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Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Mike Anderson's BBQ (Dallas, TX)
It was a cold and rainy day here in Texas, so naturally I was looking for something hot and tasty to warm me up. Mike Anderson's closes at 2:30, and I made it just in the nick of time with only seven minutes to spare.
This place has a very rustic feel to it that screams old west Texas: hides and horns mounted all over the walls, and cowhide (well, plastic cowhide print) tablecloths. Western motif aside, you'll also find some pretty groovy blues pumping through the speakers inside and out.
All of their BBQ Dinner Plates come with up to three meats and two sides. For my first two, I picked brisket and pork ribs. I also wanted to sample their beer bratwurst, which they had unfortunately run out of by this point. The helpful server behind the counter recommended their jalapeno cheddar sausage instead. This offering wasn't on the menu, but I was more than happy to give it a try. For side #1, I decided on jalapeno pinto beans with rice and brisket. You can also get dessert as one of your sides, so I eagerly asked for Granny's peach cobbler. They were out of cobbler too (both peach and cherry/pineapple), but I was ok with substituting Dee's banana pudding.
The beans were excellent. They had a ton of flavor and plenty of heat to boot, courtesy of the big slices of pickled jalapeno. I found a decent amount of Cajun seasonings, which added to the heat level. The rice didn't add much in terms of taste, but did add a nice texture balance. I didn't notice too much brisket, although I'm sure it was in there somewhere.
Mike Anderson's makes their sausage in house with about a 60/40 moo-to-oink ratio. My sausage was very cheesy, but only moderately spicy. Despite all the cheese and heat, I could still taste a good degree of smoke. There was also a nice snap to the casings, which is always appreciated. The jalapeno cheddar sausage was an excellent second choice.
My brisket was very tender and juicy; I only found one bite out of all my slices that was a tad dry. The brisket had a slight smoke ring, which I expected to be much larger given the abundance of smoky flavor throughout. The crust was well seasoned, as was the rest of the cut. I ended up with a good mix of fatty and lean, although I wish they had given me more bark.
Of the three meats, the ribs had the most smoke. There was a thick red hue on the edges which validated my taste buds. Smokiness aside, the ribs were a little on the dry side. Not so much overcooked, just dry. The crust had a nice sweetness to it, but could benefit from more seasoning. Other reviews I've seen mentioned a fantastic rib rub, which mine seemed to be missing.
I finished off my meal with Dee's banana pudding, and it was a perfect palate cleanser. There was a hint of either cinnamon or nutmeg, although I couldn't pinpoint it exactly. The pudding was a little runny, but not enough to ruin things. My 'nilla wafers, which easily could have been very soggy, still had some crunch left to them too. Good work, Dee.
I'll definitely be going back to Mike Anderson's, and hopefully they'll have some beer bratwurst available the next time around.
Mike Anderson's BBQ
5410 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75235