Happy New Year, it's like a week of meat people! But really, if I'm going to be in Texas, why not go with something they do a lot of. My goal was to try a couple of the more popular barbecue joints in San Antonio. After searching the internet web-a-jig for what folks like, I did the Rudy's thing and now I'm rolling into The Barbecue Station. They've been doing this for 23 years (at least that is what the sign out front said) and if you can smoke meat and stick around that long in Texas, it must be good right?
yes, they've got that Texas bbq joint look down pat
Unlike Rudy's, this place offers plates and sides for individuals. Kind of funny, they offer pretty much the same sides as Rudy's, right down to the peach cobbler. Though, they did have green beans, so yeah, a veggie! They also offer a few different meats like beef ribs and loin. In the interest of comparisons I did a few similar items to see how things measure up.
Peach cobbler, green beans, pork loin, brisket, white bread! and creamed corn. Yes, all places serve it up in roughly the same way, I think it makes cleaning up easier. Let's start with the meat--it was good and I liked it better than Rudy's. All meat is cut to order and both were served up juicy and still warm. Even after cooling off a bit, they meat was still juicy, a difference from Rudy's. They have their own bbq sauce too and it is kind of the same being tomato based and heavy on the black pepper. However, it was on the too runny side for me. I wanted it to be thicker, flavor was okay, but the thinness was a little off putting. I really liked the pork loin. Tender and a great flavor from the smoke, which was light enough to add taste without overpowering the meat. Not much char on these meats, but not really needed.
The creamed corn, while popular here, was not as good as Rudy's. It was only yellow corn and also very thick. Too thick for me. Like there was too much flour or cornstarch or what not. Plus the flavor was off and surprisingly unsweet for so much corn. It just didn't reach the creaminess tastiness of Rudy's.
The green beans were a nice surprise. Little chunks of meat, just enough salt and pepper and regardless of whether they were canned or not, they had some great taste. Both me and the SO really liked them, something that doesn't often happen in the world of veggies. While not pictured, we did get to try some of their baked beans. They were the same kind of pinto beans but no meat pieces and more a bbq sauce flavor this time around. Plus, when you order them, they give you a small bowl and you get to spoon them up on your own from a hot pot in the dining area. Fresh, hot beans!
I opted for some dessert this time and got the peach cobbler. This is old school scoop it out cobbler with chunks of peaches and crust and thick filling. It's also very big on cinnamon flavor, almost too much, but I still liked it. Two drawbacks--it isn't served hot, more room temp, and it could have benefited from some whipped cream or even ice cream, help offset some of that cinnamon. Almost really good, just a tweak or two away for me.
And white bread! Because, yeah, still not sure why, there it is and tastes just like white bread. Not exactly Wonder, but then what is really?
I'm going to repeat a refrain from my Rudy's review, barbecue and smoked meats and all are very taste and regional specific. At The Barbecue Station I really liked both meats I had from the juiciness to the tenderness to the slight smoke. Tasty enough I almost went back to get more. Added bonus for having a green bean veggie that was also a fave. Good meat and green beans, I think that alone is enough reason to check them out. I'm also gonna say try the peach cobbler, just wait till after you eat then go back and get it. Or, better yet, order it to go, take it home, warm it up, add your own Cool Whip or ice cream, sit back and enjoy. Sometimes it's not all about the meat, unless it is, when you are in Texas.