Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fort Worth Food Insider (BBQ) - Smokeys Barbeque

Now that I've traveled around this great county and eaten at many famous restaurants I think its time that I should turn my attention back to my hometown - Fort Worth, Texas. I'm writing a new series of blog posts called the, "Fort Worth Food Insider." No matter if you're a tourist visiting the area or a longtime local looking for the best food Fort Worth has to offer you've come to the right place. I'm going to share with you my local Fort Worth favorites that aren't getting the attention that they deserve.

Today I am going to cover Fort Worth's Best BBQ...

If you were a tourist visiting Fort Worth and you asked a local, "Hey, where's the best BBQ in town?" chances are they would point you to Angelo's Bar-B-Que (2533 White Settlement Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76107). Angelo's is a great place to grab a great dinner with locals and drink a few schooners of beer in a place that has been a local legend for over 50 years.

However, if you were a tourist and asked me, "Shawn, where's the best BBQ in town?" I would answer without hesitation Smokeys Barbeque (5300 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76112).

Smokeys is a great place to have lunch at the best BBQ joint in Fort Worth. Although for tourists I would not recommend having dinner there too late since the neighborhood is a little questionable. (That being said Smokeys is right by the local police station and is a favorite lunch spot for local cops.)

Let me note that BBQ in North Texas is usually not taken quite as seriously as it is down south in the hill country of Texas. However, this is NOT the case at Smokeys. They take a lot of pride and care into their food that most other Fort Worth BBQ restaurants do not. My first time into Smokeys I was wearing a Black's BBQ shirt - bad move! I was quickly harassed by the staff and forced to wear a Smokeys shirt while I was in there. 

The food is absolutely incredible. Their ribs are hands down the best in Fort Worth. The brisket is well flavored and doesn't really need sauce. The sausage is spicy and juicy. Best of all is you can get a combo plate to try all their fantastic meats in one meal.

Great care has been put into the side dishes. You can always tell a good restaurant from a great restaurant from how the side dishes taste. They chop up brisket in put in into their beans. This makes a huge difference in taste and Franklin BBQ in Austin (Rated #1 in Texas Monthly) is the only other place I know of that does this.

My favorite are the buns that come with the meal. They spread on a generous amount of butter and then toast them to perfection. By the way, don't forget to finish it all off with a piece of their homemade buttermilk pie.

So if you truly want to eat the best BBQ in Fort Worth then you'll have to venture off the beaten trail to East Fort Worth to visit Smokeys. You won't regret it, and chances are you'll run into me eating there.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cincinnati Chili: Skyline versus Gold Star

Cincinnati Chili is a regional food delicacy that is almost completely unknown outside of Southern Ohio. It consists of thin greek-style chili that is served over spaghetti noodles or hot dogs. The spaghetti version is called 'ways'. I asked around and most people there get 3-way or 4-way. (You can look at the menus below for a breakdown).

There are two fast food chains in the Cincinnati area that specialize in this local food favorite: Gold Star Chili and Skyline Chili. I went to both to find out which one is better.

First up was Gold Star:

I ordered a cheese coney and a regular 3-way:

I thought both were delicious and quickly cleaned my plate. Their chili had a sweet taste to it that blended well with everything. I was expecting everything to taste really greasy and I was pleasantly surprised it did not. Gold Star was a winner. The only thing left was to hit up Skyline the next night and see how it compared.

I ordered the same combo as before - a cheese coney and a regular 3-way:

The place was packed so I had high hopes, but I was disappointed. I did not like the taste of their chili. It was not sweet like Gold Star's was. I didn't finish my food and would not eat there again.

That being said it seemed like most locals prefer Skyline. Their restaurants seemed more packed and they have more locations around town.

Maybe I'm the odd man out, but for me, Gold Star has the best Cincinnati chili. It's not something I'll probably be craving now that I'm back home, but I'll definitely be stopping by Gold Star next time I'm in Cincy.