Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Otto's BBQ - Houston, TX
Otto's BBQ is a local Houston chain established back in the 50's. During lunch but even well before noon, there was a long line of customers snaking out into the mall, something no other eatery in the mall could boast as I surveyed the area. That seemed to be a promising sign. Surely the locals knew something I didn't.
Not having a clue as to what to order I eavesdropped in on what those in front of me ordered. Nothing on the menu popped out. More surprisingly, people weren't ordering any one item in particular. Orders were literally all over the menu board.
Ribs weren't offered so I chose what I considered to be the next most traditional BBQ item, Beef Brisket, actually the platter that included a side order rice and drink.
I don't get it or maybe I never got it. I've had slow oven baked brisket before and I couldn't understand why it's such a popular cut. For me, it's just dry. I figured I just didn't know what I was doing. So here I was with an opportunity for "real" southern BBQ brisket. Now I'll find out what I'm missing and what real brisket should taste like.
Let's get right to it. The brisket had a fairly nice smokey flavor, a little weak which is better than charred and overpowering. The brisket itself was dry and bland. Yup dry. Is it the cut? If so, I don't understand why people enjoy this cut. It's like eating overcooked chicken breast. The brisket alone was texturally disagreeable in the mouth. It had to be doused with BBQ sauce for flavor and for easy chew but unfortunately the sauce was an insipid watered down tart sweet and sour sauce.
I wanted to really like this but I couldn't. Hey, any BBQ down South and especially in Texas is supposed to represent the real deal. Otto's didn't make me think I was missing anything living up North. Like I said, maybe I don't get it...