Sunday, October 21, 2012

Red's Ranch BBQ Smokehouse - The Rancher

I’ve been driving by Red’s Ranch BBQ Smokehouse (on Kirkman, not too far from Universal) for a few months now waiting for them to open. They finally did and I gave them a try.

As we walked in we were greeted right away by a Cowgirl, then sent to the counter to order our food. As I looked at the board and the counter I noticed that they offer an extremely similar menu to 4 Rivers. (Uncomfortably similar – down to the way you order, the names of the Meats, the side items, and the way everything is plated on butcher paper and a tray)

Every member of the staff was super friendly and since we were already here we decided to give it a shot and see how the food tastes.

My favorite thing to order at 4 Rivers is the Burnt Ends (the extremely well done “Ends” of both the Pulled Pork and Beef Brisket mixed together). So I decided to try their version and order The Rancher (Mouth Watering Burnt-Ends “Pork/Brisket” smothered in our delicious BBQ Sauce - $6.49). For $2.25 you can add two sides so I chose the Cream of Corn and the Fried Pickles.

My tray of food looked good, now if only it would taste halfway decent we would be in business.

I started with the Fried Pickles. Uh Oh! They were really dry. The breading wouldn’t adhere to the Pickles and kept flaking off, and sadly they just didn’t taste good.

Next, the Cream of Corn. Not bad. It had a decent flavor. I can’t complain too much about this side item.

Then the Sandwich! I’d like to start off by saying that I prefer my Meat Well Done, even Burned is usually alright by me. Under most circumstances this sandwich would be right up my alley, however it seemed to me that the Meat had been sitting around in the pan too long. The flavor was good, but it just seemed old.

Then as I looked around I noticed that in this large restaurant there was only one other table with people dining at it, and there was no one at the bar. It was 6pm on a weekday and should be busier. That must be why everything was either dry or tasted old, it had been sitting around for too long because they did not have the volume of people eating it up so that they could make fresh.

4 Rivers does not have this problem because they have heavy traffic and the food doesn’t have a chance to get old.

Maybe they don’t have good advertising? Or people just don’t know about it yet?
I wonder if people just don’t like the fact that nothing about Red’s Ranch is original.
Or in my case I am just wondering why I would go back to this “Poor Man’s 4 Rivers” when I could just go to the real thing where I know the food will be outstanding!

Red's Ranch BBQ Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

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