Thursday, March 6, 2014
Stacy's Bar-B-Q (Jacksonville, TX)
I've driven past Stacy's on my way to Lufkin, TX several times, but never during operating hours. Today I made it to Jacksonville just after 11:00am, so I decided to pop in and grab some quick lunch.
Stacy's has been serving up 'que in Jacksonville for over 35 years. They made Texas Monthly's last list of the Top 50 BBQ Joints back in 2008, but somehow missed the cut for the current 2013 list. Maybe their barbecue quality has slacked off over the years, or perhaps the 2013 contenders were just that much better than in years prior. Either way, I was determined to get to the bottom of things.
Apparently Stacy's encourages patrons to scribble all over their walls. Most of this took the form of "Steve was here," with an occasional "Amy + John = Forever." The rest of the decor is straight out of a farmer's rusty barn, which I guess is appropriate for barbecue.
I wanted to sample as many meats as possible, so I ended up ordering a 3 Meat Combo Plate of brisket, ribs, and sausage (regular, not jalapeno). For my sides, I picked potato salad (mayo over mustard) and pinto beans.
The potato salad had a great flavor to it, with a slight sweetness from the mayo. The pickles also stood out in terms of both flavor and crunchy texture. I found a hint of dill, which I don't normally enjoy, but it worked here. The beans were cooked well and had a good seasoning to them. I wasn't wowed by anything in particular, but they were a good side dish nonetheless.
I started my meat trio with the sausage. The casings had a great crispy char. The flavor combination was pretty simple: salt, pepper, garlic. I also found a decent amount of smoke. Some of the best sausage comes from what's not there, rather than overloading it with unnecessary ingredients. I don't know if Stacy's sausage is made in-house, but it was tasty either way.
Although I normally save my ribs for last, I decided to take them next. These were nice meaty spare ribs. They had a decent looking crust with a hefty red hue. Despite the visuals, the ribs were a little lacking in the smoke department. Actually, I found them to be lacking across the board in terms of flavor. Some black pepper would have helped tremendously, as would more salt.
The brisket was buried beneath my ribs, so I had to dig it out before I could try this third and final meat. It had a good smoke ring, but no real bark. It was also a pretty lean cut of meat, likely from the flat of the brisket. Like the ribs, the brisket was pretty bland. There wasn't any seasoning that I could pinpoint, and only minimal smoke. It was decently tender at least. Sadly, this is one instance where I wish I had opted for some barbecue sauce.
I polished off the sausage and called it good on the rest. Overall, my taste buds left Stacy's thoroughly unimpressed. No wonder Texas Monthly left them off the 2013 Top 50 list.
1217 S. Jackson St
Jacksonville, TX 75766