Barque Smokehouse – Meat-fest on the west end

A few weeks ago I found myself of the west end craving BBQ.  From about half a block away on Roncesvalles you can smell the sauce.  Oh the sweet smell of BBQ sauce.  I’ve been on a bit of a BBQ kick ever since the guys from the Houston office sent me some famous Goode Co. BBQ sauce.

You ever find yourself in Texas, pick up some of this stuff.  It’s awesome!  On this particular Sunday evening, the weather was warm and there was a slight breeze.  With the smell of sweet BBQ sauce in the air  I thought to myself, “This is what summer is supposed to be like”.  On Sundays, Barque Smokehouse has a prix fix menu.  When I first looked at the menu there were a ton of items listed.  We thought to ourselves, do we get all of that?  It turns out you do!

Instead of bread, they bring out popcorn that is seasoned with the southern spices.  It’s like dry rub flavored popcorn.  Very addictive, very tasty.  The spices mixed with the sight of the behemoth oven in the back makes you start to salivate.

The first course consisted of chicken wings; warm soy marinated scallops; and a watermelon and mint shooter with herb oil and pulled pork.

The wings were amazing!  Juicy and full of flavor.  The spice blend used is just perfect.  The skin had  a great texture, not slimy, not tough, just right.  I like how they came out piping hot too.  I hate cold chicken wings.  The scallops were good.  A nice contrast to the sweetness of the wings since they are marinated in soy.  The texture was chewy, almost raw.   I liked it.  The watermelon shooter was very interesting.  It was very refreshing with an interesting mix of fruity flavors and BBQ meat flavors.  I really liked it but I don’t think I could have a whole bowl of the stuff.  The one shot was just perfect.  Next was the apple and almond salad with herbs…well without the almonds since my sister is allergic.

After the wings, this was very refreshing and light.  The apples were fresh, juicy and crisp.  It all mixed so well together.  The almonds, had we had them, would have made this salad perfect.  Next was the crazy meat course.  It came with a New York striploin with garlic shrimp and smoked tomato holly; pork ribs and BBQ chicken over crushed potatoes, peas and mushrooms.

The steak was ok.  A little on the peppery side and it came out a little on the cooler side.  The shrimp with the smoked tomato holly was delightful.  The shrimp was tender and bouncy.  The sauce had the lovely essence of smoked tomato and it was nicely balanced with garlic.  So good.  The ribs were a little overcooked and on the dry side.  I think we may have just gotten a bad batch since the ribs on some of the other tables looked more succulent.  The dry rub is super tasty though and the meat had a lot of flavor.  Again, just overcooked.  The chicken was awesome!  Not quite as good as the Stockyards but definitely up there.  The spice rub is the same as the wings and it has a nice sweetness to counter the spices.  The veggies were also good.  The peas and mushrooms were cooked well and balanced out the meat heavy dish.  The potatoes were delicious.  Not too creamy, which kind of annoys me with some mashed potatoes, and mixed with some nice fresh herbs.  For dessert we saw them handing out ice cream sandwiches but we got something a little different since the last batch of ice cream, which I guess they make in house, wasn’t quite thick enough to put in a sandwich.

The ice cream was served in a small bowl with a rich chocolate cookie-like layer on top.  It was topped with a roasted apple.  I’m not a big chocolate fan and even I loved this.  I had trouble finishing it though since at this point, I was very full.

This isn’t the best BBQ I’ve had but it was still pretty good.  I’d like to go back and try their brisket and their pulled pork.  What made this meal really noteworthy was the price.  All this for $25 per person.  So much food, and pretty good food, for only $25!  A steal of a deal for a huge meat-fest.

~ by jlowjlow on June 30, 2011.

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