It was the vinyl tarp banner, flapping in the afternoon wind, that stopped us:
TWO FULL MEALS FOR $9.99
2 chicken vegetable soups, 2 rotisseried half chickens
served with cornbread and a choice of potatoes or yellow rice
(Avail Mon.-Thurs. until 11:30a-6p, Fri.-Sun. 11:30a-5p)
What. The chef and I, we stood there, incredulous. Watched the banner flap some more. It’s hard enough to get a decent meal for two at counter-service or fast food restaurants in New York City, let alone at someplace with sit-down service.
Granted, we were standing in front of a Dallas BBQ, a mini-chain perhaps better known for its boobalicious ads, tacky-cheesy quotient and fishbowl-sized drinks than real Texas-style barbecue. (As a friend once pointed out, “You don’t have to point out that the barbecue’s from Texas to a Texan, we’ll know right away whether it is or not. That sign’s for the rest of y’all.”)
Really though, who am I to judge? I wouldn’t go so far to say that I’ve outright avoided Dallas BBQ in the past … but pretty damn close. That is, until today.
The verdict: The soup, pleasant enough, nice rich flavor to the broth. Big slice of carrot, a couple of tender shreds of chicken. The cornbread, a touch dry and mealy, in the just the way a basic cornbread should be. The fries, piping hot from the frier.
And the chicken? Frankly, it was superb.
Skin crisped and golden, the chicken literally falling off the bone, dribbles of juice running down my hands for the rest of the meal.
Writing this post is almost making me crave Dallas BBQ — that’s right, I said “crave” and “Dallas BBQ” in the same sentence — right now.
Maybe this time around I’ll go crazy and try one of those fishbowl drinks …
Dallas BBQ has several locations around New York City.
See www.dallasbbq.com for location information.