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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 06-16-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Daggs
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I had to pick up my daughter from a weekend of camping today. On the way down I passed a bbq restaurant and knew we were going to be enjoying a conversation over bbq in a few hours. There was a smoke house on the side of the building with a thin blue cloud coming out that you could see from the far side of the parking lot. Ironically as you walk in there is a neon no smoking sign to greet you. The entire sitting room had the sweet smell of smoke you could almost watch as it entered your nostrils! This is unfortunately where the joy stopped! They had 4 sandwiches, one of which was brisket. The girl at the counter couldn't tell me if it was flat or point. Now for the worst part, she turns and asks the guy managing the place. He says "the fat all renders out". I again asked if it flat, the thinner more lean part or the point which is a more gelatinous part. Brisket is brisket he says, we cook it with the fat on and trim what ever is left when its done. Then he asked me if I wanted to taste it. Maybe I'm wrong for doing this but I did it anyway. I told the wife and kid to get what they wanted but I wasn't going to get anything. I can't support a place that has no clue what they are selling! We did not stay. Then the wife says is this how it's gonna be at all bbq places? How wrong was I?
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Unread 06-16-2013, 09:31 PM   #2
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If it's a chain then IMO, your wife is right, the vast majority of corporate BBQ restaurants are crap. There are exceptions but I have not found many. If it's a one-off joint then I'm surprised. In my experience owner- opearator-cook run joints are usually pretty good and they usually have a great understanding of their product, cookers & technique. Sorry you and the family had the bad experience.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
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It was a small one off place. I checked their FB page just over 1000 likes and it shows them cutting brisket with a meat slicer. A large pile of brisket just sitting on a plate, with a young kid cutting it. There are so many things wrong with what I saw and heard. I bet it would have been great Q. I just want to know what I'm gonna be buying.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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You can't walk around with your nose up, I would have said "one brisket please" and enjoyed my sandwich with my family. Good times with family are much more important to me than being right.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
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Not wrong just spoiled. I very rarely eat BBQ away from home, I refuse to spend my hard earned money on something I can make better for less.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenthanson View Post
You can't walk around with your nose up, I would have said "one brisket please" and enjoyed my sandwich with my family. Good times with family are much more important to me than being right.
We had a bad experience last summer. This is the reason I ask when I go places.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenthanson View Post
You can't walk around with your nose up, I would have said "one brisket please" and enjoyed my sandwich with my family. Good times with family are much more important to me than being right.
I agree with this. I have had great BBQ at places that dont know much about the cut and bad bbq from places that think they are experts. That guy has probably been smokin the same cut of brisket 50 times a day for years. Who cares if he didnt know what it was.

I was in our local joint last year where a guy was giving him hell about the temp he served his meat at and about how he went to culinary school so he should know bla bla bla. He pissed everyone off in the place and left then I saw he wrote a review on yelp about how bad the food was and the service. That particular guy was going to eat bad bbq no matter what was put in front of him because of his attitude.

The place you were at may have been terrible and may have deserved it but I choose to vote with my wallet and never go back if thats the case. I will even tell everyone I see not to go, but I wont say it in their place of business. But thats just me.

Sounds like you didnt create a scene or anything and this isnt entirely directed at you, I understand you not wanting to order if you didnt think you would like it. But I just remember that guy last year and he was uncalled for
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:55 PM   #8
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I don't do Q at away games. I would feel the same way. I am not a snob by any stretch. But, I feel that if you don't train your staff as to what they are serving, then you are doing a dis-service to your clients. "An educated consumer is our best customer" This goes for any restaurant. If I am on the road, looking for good eats, I use Tripadvisor and read the latest scoop.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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Based on your story they cook the brisket and trim any remaining fat. If that is THEIR business model then good enough. If you want YOUR business model may I suggest heading on to the casa firing up the grills/smokers and cook. If your questions were not answered I'm betting Long John Silvers was nearby.

Order the number three and tea and enjoy with your family.

PS- I don't eat anything out that I can cook better at home, with the exception of hamburgers, xtra green chilis of course.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 11:40 PM   #10
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Eh, everyone has their own standards, but thumbing your nose at it without even ordering anything isn't my cup of tea. Sure, it may not have been great brisket and the guy cooking may not have a BBQ background to meet higher standards. But if I stopped into a place because I was hungry and needed a bite to eat, I'd at least give it a shot even if my first impressions weren't great.

I think of it how I think of beer. I'm a card carrying beer snob. I brew my own, I hate the watered down massed-produced domestic lagers, etc. But when I go golfing I don't throw my arms up when I get to the clubhouse because they aren't stocking Pliny the Elder or my local favorite, Bell's Two-Hearted. I know I'm going to be forced to pay $15 or more for a sixer of Bud Light and be thankful for the privilege. I don't like it and I don't want to support it, but it comes with the territory. That goes for any restaurant, too. When I ask for the beer list or inquire about certain beers, I don't write a place off simply because the servers have no clue, or even if the managers or anyone else doesn't know their head from their ass when it comes to craft beer.

Right or wrong, that's an individual call. But my philosophy is to try anything once. Intuition may be correct and it sucks, but more often than not, I've found that even stopping at places that don't look/feel good, or sometimes even have poor reviews, turn out to be far better than expected if you give them a chance.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 12:34 AM   #11
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I believe in the old phrase try it you might like it. The place might have had the best brisket ever and you might have learned a new flavor profile or started experimenting to create that flavor. I try as much bbq as I can because I am a student of bbq and what new ideas. It is not always best to be the smartest person in the room.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 07:51 AM   #12
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One neat thing about stand alone Q shacks is they often will sell their rub. Buy and try a few ounces if not packaged for sale. Cash money for them and you've got a new backyard research and development project.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 09:05 AM   #13
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I think you were in the wrong. There are italians that go out to eat and italian restaurants even though the sauce's and recipes are not the same, they will still eat there. Same with other types of cuisine. Just because a place doesn't make it your way, doesn't mean it is bad.

How are you going to find out if a place has good food if you pass judgement on it before you even put fork to mouth? Not to mention you are out with your family to have a meal. Focus on enjoying time spent with family as opposed to the guy not knowing what part of the brisket he is putting into a sammich.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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There are differences in every restaurant. (Some good. some bad)
Because you disagree with someone, or your better informed, doesn't deprive them of their opinion.
Over the years I've ate BBQ at places where they had no education, they just did it like they do it every day. I have tasted amazing BBQ from folks who were taught by their family. They knew next to nothing, other than to cook things like they like it cooked...
I would have tried their BBQ.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 09:55 AM   #15
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^^^ +1 what most of these guys above said.

Honestly, if I asked brethren what/where is a shoulder, a whole shoulder, a butt, and a picnic, I'll bet 85% get the answers (at least one of them) wrong. FYI: I intentionally listed them *wrong* above to a degree just to make the point.

So the kid doesn't know the difference in a point and a flat. Big Deal. Odds are (with any luck) the owner does, but the owner/proprietor can't be there every single minute of every day. Doesn't mean the BBQ is bad, and doesn't mean it's good either.
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