Odom's Ribs are Worth a Little Risk to Life and Limb, So Just Leave Your Gun at Home

Odom's BBQ is an interesting site. I really like it. You pull up outside, having driven past the vastly inferior Babb Bros. just a mile down the road (over the bridge of many names), and realize you have gone from the Babbs end of Singleton (nicely landscaped, trees with lights and shit) to just a mile down the same road, arriving at an area with, it's safe to say, significantly less investment. Back in the UK, these kinds of changes are more clearly signposted. They happen over a distance, gradually. You know what you're getting into. "YOU ARE NOW ENTERING BRIXTON. REPENT THY SINS." It doesn't really say that, but there's no need. The first time I ever went to Brixton, a bustling part of South London, I came out the underground station to be greeted by a car on fire, in the middle of a busy high street, with everyone just going about their business.

Anyway, car on fire or not, the relative paucity of the same street just a mile away from such expense is still very strange to me. Overseas we raise up entire areas at once (using taxation!), not a couple of buildings at a time. This is barbecue, though, not some sort of real estate blog, and I am firmly of the belief that the grittier and more beaten up a barbecue joint is, the better the meat is. They pour the love into the ribs, not into the freshly cleaned windows. Are you listening, Fat Cow in Lewisville?

This place reminded me of an out-of-town joint. It had more of a country vibe. That's an excellent thing. Walking in, past the "NO GUNS" sign and barred windows, I knew there was going to be good barbecue. Even the fearless hound of Texas barbecue, Sir Daniel Vaughn, recommends coming to this place before sunset. It's not that scary, although a lady with a somewhat fulsome belly and a wardrobe evidently devoid of T-shirts which had been adapted to cover said expanse did stride in before us. I say stride, there was some wobbling involved. Either way, what she lacks in sartorial elegance she makes up for in choice of barbecue establishment.

Again, I must admit my accent counted against me, but in the most positive way this time, as I am apparently unable to order just a half pound of meat in Odom's. Instead of half a pound of beef, ribs, and sausage, I accidentally got a full pound of each, an order which was somewhat overwhelming, not only for just two people, but for my expenses report, which now looks entirely foolish. I would normally have pointed out the excess of meat (no, really), but apparently the custom at Odom's is, rather than taking some meat and applying sauce to it, one should obtain a huge plastic bath of sauce and then apply meat to the sauce. Thus, once meat has been bathed, I can hardly ask them to take it out. Obviously, all the other places have been doing presentation wrong. There must have been an entire bottle of barbecue sauce in the three containers.

As such, I find myself unable to really tell you what the brisket tastes like, apart from "of sauce," although I can report it is extremely tender and delicious, and although I seem to have ended up with the lean parts, the fatty bits I found were extraordinarily delightful. The sausage was above average, but I feel as if Odom's has some of the best ribs around. They were (and are, because two thirds of them are still in my fridge, as who the fuck can eat an entire pound of ribs) soaringly wonderful, a tender, smoky pork ballet conducted entirely in my mouth, pirouetting its meaty delights upon my tongue. The sheer quality of the ribs overcame the sauce bath, and I found myself no longer caring about getting sauce everywhere, diving into the murky depths in search of the pork equivalent of a gold bar from an ancient shipwreck, only without the shipwreck and with the water as barbecue sauce. Are my hands pirates in this metaphor? Or deep-sea divers? An argument can be made for both.

One final point -- Odom's is open until 1: 45 a.m. What. Most barbecue places close at 8 or 9. This place will give you the late night ribs you've been craving, and it'll do it with a ton more taste, flair, and porky wonder than anywhere nearby. You know the place I'm talking about. It's in the posh part of this street.

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Gavin Cleaver
Contact: Gavin Cleaver