Thursday, March 6, 2014
Pitt Stop Bar-B-Que (Lufkin, TX)
I was in dire need of a snack before I began my 3 1/2 hour drive back to Dallas. Pitt Stop is one of the few remaining barbecue joints in Lufkin I hadn't yet sampled, so I thought I'd give it a try.
The dining room (if you can even call it that) looked like the makings of a garage sale, or possibly an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive. Clearly ambiance was not a priority, so I hoped they were instead focusing on the meat. The aging Ma and Pa who run this joint were a tad grizzled, but were both very nice. Good service goes a long way in my book.
Their Thursday "Blazin' Butts" lunch special was understandably gone by 4:00pm, so I settled for a 2 Meat Plate of brisket and ribs, with potato salad and beans on the side. With no other customers inside, a to-go order seemed most appropriate.
When I unboxed my order, the first thing I noticed was the giant glob of very yellow potato salad. This was an unusual mashed potato take on traditional salad, but I prefer actual diced potatoes. There was a moderate crunch, though not enough to improve the texture. It was ok, but I couldn't get my palate past all the mustard. The beans had some definite kick to them, which was nicely tempered by equal amounts of sweetness. They also had a really great flavor and were clearly homemade.
Sadly, my brisket looked pretty lifeless. There was no crust and no smoky hue. The razor-thin slices fell apart at the slightest touch, suggesting that it was severely overcooked. The brisket was really greasy and had no smoke flavor. All in all, this "meat" was probably better suited for a chopped beef sandwich, but even that might be a stretch.
The completely mangled ribs didn't look any better than the brisket. Half of the meat was already separated from the bones. The crust was rock hard and lacked any seasoning besides salt. I only found minimal smoke at best. I managed to choke down one rib, but couldn't bring myself to eat the other three.
$15.00 was way too expensive for a two-meat plate and a drink, especially considering it was mostly inedible. I realize that late afternoon isn't the ideal time for fresh barbecue, but Pitt Stop's food had problems that went way beyond timing. The owners were so nice that I really wanted to like this place, it just wasn't in the cards.
Pitt Stop Bar-B-Que
2108 E. Denman Ave
Lufkin, TX 75901