We do not normally review chains here.  However, if you are part of the Texas landscape, you cannot avoid Dickey’s BBQ.  Hell, if you are paying attention to the Google ads that appear to the right of this post, you will likely see an ad to buy a Dickey’s franchise. Now anyone who sells franchises starting at $59K, well, one wonders about the BBQ quality. Read on.

I am happy that our BBQ expert, (and Rum expert, and Low Budget Review, everything cheap expert) was willing to try Dickeys BBQ Pit.  But make no bones about it, this is not a “BBQ Pit”  OK. With that, we let the true expert lead on with his review.

In Nacogdoches that night, we tried a BBQ place that semi-broke the rules for The Barbecue Road—a chain BBQ restaurant.  Historically, the chains do not match up with the joints, shacks, mom-n-pop, and family-run places we love to try.  But, it was close to our hotel, so, we gave it a try—Dickey’s Barbecue.  Dickey’s is a chain with approx 120 outlets, mostly in the Great Plaines states. With a number of them in Texas.  I believe it may have started in Dallas.  Many years ago, “Back in the day”, a local Dickey’s in Plano was one of our favorite dinner spots.  It had been over 20 years since our last visit.  This Dickey’s was similar to a lot of BBQ places, wood tables, checkerboard plastic tablecloths, bric-a-brac on the walls.  The young staff seemed more interested in quickly getting us served than making sure the order was correct.  Perhaps paying more attention to the customer may be in order, not just paying attention to the plate that is being filled.  Smoke hung heavy in the air—too heavy, they need better ventilation.  We literally had to shower that night to get the smoke smell out of our hair and clothes.  But the food—not bad.  The brisket was good, had a small smoke ring, the sauce was tomato-molasses based, sweet but rich, and melded with the meat very well.  The sauce was poured on the meat entre without asking if we even wanted sauce.  The traditional pickles, onion, and white bread accompanied.  The sausage was OK, smoky with a mild aftertaste of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, jalapeno, maybe, or red pepper.  The potato salad was bland, pureed to a texture like vanilla ice cream.  Potato Salad should be chunky and funky with mustard.  I want to taste that I am eating actual potatoes, not rehydrated potato flakes.  The Cole Slaw was OK, vinegar based, and chopped very fine.  The tea was commercial brand bland.  Dickey’s gets some extra points for having some unusual items on the menu—pulled pork, not that frequent in the Beef-Universe that is Texas, loaded Baked Potatoes that looked awesome, Virginia-Style Ham, Polish Sausages… They also had a Smokehouse Salad that was the best bargain on the menu. The plate was very  large, with lots of chopped brisket, fresh greens, cheese and fixins.  Very impressive and a great price.  So here is the dilemma, I give them bonus points for some unusual sides (okra) and the salad and taters, for being a great bargain and well presented and prepared. Delicious.  But then I have to penalize them points—for offering a salad in a BBQ place.  Really, a salad?  In a BBQ place?  No matter how good it is… there’s a saying in Texas, “That boy just ain’t right”……Dickey’s gets a C+.



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