As I sit down to write, Chilebrown is on his way from California to Idaho stopping at every damn smokehouse in his way. He said he only took 2 coolers, I mentioned he may want to consider getting another 2, dang an junk. The results of this trip should be pretty insane.
This makes up the second and last entry for our 2nd Meat Adventure. If you missed the fist part, please visit the 1st part and get yourself aquainted.
By the time we arrived at Uncle Franks, literally around the corner from Dittmer’s, we were ready for food and drink. Both CB and I were on a high from scoring so hugely at Dittmer’s, we absolutely couldn’t believe our luck. As we walked up to Uncle Frank’s, it said, No One Under 21 Allowed. Cool! The front part of the building is nice Old Man’s bar with 2 pool tables, ahhh time to relax. CB ordered a draft and I the same with a shot of bourbon. The bartender wanted to know what kind? It’s been over 3 years since I’ve been in a bar (I do my drinkin’ at the smoker at home) and I couldn’t remember what to say, so I just stood there looking blank. The kind of blank that said, “Uh, er, uh, you know? The brown liquidy bourbon that stings my lips and makes me say, NICK NICK and doesn’t cost too much.” I think it’s called a Well Drink, whatever. CB and I sat at the bar for a moment, he watched basketball on the tv and I kinda stared blankly at everything. I realized in about 5 minutes that my drinks were gone and I was still hungry. Time to go sit down in a booth and place our order.
Before we dive in here, I wish to impart a little something upon you. You will not be reading a standard restaurant review here, sorry. You probably expect that from me by now anyways, but let me tell you why. I don’t think it’s fair to give a concrete review about BBQ Joints. Most if not all traditional BBQ Joints are in business today because of one person’s vision and effort and skill, and they don’t necessarily have a chef/business degree. While this isn’t a deal breaker, what this means is you don’t find a lot of consistency in the food and/or service. This isn’t a good or bad thing, it is what it is. Just because you had a bad load of meat one day, doesn’t mean you won’t have a stellar platter the next. Lighten up and enjoy what you have at the moment and don’t pigeon hole someone for a bad meal.
Don’t believe me? Spend some time on Chowhound and you’ll see the threads grow. At one point someone has the best meal ever at Uncle Frank’s. Then, a week or a day later? They’re turned away at the door by a gruff woman or the meat sucked one way or the tother.
That being said, now it’s time for our review of Uncle Frank’s BBQ.
Having a bar and a BBQ joint in the same building was the best idea EVER. Score one for Frank. There were plenty of chairs and 2 booths available. It isn’t a large place and I could see it filling up very quickly around dinner time, for sure. Our order was taken speedy like, CB got a 2 way of ribs & links (I think it was links anyway) with 2 sides one of which being Cajun Corn, the other? Dirty rice. I ordered myself a rib dinner, black eye peas & potato salad. It comes with corn bread as a standard rule and I continued with water for the meal.
Our orders showed up a while later and were stunned at the portion sizes of the meat. The meat filled the basket! I was kinda perturbed when I noticed the sauce had been put over the meat for me, what if I don’t like the sauce? Sauce on the side, remember to ask for that, It may not happen, but at least you tried. Both CB and I had ordered the hot version of 3 different kinds.
All you could hear for maybe 5 minutes was slurping, smacking and hands in napkins. We pulled out for a moment to discuss. Portions excellent, not impressed with the sauce, smoky flavors tasted, dirty rice is an award winning side, tater salad very good, cajun corn and black eye peas, okay. We each tried the cornbread and decided to leave it. While there was nothing actually wrong with it, I don’t like cornbread made with flour & sugar, no cookie ingredients. It should be corny, above all, then you should get hit with the bacon drippings and some salt. And that’s about it as far as I’m concerned.
Uncle Frank was there and came out to greet everyone, he’s got strong hands. He offered up that he makes a point of smoking his meat at low temperatures so as to not dry out the meat, makes sense. This is how most of us do it. Uncle Frank is painfully nice and obviously enjoys his work. He was impressed that we drove so damned far for lunch, we were appreciated. One of the parting comments I made in regards to his low cooking temps was to not cook the fat out of the meat. No fat, no love. Frank smiled and walked off repeating it to himself. So, if you hear Frank remarking, “No fat, no love,” that was me. Meathenge cares.
Both CB and I had a great time at Uncle Frank’s place. So, if you’re in town or just driving by on the freeway, stop in for a bite and a good stiff one. You’ll be glad you did.