Saturday, October 19, 2013
Dave's Bar-B-Que (Dallas, TX)
Most of my Saturdays are spent in the office, so when I have the opportunity for some time off I try to make the most of things. Today I decided to take a short roadtrip to the Dallas-Duncanville border to try out Dave's Bar-B-Que.
Even though it was already 5:00pm, Dave's smoker was still working in full force in the parking lot. Given the retail location, I guess they didn't have many options for smoking. Putting the smoker front and center is usually a good sign, so I strolled inside to see if the food would match my expectations.
The dining room inside Dave's was tiny, much smaller than the Subway next door. The patrons in line ahead of me were all receiving their orders in styrofoam containers, which is probably a good thing given the 8 chairs available for dining in. Clearly this is more of a take-out and catering operation.
At first I considered eating light with just a barbecue sandwich, but the meat lover in me won out in the end. I ordered a Combo Dinner #2 of ribs and sausage with potato salad and mac n' cheese on the side. The menu offered either mild or spicy for the sausage, though no one asked which version I wanted. Rather than speaking up, I decided to just wait and see what the result would be. At least the server did manage to ask if I wanted my barbecue sauce on the meat or on the side, and of course I opted for sauceless 'que.
The potato salad was very heavy on the mustard. There seemed to be some black pepper sprinkled throughout, though I couldn't taste it. I also saw plenty of veggies mixed in, but couldn't find any crunch from them at all. The mac and cheese looked like run-of-the-mill Easy Mac, and it tasted like it too. It had almost no flavor aside from the Velveeta. Each of these sides had a lot of room for improvement.
My sausage came pre-sliced and looked store-bought. According to Full Custom Gospel BBQ's Daniel Vaughn, he was assured by the Dave's staff that they make their sausage in house, but I have my doubts about that. I found a decent snap to the casing when I bit in, as well as a fair amount of spice. I'm assuming I ended up with the spicy variety over the mild. There was a little heat to the sausage, but not enough to really label it "spicy" as far as I'm concerned. Despite the smoker churning out front, I couldn't taste much smoke. Overall, it tasted like a breakfast sausage patty. I ended up dunking the sausage in their sauce out of pure necessity. The sauce was an interesting mix of molasses and vinegar, but it wasn't enough to fix things.
Disappointed by the sausage, I moved on to the ribs. My combo came with three ribs which I couldn't really describe as either spare ribs or St. Louis ribs. The rib tips had been removed, but they were also included in my order, so it was more like a weird hybrid. The crust on the ribs looked decent enough, although it lacked any real seasoning. There was a moderate amount of smoke at least. The fat wasn't rendered nearly as much as it should have been, and the fat on the underside was thick, flimsy, and mushy. Another hour or so in the smoker would have done wonders for the ribs, as would a slightly higher cooking temperature. I called it quits after just one rib.
I feel bad giving Dave's Bar-B-Que such a low rating. The employees were all so nice that I really wanted to like their food, but it just wasn't happening.
4353 Gannon Ln.
Dallas, TX 75237