this big with lousy service and so-so bbq. You know it's going to be good! But what sets it apart, other than the sexy sign? For me, it's the variety. I had pork bbq on cornbread - two big corncakes (like pancakes) and that was a new one on me. Yum! They also have great value meals - the daily special for 5 bucks, or a meat and potatoes dinner for 3 bucks. Plus tons of sides to choose from. And they serve breakfast made-to-order! Service is friendly and speedy, tables are clean and stocked with four sauce choices. If you live in Nashville, I know it's on your to-do list. Check it off soon!

Posted by cyndietodd on 04/24/2010 at 6:36 PM

Re: “South Street Original Crab Shack, Smokehouse And Treehouse Oyster Bar

Today was our first visit to South Street. We were craving one of our favorite meals; raw oysters and beer. Acme in New Orleans and Goatfeathers in South Walton were out of the question. The service at South Street was well above average. David, our waiter, had good suggestions, and seemed to show up at just the right time. The oysters were delecious. We had three dozen, and would rate them close to any we've had anywhere. Our rating is only 4 because this was our first visit to South Street; if our next visit is as enjoyable, it'll be a solid 5.
Rating Detail:
Food: 4
Service: 5
Atmosphere: 4
Value: 4
Overall: 4

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dan Brown on 08/10/2009 at 3:34 PM

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