Dickey's BBQ - plesant surprise or cynical disappointment?
A new location of Dickey's Barbecue Pit is about to open near my house. It's a national franchise with a base in Texas. I expect very little but hope to be surprised. Major chains succeed because they set a low bar for quality and rarely exceed the mediocre expectations.
What say those who've tried it?
Probably somewhere between pleasant surprise and cynical disappointment. I've eaten at a Dickey's in Dallas. It was just okay, decent for a chain but not great. The thing I like about barbecue joints is that they're usually better than fast food and just as fast.
Your profile says you're in California, so I suggest you prepare for disappointment: in my experience, whenever a regional chain starts opening away from its region, disappointment follows. The Dickeys locations I've eaten at in Texas aren't a bad meal (and have some fine pecan pie as well, properly caramel-like in texture), but the Dickey's that opened in Albuquerque a year or so before I left there was merely adequate.
the ones in St. Louis are indeed dismal. However, there's one we occasionally have hit at DFW Airport that is fairly tolerable - but maybe that's just because we're traveling and hungry. Nevertheless, in one of the terminals there, we'll hit it before the other spots nearby.
Having grown up in the Dallas area, I was really happy when they opened a franchise near my now home in North Carolina. So far, so good. It wasn't great when they first opened - the meat was not that good. I think it takes some time for the smokers to season and the meat is now much better. I really like their brisket and their smoked turkey is amazing. I like the onion tanglers and the baked potato casserole for sides and their hushpuppies are always yummy. They have a good eat-in atmosphere and try hard to be a step above your average take-out. I like that they keep the sauce warm and have free ice cream for dessert - with Hershey's syrup! It can get a little pricey. And, I have two major pet peeves with them - 1) the ridiculously large plastic yellow beverage cups that I think could be single-handidly responsible for global warming and 2) they have thie weird contraption on the table that you stick this card in to so they supposedly know where to bring your food. Frankly, the place isn't that big and the gadgetry is far more hassle than help. The servers typically wander around with trays of food not knowing where to take it because we, the customers, are not familiar enough with these stupid table machines to know what we are doing.
Food = good
Atmosphere = good
Sauce = AWESOME
Price = expensive
Gadgets = lame!