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Saturday, April 20, 2013
Sammy's Bar-B-Q (Dallas, TX)
This was one of the first Saturdays I haven't had to work in a while, so I decided to make the most of it. I randomly found Sammy's Bar-B-Q in passing earlier this week, but didn't have time to stop by until now.
Their smokers are enclosed with big black tarps, giving it a feel much akin to a makeshift haunted house. Here you'll find a big outdoor patio in the back, and a small outdoor courtyard in front. The interior has a nice welcoming feel to it despite the humble decor. It seems to be a Hispanic-run establishment (not that it matters), judging by the import beers and Jarritos soda available for purchase.
I wanted to get a good feel for their abilities, so I ordered a 3 Meat Combo Plate: smoked sausage, ribs, and sliced brisket with potato salad and bbq beans on the side.
Although you can hardly judge a barbecue joint by the sides, these were fairly disappointing. Their potato salad is mayo-based, rather than mustard. I found lots of crunch from the veggies, but almost no flavor at all. The bbq beans tasted more like pinto beans and had a distinct "from the can" taste that tends to stem from preservatives. There wasn't really much seasoning and spice either. I don't know how their other sides measure up, but these weren't worthy of more than a one-bite sampling.
I got a fairly decent helping of smoked sausage, but it looked store-bought. It was fairly monochrome and had no visible black pepper or other spices. There wasn't much snap to the casings, and definitely no smoke. In fact, the best way to describe it is to say that it tasted like a hotdog, so I guess I have Oscar Mayer to blame for this one. The barbecue sauce certainly helped, but only as much as it helps to add ketchup to a frozen hamburger patty.
The brisket looked pretty gray and lifeless on the plate, and it tasted about the same. I noticed a slight red smoky hue on the edges, but I couldn't find the smoky flavor anywhere. The fat was present, although not well-rendered by any means. The only thing that kept it from being completely dried out was the razor-thin slicing. All in all, the brisket was extremely bland. I left more than half of it on the plate.
I saved my ribs for last, and they were just as disappointing as the first two meats: bland and almost devoid of flavor. There was certainly no smoke here. The meat fell apart as soon as I picked up my first rib, suggesting that they were completely overcooked. The ribs themselves were small, sad, and pitiful. Of the three ribs that came with my combo, I didn't have a rib bone longer than an inch and a half, so the remaining inch or so of rib meat was held together with cartilage and bone fragments. This was a very cheap cut of meat.
For the life of me, I can't understand why Sammy's has so many stellar reviews, although many of them seem to focus on the sides rather than the meat. I struggled to find one positive thing to say about this place, but honestly the only thing I enjoyed about the meal was my glass of lemonade. I've had barbecue from several places that I would describe as mediocre, but Sammy's was just plain awful. This kind of bland, tasteless "barbecue" is only fit for a nursing home, and even then it might constitute elder abuse. Don't bother with Sammy's.
2126 Leonard St.
Dallas, TX 75201