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Owner Dwight Harvey and son started Off The Bone as a catering venture, but the pecan wood-smoked ribs garnered enough followers that Harvey Sr. was able to free himself from the shackles of a day job. The spotlight here is on the shredded brisket as thick as a fist, barely containable by its whole grain bun. While the bread and butter here is traditional Texas barbecue, Havey is not afraid to take risks. In July 2010, he debuted the inevitable fusion of barbecue and Mexican grub: the boneless baby-back rib taco.
There really isn't much to this place in terms of being an actual restaurant. The interior is rather small, maybe a dozen or so tables. 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.
The baked beans had a great texture and some definite spice to them. All that honey gave the beans a nice taste, but added a little too much sugar to the already sweet baked beans. The potato salad 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. The fat was beautifully rendered, and added to the overall moistness of the brisket. I can't really comment on the smokiness of the meat 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. They were very meaty. 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. Given the heavy dose of sauce, the flavor was almost identical to the brisket.
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.
Read my full review, complete with pictures:
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I originally heard about Off The Bone Barbeque because of its baby back ribs, but I'm anti-baby-eating, so I opted for the smoked sausage sandwich (for $5.75) and a side of coleslaw ($1.75) with an A&W root beer ($1.25). Recently, Off The Bone... More »
For decades Dwight Harvey held down a real, corporate-type job, cooking barbecue on the weekends. He and his son eventually turned this into a casual catering venture and, finally, a full-fledged barbecue joint. The Harveys are particular about their wood, using pecan to slow-cook brisket, ribs and the other usual suspects. Their rub lends a strong, sweet-spicy character to the meats. If there's a downside, it's the cramped space. A set of tables out front provide seating, but you must force... More »
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