Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Great Texas Brisket Chase (Part III)

This is Part III, click here for Part II or here for Part I

Day 2 of our great barbecue hunt began on our way back from a morning excursion. Again, Giles found two rednecked-named options along the highway. Again, my pride got in the way as I refused to call ahead. Again, neither was there. And again, Mom grew impatient with Giles.

The expression “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” does not only apply to monumental events such as the Holocaust, apparently it also applies to searching for barbecue in the Lone Star state via satellite navigation.

So I took a chance. “Let’s just get off at the next exit and see what’s there.” Sure enough, just off the exit, we came across Bone Daddy’s, a newer place about which Giles knew nothing. True to form, Mom remarked about the size of the place and the crowded parking lot. We managed to secure a rock star parking spot and headed in not knowing to expect, but confident that we couldn’t go wrong with a place so popular.

What we immediately realized was why Bone Daddy’s was so popular. Texas is chock full of attractive young women willing to dress in an outfit that would violate health codes in 49 other states to serve male patrons food, beer and Dr. Pepper. No Hooters location could possibly be big enough to hire all of them, so Bone Daddy’s picks up the slack.

To give my parents and sister an easy way out and prevent embarrassment, I asked if they were too hungry to wait the estimated ten minutes for a table. Nobody jumped at the offer to bail out, and my pseudonym ("Maurice DuBois")'s table was quickly announced as ready.

While I wasn’t able to take the actual measurements to back this up, my ballpark analysis indicates the uniforms at Bone Daddy’s are at least 12.4% skimpier than those at Hooters. Dad, who had experienced a partial loss of vision several weeks earlier, showed signs of a complete recovery.

Guys who go to Hooters find the need to rationalize to one another—not to mention their wives and girlfriends—that the food alone is good enough to justify a visit, always citing the wings. (If I recall, the 3.8 billion of us guys on earth held a secret meeting about 20 years ago where it was decided the excuse would have more merit if we all stuck to universally praising the same menu item.) I offer my apologies to my brethren in advance for spilling the beans, but the food at Hooters truly sucks, including the wings. And if anyone has ever taken the time to actually read them, the articles in Maxim suck, as well.

But at Bone Daddy’s, the food excuse has actual merit. It was the best meal we had the entire trip, including the fancy country club affair that was the centerpiece of the weekend. The smoked brisket wasn’t completely dry, with just the right amount of sauce on top. Again, incredible cole slaw and mac-and-cheese. The service wasn’t great, but that was something we managed to forgive as our server continually dropped things and bent over to pick them up.

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