Summertime at the office is kind of slow, and as my usual lunch crowd was all gone, today was a day for adventure. “Crowd” is likely a strong word, as there are never more than three of us. And three’s not a crowd, unless you’re on a date, or in a sports car or __________ [insert your point of reference here]. Either way, neither of them was in today, so based on the recommendation of a fellow I was traveling with a couple of weeks back, I drove up the road to Moonie’s Texas Barbecue, in Flowery Branch.
After I got there, I thought that I should’ve done slightly better planning when I was doing my Google search, because I saw on the signboard above the register that only have ribs on Friday and Saturday. Since it was Thursday, I was just out of luck. [When I got back to the office and pulled up the web site, they don’t mention that the ribs aren’t available every day. Whew! I was afraid that I was slipping if I missed an important detail like that on the web.]
The sign on the front declares that they are an Authentic Texas Meat Market. That generally means one thing to me – I’m ordering brisket.
When I arrived, at 11:45, the place was fairly empty I was served pretty quickly. I decided on a combo plate – a quarter pound of brisket and a quarter pound of chopped pork, with bread and creamed corn. The fellow behind the counter was very helpful, talking while he sliced the brisket. He explained that there were two sauces on the table, a “Texas red” (thin, spicy, tomato based) and a “Carolina gold” (spicy and mustard based), along with a third sauce over with the silverware, labeled “Spicy” (it was a hotter version the red sauce). I tried a drop of each on my finger, and later covered a slice of brisket in each.
I’ll start with the pork. I know that going to a “Texas” barbecue place and ordering pork is just asking for trouble, but a man’s got to try, doesn’t he?
The overwhelming taste was of smoke. “Overwhelming” may be the wrong “o” word. Maybe I should say “only”. The pork tasted like smoke. It felt like pork on my teeth, but the only taste and aftertaste was of smoke. No matter which sauce I used, it tasted like smoke. I had read a similar sentiment over at The Georgia Barbecue Hunt. Now I know that I can trust their opinion.
The brisket on the other hand was exceptional. Fork-tender and good with each of the sauces. I decided that I liked it best with the Texas red sauce. I cleaned up everything on that part of the plate. The side of cream corn was good, but creamed was an exaggeration – it was actually whole kernel corn, in a creamy sauce. With pepper. Lots and lots of pepper.
Overall I’d say it was a good barbecue experience. I definitely plan to head back on a Friday, try the ribs and see how they stack up, before rendering my final judgement.