Texas BBQ Reviews: Green Mesquite

On January 19, 2014, in Uncategorized, by admin

 Visitors from other states and countries have a hard time grasping the size of Texas.  They can’t quite understand how someone can drive 11 hours straight east or west and STILL be in Texas.  Even from Central Texas it is anywhere from 5-8 hour drive to get to another state.  With such size comes diversity. One of the great pleasures of living in Texas is the food. From Tex-Mex, German, Czech, Vietnamese, and others, each wave of immigrants have brought their own home land dishes here and have mixed into a true fondue of flavors.  The same is true of Texas BBQ.  There are thousands of BBQ places in this state from corporations to shade tree smokers, selling BBQ only a couple days a week.  We freely admit it is better to review a spot after several visits but with so many options, frequently it is hard to visit a particular BBQ place more than once.  That is not the case on this review of The Green Mesquite.  Long-time Austin visitors have fond memories of the restaurant on Barton Springs Rd.  They now have branches in South Austin and Round Rock and the latter one is today’s review.  The store is in a strip mall just off I-35.  The inside is bright and cheerful, without a lot of the faux-Texas “grannies closet” of wagon wheel, barbed wire fence, cow skull décor.  The long bar at the back has full offerings of the alcoholic beverage of your choice and a couple of HD TV’s dot the walls.

The friendly staff is quite helpful, and for first timers, that can be critical because the menu is huge.  From Chicken Fried Steak, to salads, to burgers, to BBQ, it is a full menu.  And that frequently is a concern with BBQ places.  Do they spend enough time concentrating on the BBQ, or are they too diverse, and hence watered down?  Well,  the answer here  is a little bit of both.   We have tried several 3 meat plates and the CFS (that’s Chicken Fried Steak for those not used to speaking Texan).   The 2, 3, 4 meat plates all come with two sides and a slice of white bread with pickles and onions optional.  The sauce comes on the side. The sauce is tomato based, with a little kick that enhanced the meat.  The sides options are many.  Those we have tried include the Cole Slaw, fresh made, crunchy with long strips of cabbage, not chopped fine like most places.  That was very good.  The mustard-based potato salad also tasted like it was made in-house that day and gets a good grade.  The green beans were crunchy and a little salty. The fried Okra was not impressive.

SO how was the BBQ?  Well, the brisket was tender, but with only a little smoke ring, no char.  The smoky flavor was quite good.  The sausage was sliced thin, with a very smoky flavor,  It had a little kick, but like most BBQ sausage, it was a little greasy. The barbecued turkey was outstanding, maybe the best we have ever had on the BBQ Road. Tender, juicy, smoky.  We need to remember this for next Thanksgiving.  It may be easier to buy several pounds of their turkey rather than spending hours prepping and cooking and carving ours. Hmmmm….not a bad idea.  The pulled pork was average, with long thin shreds with a fine light vinegar based sauce.  The pork ribs were a major disappointment, dry and tough.  The Chicken Fried Steak (CFS) spilled over the side of the plate it was so large. Crunchy, flavorful, with good white gravy, everything CFS should be.

The sides get a B+ for their freshness and large types of options.  The meats get a solid B.  Some very good, others not so much, which lowers the overall grade.  Given the good value of food for the price, we will give the overall grade a B+.

The BBQ Road goes ever on…..

 

Politics is a hot button these days.  Seems everyone from the janitor to the pulpit has an opinion on politics and the overall state of America. Great. Never has there been a time in America time where we have had a coven of arm chair political jockeys trying to man  controls of the the country’s opinion with their thumb on the remote of whatever media outlet feeds their political fancy. When they hear it, it is truth in their opinion, and, of course, many are going to make sure we know about it through whatever social media outlet they indulge in. This is all OK, we can simply choose to ignore.  I get that. But the goal of anyone who weighs in on these, maybe including this post, seems to imply that we must all think like whoever, or, well, we just are some name, tag, or stereotyped thinker locked in the closet of these all too gracious and I am sure, stunningly brilliant minds. So what is it about the less than obvious sale of one’s opinion that needs to so compelling that it is forced into my face like dead fish on a practical joke? And truly, these people think (I am talking right and left here) that everyone must think just like them or they are horrible people, stupid, moron, you name it, I have seen all kinds of adjectives tossed about. Well, think just like me or……..who does that remind you of?

Simply said, this righteous know it all armchair wisdom seems to falls into three primary areas of think tank wasteland

  1. The Depressor. This one likely has nothing else to do all day but sit around and listen to their favorite media outlet jargon. They also likely feel totally hopeless to change things, after all, each of us are just one vote. As well, they hear the talking heads with agenda loaded discussions, the O’Reillys, PumpkinHead (Rush Limbaugh), and whoever the liberal heads are……they speak confidently and challenging thereby forwarding their agendas with a stunning sense of seeming truth. He/she said it on Fox, it must be true. They are just looking for someone to be their speak…..older people tend to fall into this trap. again, in the end, their world is not complete unless everyone agrees with whatever agenda has been presented. Homogenious society, the only way we survive. Not very American in my book., but then, you did not ask.
  2. The Narcissist. This one has done a great job of branding themselves in some political or religious corner, or other corner, and as part of their striking need to be recognized and heard, they will begin tossing their opinions about like a hunk of doe at a Papa Johns…..certainly because they are right and there is no other answer, everyone needs to be schooled on the good word and brought into the fold. There is no other way to operate the world other than their own. The Narcissist has a deep longing to be known, observed, listened to, and most of all adhered. Interestingly, a large number of this group has never left the shores of the U.S., let alone their home state, but man, they are a bundle of wisdom for all, and certainly any other country political system must be flawed. But fall in line, be just like them.  Not very American in my book, but then, you did not ask
  3. The Pius. Oh man, here is a genuinely scary group as they believe all of their political rants are backed by the all holy one. God has spoken directly to them, and this is what he said………how can that be wrong in any form or manner? “Its God, not me”. There is a infinite number of these do gooders out in the world, mainly in the south.  With this group, there is no separate of church and state, constitution be damned.  Most of these today go by the Tea Party group, which I am happy to say that they have taken on republicans with disdain as being to moderate…..the result is God dividing the republican party, I guess. Again, very scary group, as these are the strongest of mindset that you must think like them, God told them so…….Not very American in my book, but then, you did not ask

This is not meant to bash one side or another, but rather, to be a wake up call on how we support this so called greatest country on earth. If anyone wishes to form a society that thinks just like them, well, there were a few.  Its called Jim Jones, David Koresh, Rev. Moon, Hitler, whatever. Not very American in my book, but then, you did not ask.  And as you read this, if you stuck around to the end of this 800+ word rant, you should ask yourself, is he asking me to think like him?  And if you answer is yes, you’d be right, and it is a mark that you can think for yourself.  Congratulations. You took the first step.  Not very American of me, but then, you did not ask

 
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