Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Tejano BBQ & More (Dallas, TX)
After attending a painfully long and tedious deposition, I was in serious need of a late lunch, or at least an afternoon snack. I had recently discovered an obscure place called Tejano BBQ & More, which happened to be nearby. Hunger was taking over, so I decided to give it a try.
Tejano BBQ is a complete hole in the wall, and I never would have known this place even existed had it not been for Yelp. It's hidden in a random shopping center, tucked away next to a nail salon and a tattoo parlor. The interior was just as plain as the storefront: bare walls (except for a few pairs of mounted steer horns) and exposed wires. I was their only customer at 2:30, but that's not all that unusual. 1 of the only 2 employees I saw was mopping next to me the whole time I was there. The staff was extremely friendly though, mopping aside.
I didn't want to spoil my dinner, but I also wanted to get a good feel for their barbecue capabilities. I settled on a Two Meat Combo: ribs and barbacoa, with potato salad and bbq beans on the side. Their combos also come with a fountain drink, corn tortillas, and your choice of salsa (I opted for salsa verde).
The potato salad was about average. It had a decent crunch, but the texture could have been better. The only noticeable flavor was mustard, made all the more evident by its extreme yellow color. The beans had a nice flavor, but tasted like they came from a can, at least as a base. There was a nice amount of seasoning and just a little sweetness. I found a moderate amount of spiciness, although less than I was expecting from a place called "Tejano."
As for the meats, I started with the barbacoa. It didn't have much visual appeal on the plate, but I got over the lack of aesthetics once I took my first bite. Once I started eating, it was hard to stop. The texture was akin to a stringy pot roast, which is what you should expect from barbacoa. There wasn't any heat to it, but the salsa verde quickly solved that problem. My only regret was that I didn't inquire as to the animal and/or body part(s) from which my barbacoa was derived. Regardless, it was very tasty.
I moved on to the ribs, and found them to be completely overcooked. The meat pulled right off the bone in one bite, and it was dry and chewy. I couldn't find any smoke flavor or visible smoke ring, so I'm assuming they came out of an oven. I couldn't taste much seasoning or salt either, even in the flimsy crust. The overly-thick barbecue sauce helped a little, but definitely not enough to fix the numerous problems with their ribs. This was a big let down after the delicious barbacoa.
Their business cards add the word "taqueria" to the restaurant name, which is probably more apt than describing it as a barbecue joint. I'd come back to Tejano BBQ for barbacoa, or maybe some breakfast tacos, but that's about it.
Tejano BBQ & More
17509 Coit Rd.
Dallas, TX 75252
(214) 674-1237 (espanol)