Monday, April 13, 2015

The Slow Bone - Dallas

The Slow Bone is located in the Dallas “Design District” along the Trinity River.  This neighborhood has evolved into a destination for both art and food.  It is a unique area in the city and provides a nice setting for The Slow Bone, which itself is an interesting restaurant.

The Slow Bone may look like a standard Texas barbecue joint, but it aspires to be more than just a spot to get some good brisket.  The Slow Bone offers a sort of culture in addition to their meats.  There is an influence of southern flavor to their menu and an air of comfort and hospitality to the restaurant.  It’s the kind of place that makes you feel good when you are there.  Even if (when) you overeat.

The Slow Bone typically draws a lunch crowd with lines out the door.  The lines do not move as quickly as I’d like, but unfortunately, the meat does.  Pork Ribs and Smoked Cilantro Sausage were already off the board during this 1:00PM weekday visit.  It was the second time I’d chanced a slightly late lunch here and missed the ribs.  I ordered moist brisket, sausage and smoked chicken along with sides of greens and mac & cheese.  The selections were assembled and served on a nostalgic cafeteria tray.

THE MEATS

Items are served on an old school cafeteria tray at The Slow Bone

My brisket was a beautiful piece of meat.  A dazzling crust band outlined the fatty slices.  The meat had a great texture.  It was firm in hand but pulled apart easily and was downright buttery against my teeth.  The ample fat was perfectly rendered throughout. The flavor was heavily influenced by the hickory used in the smoker. It had a light seasoning that allowed the smoke to shine.

There were a few choices for sausage but my selection was labelled the “Old Time Sausage”.  This selection was a dense pork/beef mix with quite a bit of heat.  It was a very respectable link with a pleasing snap and flavor.  The aforementioned Cilantro Sausage and a Jalapeno Bratwurst are the other typical link options.

The chicken at Slow Bone is worth an order.  It’s an herby chicken breast supplemented with some decent smoke.  The meat concealed beneath the delightfully golden skin is plenty juicy.  This bird didn’t steal the show from the brisket but it’s a darn good option.

THE REST

Unlike a lot of barbecue joints, the sides at The Slow Bone are going to make you step back and take notice.  The Slow Bone offers a considerable selection of sides to round out your meal.  A majority of the sides aren’t your typical options either.  Uncommon items like “Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower Gratin” and “Tomato Cucumber Salad” join spiced up favorites like “Horseradish Cream Potato Salad” and “Oora’s Jalapeno Mac & Cheese” on the menu.

My selections did not disappoint.  The Mac & Cheese diverged from my expectations with several subtle flavors working together.  It was a creamy dish featuring just a hint of jalapeno along with onion and a base of what I thought to be Cream of Mushroom soup.  It was different but altogether delicious.  The greens were more straightforward but just as tasty.  They were lightly seasoned, perfectly prepared and were an excellent accompaniment for my meats.

Your bread choice is an option of cornbread or hush puppies.  And though it’s an odd companion to barbecue, I never turn down a square of cornbread.  This cornbread was just fine and was crowned with a honey glaze.

The serving trays feature a round compartment specifically for the BBQ sauce.  This warm sauce was another interesting entry on my tray.  It was a very thin vinegar-based sauce but there was a surprising and subtle sweetness that was almost fruity.  Honestly, the sauce was unnecessary, but I appreciated the uncommon flavor.

The Slow Bone has a sauce and condiment bar featuring homemade semi-sweet soda pickles, a housemade Sriracha “Cock Sauce” and a thin vinegar-based mustard sauce called “Uncle Ross Soss.”

The Slow Bone is an unmistakable orange building that mirrors the color of the Uncle Ross Soss.  The dining area is a small but open area.  There are a number of four top tables arranged on the red, white and blue tile in addition to a few booths.  You will also find a few retro-style high top bar tables in the front of the restaurant. Without exception, the staff here is unwaveringly friendly.  They will engage you in line and follow up with you in the dining room.  They make certain you enjoy your visit.

THE VERDICT

You would have to be very picky to find something you don’t like about The Slow Bone.  The brisket is one of the best in the Metroplex and it has a great supporting cast in the chicken and sausage, not to mention the delectable sides.  There are still a few items I need to sample and I have plenty of reason to return soon.

It's rare that I write so much about something other than the meat, but it is these details that really complete the Slow Bone experience.  The Slow Bone delivers the extras that takes it beyond traditional barbecue.  This is Texas Comfort Food.



Address: 2234 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207
Phone: 214-377-7727
Hours: Everyday: 11AM - 3PM

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*All Grades Are Based Solely on the Quality of Texas BBQ Offered at the Joint. We Aren't Looking for Burgers or Catfish!

My Grading Scale:


A = This is some of the finest BBQ you'll find anywhere. It is worth a roadtrip in itself along with any required wait.
B = This is very good BBQ, even if it is over an hour away, consider making the drive.
C = This is just average BBQ but it's worth a stop in a pinch.
D = This is a poor example of Texas BBQ. Even if it's the only place around, skip it. Apologize to any non-Texans that have eaten here.
F = This is not only a bad Texas BBQ, it is probably not suitable for human consumption.

 
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