Saturday, October 3, 2015

Heart of Texas BBQ Review (Hutto, TX)  

Heart of Texas Website, Facebook, & Yelp  

Went looking for a new place today, and decided to check out Heart of Texas in Hutto. It’s a trailer just off of 79 on Farley, with the pit behind the trailer.
They do something interesting here that I haven’t seen recently: different pricing for ½ pound and full pound. Most places charge by either the pound OR the ½ pound. This place charges by both, and it’s proportionally more expensive if you order by the ½ pound. But I order a pound of brisket, a ½ rack of ribs, and a ½ pound each of sausage, pulled pork, and turkey.
Sausage: Spicy sausage. There’s not much snap or smoke flavor. It is tender but dry, and the spice overwhelms the flavor of the meat. Tom: 4.0/10. Tish: 5.0/10

Turkey: The turkey is reasonably tender on the inside. There’s some smoke flavor. The outer edge is tough and chewy though, almost like a strip of plastic that was left on. Tom: 5.5/10.  Tish: 6.0/10.

Brisket: It is reasonably tender. That’s about all that can be said for it. There’s no smoke flavor to speak of. It appears they trim the bark, as there’s very little bark on a lot of it (mostly on the ends). And there’s not much other flavor in it either. Tish found a few pieces with some decent bark and that’s more flavorful. Tom: 3.0/10. Tish: 5.0/10

Pork ribs: Mine is extremely tough, and somewhat dry on top. There is some smoke flavor, but also a hit of burnt taste. Tish likes the flavor of hers, and hers isn’t as tough. Tom: 4.0/10. Tish: 6.0/10.

Pulled pork: The pulled pork is not greasy, but that’s about all that can be said for it. There’s not much smoke flavor or other flavor (besides pork). It reminds me of the prepackaged stuff you can get at Costco. Perfectly good if you are using in a recipe or flavoring to taste, but not that great by itself. Tom and Tish: 4.0/10.

So on first visit, they haven’t impressed me much. Tish thinks with a little work they could become a decent place. I think it’s going to take more than just a little. Start with making sure the bark stays on the brisket.  

I don’t normally comment on customer service, but I did find the wait interesting. When I got there, there was one person there (and they had already ordered). I waited 3-4 minutes for them to give him his food, then they took my order, and my order was placed at 11:36. With no one in line in front of me it took 14 minutes for them to fill my order. That’s the longest I’ve ever waited for BBQ anywhere there wasn’t a line, and longer than some places there was a line. Three people in one group arrived after I did, and then 1 more person by himself. I have to assume they are faster at lunch time during the week or that is going to kill their business.

Is it worth a visit? I’d say no. Only one item came across to me as decent (the turkey). Tish is a little more generous, but at this point there are other places to go. 

Is it worth a trip? Definitely not.

(Al's comment: We appreciate your courage, sir!)