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Saturday, May 4, 2013
Off the Bone Barbeque (Dallas, TX)
Sadly, I have no amusing tidbits to go along with today's barbecue excursion. My empty stomach was simply craving smoked meat, which I suppose is as good an excuse as any for eating barbecue. I've heard good things about Off the Bone, so I decided to give it a shot.
There really isn't much to this place in terms of being an actual restaurant. The main entrance dumps you straight into the dining area, then there's another door leading to the counter and kitchen. It's kind of an odd setup. The interior is rather small, maybe a dozen or so tables. At least the chairs are exceptionally cushy and comfortable, so that's something. It looks like a significant portion of their business stems from catering and to-go orders.
After a quick perusal of the menu, I decided on a 2 Meat, 2 Side Combo of smoked pecan baby back ribs and sliced brisket, with their Southern potato salad and honey spiced baked beans on the side.
When my order came out, I wasn't really expecting it to be slathered in sauce. The menu didn't specify, and I failed to ask. Oh well, it did smell good at least.
As usual, I started my chow-fest with the sides. The baked beans had a great texture and some definite spice to them. These were certainly made in-house. All that honey gave the beans a nice taste, but added a little too much sugar to the already sweet baked beans. I also ended up with an ice cream scoop's worth of potato salad. It had a high volume of hard boiled eggs and onion. The flavor was good, and I appreciated that it wasn't overrun with mustard. It had a nice spice it too.
The brisket was juicy and moist, and had a great amount of bark on each slice. I didn't even need a knife to cut through the tender meat (which is good because all they gave me was a fork). The fat was beautifully rendered, and added to the overall moistness of the brisket. Because of all the sauce, it took some searching to find a smoke ring, but it was there. I can't really comment further on the smokiness though because the dominant flavor was definitely the vinegar-tomato barbecue sauce. I liked the taste of their sauce just fine, but I wish it had come on the side.
I really wanted to sample the advertised pecan smoke on the ribs, but that wasn't happening. Just like the brisket, my ribs were drenched in sauce. The runniness of it made the ribs extra messy, so I got a handful of napkins ready and dug in. They were very meaty, more like spare ribs than baby back. A few bites were a little on the dry side, but the majority of it was fairly tender. The meat stayed put, waiting on each individual bite before it slid off the bone. The flavor was almost identical to the brisket, mostly because of the heavy dose of sauce.
I came in looking for a reason to write the words, "Off the Bone was off the hook!" The food was definitely good, but not really enough to wow me. Their website boasts the slogan: "It's as good as it looks." That's certainly true, although it's not really as positive an attribute as one might think. I'd like to go back and eat my combo sans sauce so that I can get a true grasp of their smoking abilities.
Off the Bone Barbeque
1734 S. Lamar St.
Dallas, TX 75215