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Saturday, January 5, 2013
Hoffbrau Steaks (Dallas, TX)
Today my wife and I went to the Dallas Safari Club's annual convention near the West End, so I was understandably craving something that had been killed and butchered. We weren't quite dressed up enough for the Y.O. Ranch, so we settled on Hoffbrau instead.
Hoffbrau is pretty much your average steakhouse, but the atmosphere and the service could have been better. The hostess seated us at a small table wedged into a corner right next to the kitchen and restrooms, so it didn't exactly scream romance. We could also hear the constant screech of chairs on the second floor above us.
We started with an order of fried pickles that my wife had her eye on, and then I decided on a half-rack of their Texas Pork Ribs, substituting steak fries for corn on the cob.
The fried pickles were really good, except they were a tad too salty. The batter had just the right consistency to it. I especially liked that the pickles were cut a little thicker, which kept them from becoming flimsy or limp. Now for the ribs
When I ordered the "Texas Pork Rib Rack," naturally I was expecting Texas-style barbecue, but the 1/4-inch of sauce slathered on top definitely reminded me more of Memphis or St. Louis style than anything else. Maybe the name just meant that the pork itself was from Texas, but I digress. According to the menu, this was a Dr. Pepper-based sauce. It certainly had a pleasantly-sweet flavor to it, but it wasn't one that I would readily identify as Dr. Pepper. As my wife put it, "If Dr. Pepper had been the secret ingredient on Iron Chef and the judges couldn't taste the Dr. Pepper, they'd definitely lose." Despite all of this, the ribs were pretty juicy and tender without being overcooked.
It was nice to come in out of the cold for a little bit, but other than that Hoffbrau Steaks was kind of a letdown. The food wasn't bad or inedible, but there was certainly no wow factor. My wife and I both agreed that there was reason to go back. Maybe their steaks are better than their ribs, but the fact that D Magazine only gave Hoffbrau props for their chicken fried steak doesn't lend much confidence.
311 N. Market Street
Dallas, TX 75202