Review: Fargo’s Pit BBQ

One of the places the we tried on our road trip this summer was Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan, Texas. Fargo was named in Texas Monthly prestigious Top 50 List.  The Big Guy’s brother, Fishing Guy also recommended Fargo’s. The Fishing Guy knows BBQ. He is a pretty mean pit-master himself.

Fargo’s brisket is extremely good.  The brisket was a little fatty but very good.  The sides were average but hey this is a BBQ joint it is about the meat. I did notice that the regulars skipped the sides and ordered more meat. For a displaced Texan living in a part of the country that thinks BBQ is either pork or should be pulled, Fargo’s a welcome change.

However, my one complaint was the customer service.  There was a mix up with my drink. I ordered lemonade but was given raspberry tea. When I tried to get it replaced they refused. The guy at the counter said he forgot what I ordered and my husband said I would take the tea. The tea and the lemonade where the same price. It would have been very easy to make it right. Poor customer service really annoys me.

Rating:

Food: Excellent. The brisket was excellent.

Selection: Good. They have good brisket what more do you need. Sides were average.

Service: Fair. Friendly until there is a problem. They refused to fix a simple problem.

Atmosphere: Simple but appropriate. It is a BBQ place after all. Also, you could smell the smoke.

Allergy Rating: We have found that BBQ is usually allergy friendly.

Overall: Very good. If you are nearby it is worth the drive.

 

 

 

Repost: What is Barbecue?

Barbecue Grill

My failed trip to a new restaurant claiming to be a barbecue joint inspired me to repost this. It seems this so-called BBQ place only served ribs, pulled pork and ham. It is appalling and should be illegal to call one’s-self a barbecue restaurant and not even attempt to serve real BBQ. Originally posted  February 12, 2008.

 

Sunday I wrote about my Top 10: Favorite Foods. Number #5 barbecue has created a little bit of discussion. So, I have decided to devote an entire post to it. While I do not claim to be a barbecue expert I am from Texas and that is about the same thing. In Texas we are serious about are beef especially barbecue.

That is right I said beef. Barbecue is beef! It is not chicken or pork. Turkey, ham and German or Czech sausage are also acceptable. I prefer brisket although I do like a good Czech or German sausage.

Now that we have established what type of meat to use let’s discuss how to cook it. First, dry rub and then marinate it for a long time. Yes, I did say marinate and dry rub, it is not either/or it is both. The meat should be slow cooked in either a pit or a big smoker rig. The trick to making a nice tender brisket is to dry rub it & marinate then, cook slow cook it over heat. If you can get mesquite wood for cooking it is even better and it smells great.

Ok, we have the meat cooked lets talk about how to serve it. The meat should be served hot with a warm sauce. There is no need for 400 gazillion sauces all you need is one or two good sauces. If you want variety make a mild one and a spicy one. It is however important that the sauce is warm. Also, mustard is for hot dogs not barbecue do not add it to the sauce. You may however add jalapeno, honey, molasses, beer or Dublin Dr Pepper (Don’t know what Dublin Dr Pepper is then read this.) Barbecue is about the meat not the sauce. If you cook it right, you don’t have to hide it under the sauce. Brisket should be served in thick slices for a plate dinner. In a sandwich it can be either sliced or chopped. Brisket is never to be served thin sliced or pulled. Keep your hands out of my meat! A barbecue sandwich contains bread, meat, pickles, onions and maybe a few jalapenos. Keep your slaw and other frilly vegetables away from my meat. After all this is barbecue not a salad bar.

One last thing about barbecue. When you have people over for burgers and hot dogs break out the grill that isn’t a barbecue. That is grilling or cooking out. It isn’t the same thing. Barbecue involves the use of smoke.

Of course that is just my humble opinion about real Texas style barbecue.

Flashback: Top 10: Ways to Know You Are in Texas

Originally posted 29 January 2009

top10

#10: The weather forecaster is describing the day as breezy and the wind speeds are over 50 mph. It isn’t windy yet because the trees aren’t touching the ground.

#9: Complete strangers wave at you. This is especially true in small towns.

#8: When driving in west Texas that strange smell is oil and it is the smell of money.

#7: If you are in a small town during the fall the entire town closes down for the high school football game.

#6: Barbecue is beef usually brisket and possibly sausage served hot.  The good places smoke the meat using mesquite wood.  Also, there may be only one choice of sauce and it is served warm.

#5: People know the difference between queso and cheese sauce.

#4: In a restaurant the server doesn’t act like it is strange to ask for salsa with just about anything not just Mexican food. When ordering eggs servers usually ask if you want salsa.

#3: Even though you are driving at least 75 mph other cars are passing you in the slow lane.  This is especially true in Houston.

#2: Within a two minute period you see two different Bubba’s in trucks towing another truck .

#1: It is possible to get Dr Pepper at just about every restaurant even if it serves Coke products. Further you are not offered the other stuff in lieu of Dr Pepper. Most people know that Dr Pepper is not a Pepsi product.

 

Top 10: Ways to Know You Are in Texas

top10The idea for this week’s Top 10 list was inspired by our recent trip to Texas.

#10: The weather forecaster is describing the day as breezy and the wind speeds are over 50 mph. It isn’t windy yet because the trees aren’t touching the ground.

#9: Complete strangers wave at you. This is especially true in small towns.

#8: When driving in west Texas that strange smell is oil and it is the smell of money.

#7: If you are in a small town during the fall the entire town closes down for the high school football game.

#6: Barbecue is beef usually brisket and possibley sausage served hot.  The good places smoke the meat using mesquite wood.  Also, there may be only one choice of sauce and it is served warm.

#5: People know the difference between queso and cheese sauce.

#4: In a restaurant the server doesn’t act like it is strange to ask for salsa with just about anything not just Mexican food. When ordering eggs servers usually ask if you want salsa.

#3: Even though you are driving at least 75 mph other cars are passing you in the slow lane.  This is especially true in Houston.

#2: Within a two minute period you see two different Bubba’s in trucks towing another truck .

#1: It is possible to get Dr Pepper at just about every restaurant even if it serves Coke products. Further you are not offered the other stuff in lieu of Dr Pepper. Most people know that Dr Pepper is not a Pepsi product.

Tribute to Tejas (Texas)

San Jacinto Monument Today in 1836 the Texican forces under the command of General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican troops led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. The short but decisive battle took place near Buffalo Bayou (Houston). While the Mexican forces were taking a nap, Houston launched an attack on the Mexican camp. By the time the Mexican forces woke and figured out what was happening it was all over but the shouting. The entire battle lasted 18 minutes, making it one of the shortest battles in military history. Officially today is San Jacinto Day. Today’s post is in honor of those and other Texicans who fought for independence. Before you send comments about how the war between Texas and Mexico was really funded by the U.S. to steal Texas from Mexico I just want say that when my family first moved to Texas they became Mexican citizens. Well, enough serious stuff and learning on with the festivities and fun.

Texas Facts

  • Texas Flag framed by Mesquite TreeBeaumont to El Paso: 742 miles. Beaumont to Chicago: 770 miles. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas.
  • The real Texas Rangers are a part of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). There are only 134 officers for the entire state with 254 counties in the state that most rangers cover 2-3 counties. No, the Rangers do not patrol the streets like in Walker Texas Rangers. That show is so messed up in many ways, that it would take several posts to cover. Also, they are nothing like an army or militia force that would be the Texas Guard (National Guard).
  • The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. Yes, that is one ranch not some fancy development called a ranch.
  • Don’t Mess with Texas is an anti-littering campaign. It didn’t come from the Alamo. The battle cry was Remember the Alamo! Remember Gonzales! Remember Goliad.
  • World’s first rodeo was in Pecos, July 4, 1883.
  • The Capital of Texas is seven feet taller than the U.S. capital.
  • The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.
  • More wool comes from the state of Texas than any other state in the United States. Edwards Plateau in west central Texas is the top sheep growing area in the country.
  • The Heisman trophy is named for John William Heisman the first full-time coach and athletic director at Rice University in Houston.
  • Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation. Texas is also the only state legally allowed to fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. Flag.
  • Six flags have flown over Texas and eight governments.: Spain, France, (Spain), Mexico, Texas, U.S., Confederate (U.S.) So if you ever wondered where 6 Flags theme parks get their name it comes form Texas. The original 6 Flags Park is in Arlington, Tx. That is Arlington not Dallas. No they are not the same city.
  • The state was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845.
  • The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was Houston.
  • 70% of the population of Texas lives within 200 miles of Austin.
  • Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper. Yes, I can tell the difference between regular Dr Pepper, Dublin Dr Pepper and even that fake stuff but that is another post.
  • Average yearly rainfall totals in West Texas are less than 8 inches while in East Texas totals exceed 56 inches.
  • Texas’ largest county is Brewster with 6,208 square miles. Compared to Rhode Island is only 1,545 square miles, Delaware with 2,489 square miles and Connecticut with 5,543.
  • The first suspension bridge in the United States was the Waco Bridge. Built in 1870 and still in use today as a pedestrian crossing of the Brazos River.

Sometime ago I got this one via email and decided to hang on to it. Hope you enjoy it, I found it amusing. Texas Logo With Hat

Rules for Living in Texas

  • Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.
  • We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it’s red. We may even stop when it’s yellow.
  • It’s called a ‘gravel road’. I drive a pickup truck because I need or want to. No matter how slow you drive, you’re going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
  • They are cattle, and oil wells. That’s what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don’t like it? I-20 and I-10 go east and west, I-35 goes north and south. Pick one.
  • So you have a $60,000 car. We’re real impressed. We have $250,000 cotton strippers that we drive 3 weeks a year.
  • Every person in every pickup waves. It’s called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
  • Trucks are made to get dirty. Don’t bring your Eddie Bauer Limited Edition to my huntin’ camp and expect to leave clean on Sunday. It won’t happen.
  • We all started hunting and fishing when we were nine years old. Yeah, we saw Bambi, too. We got over it.
  • If that cell phone rings while a bunch of doves are coming in, we will shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don’t have it up to your ear at the time.
  • Go ahead and bring your $800 Orvis Fly Rod. Don’t cry to us if a flathead breaks it off at the handle. We have a name for that little 13-inch trout you fish for—bait.
  • Yeah, we eat catfish, carp, and crawdads. You really want sushi and caviar? It’s available at the corner bait shop.
  • The “Opener” refers to the first day of deer season. It’s a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.
  • Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks – because they want to. Our women are some of the best looking in the country.
  • We open doors for women. That applies to everyone regardless of age!
  • No, there’s no “Vegetarian Special” on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef’s Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.
  • When we fill out a table there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads. We use three spices – salt, pepper, and Picante Sauce!
  • We don’t care what you folks in Cincinnati call that stuff you eat… It AIN’T REAL CHILI!! Chili was born and bred in San Antonio…. and real chili never met a tomato! Real chili doesn’t have beans. Think about how silly “Northern Chili sounds”. Chili was developed by the Vaqueros or Mexican cowboys.
  • You bring “Coke” into my house it better be brown, wet, served over ice, and plenty of it! You bring “Mary Jane” to my house she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
  • High School Football is as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks, and a more fun to watch.
  • Yeah, we have golf courses. Don’t hit in the water hazards – it spooks the fish.
  • Colleges? Try Texas A&M, Hardin-Simmons, Texas Tech and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. They come outta there with an education and a love for God and country, and they still wave at passing pickups when they come home for the holidays.
  • We have more Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force than any other state, so, “Don’t Mess With Texas”.
  • Also, remember what Governor Sam Houston (President or General if you prefer) once said, “Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can’t make it without Texas!”

In honor of Texas eat some real barbecue or some thick sliced beef brisket served hot and with warm sauce. We don’t care how many sauces you have just so it is warm. Pulled should never be used in the same sentence with Brisket. It is served either sliced or chopped. No it won’t be dry if you thick slice it. Why is that people in Texas and Oklahoma can do what outsiders believe is impossible? No BBQ isn’t pork or chicken. If you are unclear about what real BBQ is read this. If you can’t find real BBQ then eat some Tex-Mex. No that is not Taco Bell, which is neither Mexican or food. If you don’t know what Tex-Mex is find the nearest On the Border. Yes, there is a difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican food. Every Texan living in exile knows that On the Border has good Tex-Mex. If you can’t find that cook a nice thick steak and throw some cheese enchilda’s on top and serve with Ranch Style Beans (or Texas Beans as they are called outside of Texas). Since my husband is an Aggie (graduate of Texas A&M) we will be attending our local Muster. Hope you have a happy San Jacinto Day.

What is Barbecue?

Barbecue GrillSunday I wrote about my Top 10: Favorite Foods. Number #5 barbecue has created a little bit of discussion. So, I have decided to devote an entire post to it. While I do not claim to be a barbecue expert I am from Texas and that is about the same thing. In Texas we are serious about are beef especially barbecue.

That is right I said beef. Barbecue is beef! It is not chicken or pork. Turkey, ham and German or Czech sausage are also acceptable. I prefer brisket although I do like a good Czech or German sausage.

Now that we have established what type of meat to use let’s discuss how to cook. First, dry rub and then marinate it for a long time. Yes, I did say marinate and dry rub, it is not either/or it is both. The meat should be slow cooked in either a pit or a big smoker rig. The trick to making a nice tender brisket is to dry rub it & marinate then, cook slow cook it over heat. If you can get mesquite wood for cooking it is even better and it smells great.

Ok, we have the meat cooked lets talk about how to serve it. The meat should be served hot with a warm sauce. There is no need for 400 gazillion sauces all you need is one or two good sauces. If you want variety make a mild one and a spicy one. It is however important that the sauce is warm. Also, mustard is for hot dogs not barbecue do not add it to the sauce. You may however add jalapenos, honey, molasses, beer or Dublin Dr Pepper (Don’t know what Dublin Dr Pepper is then read this.) Barbecue is about the meat not the sauce. If you cook it right, you don’t have to hide it under the sauce. Brisket should be served in thick slices for a plate dinner. In a sandwich it can be either sliced or chopped. Brisket is never to be served thin sliced or pulled. Keep your hands out of my meat! A barbecue sandwich contains bread, meat, pickles, onions and maybe a few jalapenos. Keep your slaw and other frilly vegetables away from my meat. After all this is barbecue not a salad bar.

One last thing about barbecue. When you have people over for burgers and hot dogs break out the grill that isn’t a barbecue. That is grilling or cooking out. It isn’t the same thing. Barbecue involves the use of smoke.

Of course that is just my humble opinion about real Texas style barbecue.