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Don't Overlook The Food at Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery

In case you missed it, Intrinsic Brewery and Smokehouse opened a week ago, and there has been much rejoicing over the newest craft brewery in downtown Garland. Our own Brent Nuss gave us the scoop on Intrinsic’s selection of suds, but the food deserves its own mention.

Intrinsic’s owners Molly and Cary Hodson partnered with Junior Sauce owner Taylor “Tex” Morgan to bring food to the establishment and keep Intrinsic on the right side of the law and zoning ordinances. We should all be thankful they did. The barbecue basics are quite good; I was able to try the brisket and rib plate ($14.50 with two sides) served during the dinner hour. A whole brisket came out of a hotbox with a thick black bark, which presented a bit of heat. The brisket itself was moist and tender. The ribs balance out the brisket nicely; a brown sugar-based rub coated the meaty ribs, which weren’t as tender as expected, but still enjoyable.

We had also hoped to nab some pulled pork, in the form of nachos with “pub made queso” ($10). Sadly, the gentleman sitting next to us at the bar got the last order of pork, so we settled for the shredded chicken instead. The disappointment was short-lived, as smoked chunks and shreds of white and dark meat chicken were delicious, and tossed in the pile of fully dressed nachos. Bonus points were earned for chips that didn’t turn immediately soggy under the weight of the queso, barbecue sauce, beans and chicken.
Two sides came with the meat plate, and I went for mac and cheese and a jalapeño creamed corn. The mac and cheese wasn’t anything special and probably suffered from living too long in the chafing dish. The jalapeño creamed corn was mostly cream cheese, with kernels of corn and bits of jalapeño mixed in. It tasted good, but ended up being too rich to finish, unless your love for cream cheese knows no bounds. We wrapped up dinner with a house-brewed root beer and a bacon-vanilla homemade ice cream; they were good, but the ice cream came out in a small plastic custard cup, and was frozen so solid that is was difficult to eat until it thawed a bit.

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Intrinsic also serves up a similar menu at lunch with a key difference that all their meats are available by the pound or as a sandwich. Like dinner, lunch runs until the meats sell out, but a “second lunch” of the aforementioned queso, salsa and nachos is available if you need to temper your beer intake with some food before the dinner service begins.

There’s a lot to like at Intrinsic, and the combination of smoked meats and craft beers is unique in the area. Judging by the crowded house on opening night, the people of Garland seem to agree that they have a new gem in their backyard.

Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery, 509 W. State St., Garland

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