Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Brisket…Deep in the Heart of Texas

2533 White Settlement Rd.
Fort Worth, TX

One of my many Suit757 services I like to provide is letting you know which cool cities are worth visiting and which congestion-choked sprawling hellholes to avoid.

It’s one of the benefits of having been everywhere.

There is no better dichotomy of the two options than the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Dallas is typical 20th Century suburban hell devoid of character, charm or attractions of any sort. It has no soul. No sense of place.

Deep in the heart of Texas? Think again.

If you were blindfolded and dropped into the middle of I-635 congestion near the Galleria, you could easily think you were in Atlanta, Houston or Cleveland.

Other than a few smoking hot Texas beauties prancing around with $75 worth of make-up on, you’d have no way of knowing you were even in the great nation of Texas.

I mean, Atlanta’s got plenty of them too.

(Cleveland? Not so much.)

Bottom line: Dallas is just another big modern city of cul-de-sacs, strip malls and 14 lanes of idling SUVs on the interstate.

Once you’ve hit the Texas School Book Depository (the scene of Lyndon Johnson’s crime) and Sonny Bryan’s, you’ve pretty much seen it all.

Fort Worth, on the other hand, is everything Dallas isn’t.

Real. Laid back. Accessible. Historic.

And Texas to the core.

When you cruise into old “Cow Town” you can’t help but notice the freight trains hauling cargo, grain elevators rivaling the gleaming downtown skyscrapers and cowboys with genuine Texas red dirt on their boots.

No question, Fort Worth was -- and is -- a Texas city full of Texans doing Texas-type stuff.

And I think that’s cool.

Way cooler than watching minivan-driving relocated Yankee soccer moms jockeying for parking spots in the Galleria garage.

And no place personifies Fort Worth’s genuine “Cow Town” heritage better than Angelo’s, by far the best barbeque joint in the entire sprawling Metroplex.

At lunch time the parking lot is packed with pick ups and the line snakes right out the door, well past the Angelo’s T-shirt-wearing bear that has greeted Angelo’s customers for years.

But the bear is just the beginning of the dead animal displays. The dining room is lined with a rouges’ gallery of every conceivable form of game high above the hordes of happy customers.

Happy that is unless you happen to be a very, very lost vegetarian.

The aroma of slowly melting cow fat over mesquite wood permeates the sprawling dining complex.

When you finally get to the front of the line, tell the rough-looking Texan with the large knife what kind of dead smoked animal you want on your plate. No small talk.

Folks don’t come here for friendly customer service. If you want that, go to Chick-fil-a.

After all, barbeque is serious business here in Texas.

And when in “Cow Town”, the dead animal you want is, well, cow. As in brisket and beefy Texas hot links.

The deadly serious knife wielding guy slapped a charred hunk of beef on the butcher table and slid his gleaming weapon through the meat like butter.

That’s because the brisket IS like butter.

Chop. Chop. Chop. The thin slices of beef just slump off the carcass before being scooped up onto my serving plate.

Smoky, beefy, fatty slices of the some of the best brisket Texas has to offer. Utensils are completely superfluous. Deodorant in a tent full of “Wall Street occupiers” would get more use.

The hot links are just a bit firmer with a nice spice kick.

In many parts of Texas, sauce is as frowned upon as forks. With meat this smoky, moist and tender, why bother?

But if you skip sauce at Angelo’s you will be missing out on some of the best in Texas.

Thin, but sweet with a touch of tangy zip, the sauce compliments the meat because it doesn’t coat, cover or cling to it. It just kind of flows right over it, leaving behind just the right flavor to bring out the smoky goodness in the slow cooked beef.

I’m a big believer in “when in Rome” dining, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to deviate a bit from dead cow to sample one of Angelo’s pork ribs.

I’m damn glad I did.

Forget all that mass marketing hogwash about “fall off the bone” meat you see in the national chain advertisements. True slow cooked, barbequed ribs are tooth-tender. But not “fall off the bone”.

“Fall off the bone” means boiled ribs.

Folks, no Texan worth his Justin Boots would be caught dead boiling ribs. Certainly not at Angelo’s.


These ribs are slow cooked over hard wood and infused with a salty, earthy dry rub that permeates the tender meat. So tender your teeth sink right in.

If you want your meat (and flavor) boiled off the bone, there are dozens of Chili’s and Golden Corals on the other end of the Metroplex to choose from. You can stand in line, beeper in hand, waiting with the other relocated Yankee suburban dwellers.

Me? I’ll take the real deal.

Ice cold Shiner Bock long neck in hand, you’ll find Suit757 in old “Cow Town”, deep in the heart of REAL Texas.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Angelo's on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. My husband and my kids went there last year and all I can say that their smoked brisket is really authentic and you will taste a pure smoke meat. I've asked one of its crew what method did they usually use. The guy told me that sometimes they use only wood and sometimes electronic type when there has a massive order for delivery or demand about their brisket.