Dude Factor: 8, or Hank Hill, on a scale of 1 (Kahn Souphanousinphone, Sr.) to 10 (Boomhauer).
Honestly, before last Friday I had never been to Baker's Ribs, AKA the place I once referred to as "that joint next to Angry Dog that smells good but always looks closed."
I know, I know--it's loco, especially considering the awards it's received from both Texas Monthly and one of my circa 2006 co-workers, who apparently never invited me out for BBQ lunch (you know who you are). But really, the place is mostly empty whenever I stroll by, and this being the age of PETA, half the time there's always a veggielante or two in our lunch crew preventing a full scale meat-a-thon.
Hell, you can't even celebrate a 100 point win these days without some whining do-gooders ruining the moment.
The opportunity finally presented itself last Friday, however, when three of us headed to Deep Ellum for lunch at Twisted Root, only to find a line stretched out to the sidewalk. Either we hit the lunch rush right on the head or that douche Guy Fieri alerted all the wannabe dudes.
"Angry Dog?" we said, heading down the block, but alas, it was the same sad situation there.
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"How's about Baker's Ribs?" I countered, seeing no line and spotting several actual diners inside. Upon entering, I knew it was the right call, as the sweet smell of smoke had its way with us, filling our senses and leaving its manly stank--the meat-and-fire equivalent of the glitter-and-perfume glaze one must wash off after visiting one of Dallas' finer gentleman's clubs--all over our clothes.
After perusing the menu of brisket, sausage, ham, turkey, chicken and ribs, I decided on the pulled pork sandwich, apparently a popular choice--all three of us got the pork, and all three agreed it was one of the better pork sandwiches we'd had in Big D, the spicy BBQ sauce pairing perfectly with the smoky meat and plain white bun. I can't lie--it was also a dream of mine to eat pig a couple tables over from a pair of the DPD's finest.
The sides, however, were another story. The mac and cheese was salted in a fashion that leads me to believe the 'seasoner' meant the dish to survive five months on a pantry shelf in a harsh New England winter, while my amigo's potato salad was more of a dill and mayonnaise stew. The sweet tea was similarly "eh", technically sweet but overpowered with the distinct tang of artificial sweetener.
But who gives a shit, right? The meat was good, bros. Forget sides, next time I'm going with two sandwiches.