Green Mesquite BBQ (Round Rock, TX)
I decided to swing by there today and pick up some lunch. I've had them once before (a year or two ago at a friend's birthday party), but wanted to give them the more formal treatment. They have three locations, so they are a local chain. Are you a chain if you have 3 locations? How many locations make a chain anyway?
Green Mesquite is located in a strip center in the Northeast corner of I-35 and 45 in Round Rock. They do have a pit out back, but it is bricked off so I was unable to get a picture. Inside you can either do table seating, counter seating, or To Go. They offer daily specials and All You Can Eat BBQ (AYCE) on Mon and Tue.
They do have an interesting T-Shirt, and one of the coolest paintings I've seen in a while.
I decide to go all-out and order a 4 meat plate and a 3 meat plate (so this will take care of lunch and dinner). I'll try everything up front and eat leftovers tonight. The meats are pulled pork, ham, pork ribs, turkey, chicken, sausage, and brisket.
Brisket: The brisket has some bark, but not much smoke flavor. It's also a little on the dry side. 4.0/10.
Sausage: The sausage is a typical example for places like this. It has a decent snap and the flavor is OK, but not great. Not much smoke flavor in it. 5.0/10.
Pulled pork: Moist and not greasy, but again, not much smoke flavor. 5.0/10.
Turkey: The turkey has some smoke flavor, but not much else. There's a metallic flavor to it that almost makes me wonder if there's an artificial smoke at work here. It's reasonably moist. 5.5/10.
Ham: Has a nice smoke flavor (and not the metallic after taste of the turkey). Juicy and not tough. 6.0/10.
Pork Ribs: A little on the tough side, But they have a very interesting flavor, both very spicy and sweet. The smoke underlies it nicely. 7.0/10.
Chicken: Juicy, tender, and a good smoke flavor. This is far and away the best thing I had. 8.0/10.
Green Mesquite is a good example of the local chains that have risen in the area (Rudy's, Pok-e-Jo's, etc.). They have a reasonable product at a reasonable price.
Are they worth a visit? I'd stay away from the brisket, but the other items are worth checking out. It's not a bad place for lunch and the value for dollar makes them an attractive alternative to the more pricy places.
Are they worth a trip? Nope. If you are traveling 60+ miles just for BBQ, you're probably willing to spend the money to go to one of the better places.
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