I've been eyeing the Mr. BBQ bus in the convenience store parking lot at Maple and Wycliff avenues for a while. With its American flag and "2 for $2 sides" signs painted all over it, it's pretty awesome-looking. And cheap-sounding. As I walked up, I noticed pretty quickly that nobody was in the bus. Then I heard the jingle of convenience store bells and "You looking for barbecue?" Yes. Yes, I am. Barbecue Man told me that the food was inside, and although I was disappointed that the barbecue wouldn't actually be handed to me through a bus window, I was immediately un-disappointed when I saw the most fantastic barbecue sandwich ever to grace a convenience store barbecue place menu: The Super Q. It's sliced brisket, chopped brisket (just because), smoked sausage, pickles, onions and jalapeños on a bun for $4.99. Amazing. But since I was pinching pennies, I went with the $2.59 Sloppy Joe Style Beef Brisket Sandwich and two sides (potato salad and green beans) for $2 all served up on a light green cafeteria tray with the little compartments in it. Norman Wilkins, the barbecue guy, makes the food behind the cashier counter and under the cigarettes. He tells me he's been doing this for 20 years. He's available for catering, and just recently, he took some people in the bus to go bar-hopping. I make a note to be under the influence of barbecued bar-hopping very soon. Once my food was up, I got a Coke out of the fridge and checked out for a grand total of $5.72. I headed to the back corner of the store to a plastic picnic table, pulled up a plastic chair and dug in. Overall, the food was a lot like the establishment it was housed in: convenient, no frills and covered in barbecue sauce. The green beans were clearly dumped out of a can, but I happen to like canned green beans, so we're cool. The potato salad was nothing special, but not bad. And then, I bit into my sandwich and smiled. It had just the right balance of Slop to Joe and was unquestionably the highlight of the meal. Well, it was either that or hearing someone ask, "Who's got the large sausage?" If you're looking for the best barbecue in Dallas, this isn't it. But, if you're looking for pretty damn good barbecue for cheap, hit the bus stop.
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