Friday, July 27, 2018
Sideways (Rockwall, TX)
Dallas was a great home to my wife and I for many years, and while I'm always ready for a nostalgic visit, I don't have the slightest desire to fight its horrendous traffic anymore. A barbecue joint called Sideways opened up shop a few months ago on the East side of Lake Ray Hubbard, and since eating there meant that I could bypass most of the gridlock, it didn't take much convincing to make this my scheduled DFW dinner run.
Sideways has the fun atmosphere that you'd expect from a harbor restaurant. They have a nice bar area, big screen TVs, and a huge outdoor patio. But since it was 100 degrees even with full cloud cover, I took a seat in the air conditioning. There was sort of an upscale rustic motif going on here with a splash of farmhouse sheik, which I liked it, and considering how busy they were, so did everyone else. A small stage area for live music was being set up, but I would likely be gone by the time that got rocking.
I ordered myself a 3 Meat Plate of brisket, pork ribs, and pulled pork. Upon selecting brisket, the waitress immediately asked for my preference of fatty or lean. Now that's my kind of place! Naturally I picked the fatty beef, but I'm sure their lean cut is good, too. I also made sure to snag some of their baked hatch chili mac and cheese as my one side dish. Oh, hatch chilies, how I've missed you.
Large shell pasta was a welcome change from basic elbow macaroni. The mac was creamy and cheesy, with a nice bite from the peppers. Cheese and spice complimented each other nicely. This was a really enjoyable side dish, and I made sure to take some leftovers with me so that I could enjoy it again.
The brisket had a deep black crust with a small red smoke ring beneath. Its big fatty layer along the bottom could have stood a wee bit more rendering, but it tasted great and melted in my mouth. A good amount of salt and black pepper in each bite was all the seasoning this needed. The thick slices were very smoky and not the slightest bit dry.
Their pork had the appearance and taste of meat that's been tossed in sauce. At least it was a vinegary one rather than the overly sweet variety. I caught hints of spiciness here and there, as well as a nice smoke level. The pork was sufficiently tender and juicy, though not really the pulled pork I had wanted.
My ribs looked fantastic! Coarse black pepper coated the ruby red crust, which extended deep below the surface. They were super moist, incredibly juicy, and wonderfully smoky. The meat stayed put until each successive bite, but then pulled off the bone with little more than a slight tug. In short, they were cooked perfectly.
If the pulled pork had been up to snuff, and the brisket slightly better, Sideways would certainly be a five-star barbecue joint. But even as is, this place is worth a visit.
2067 Summer Lee Dr
Rockwall, TX 75032