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Territory BBQ (and Records?)

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alephnaught May 18, 2009 11:03 AM

I have been reading this board for a while but this is the first time I have felt that I needed to post something. This weekend Territory BBQ opened at the corner of Bellevue and Hoover in Silverlake. As I live nearby I had a chance to go there twice and as I saw no other review here I thought I should write this.

Territory is a very small place. You enter the front and order at the counter from a menu that includes: Brisket, Pulled Pork, Links, Ribs, Fried Catfish, Fried Chicken and has sides: beans, cole slaw, mac-n-cheese, collards, potato salad, pickled eggs, biscuits as well as pies and sodas such as jolt and bubble-up. After you order you go out the back door to a very small patio, maybe six tables. If you bought a soda you pull it out of the fridge/ice and open it yourself, otherwise it is bring your own drink. It seems that this weekend they did not have any cups but I assume that they will fix this. . . They have a couple home-made BBQ sauces, but they are not well labelled and as the place has been busy the bottles are always at someone else's table.

I was able to try the brisket, the pulled pork, and the fried chicken.

Brisket with beans and cole slaw. The brisket was very good with a nice beefy and smokey flavor. It has a little too much fat still on the outside, but I would rather have too much fat that a dried out piece of beef. I couldn't find a proper BBQ sauce but the flavor of the beef was good enough to eat without. This was served in a mostly proper Texas way with two slices of white bread and two slices of pickles (it wasn't wonder bread, probably a good thing, and i would have liked a slice of onion but whatever). The beans had a good smokey flavor and were well seasoned. The coleslaw was cut super-fine and had the consistency of a paste. It was very good and not runny or oversauced. Over all I found everything on this plate very good.

Pulled Pork with collards and beans: The pulled pork was very good. It tasted mainly of pork and had a soft texture, neither too wet nor too dry. I tried it with the Vinegar BBQ sauce, but as mining dining companion didn't really like the vinegar we ate most of it without. I enjoyed the sauce (it seems to be mostly vinegar and a little bit spicy--not sweet at all) but the pork was great without it. This was also served with white bread and pickles, though I don't like the pickles with the pork as much as with the beef. The greens were fine but nothing special and the beans were good, the same as before.

Fried Chicken with collards and mac-n-cheese: The chicken is fried to order and is fantastic. This is by far the best fried chicken I have had in the area and I would go back just for this. It had a thin crispy crust and tender chicken that tasted of chicken. I found it well seasoned but the flavor of the chicken was what you tasted. Great! The collards were again only pedestrian and the mac-n-cheese was bland, I probably wouldn't get it again (except this is the opening weekend so they might still be messing around with it...) The chicken was also served with a biscuit. I have nothing really to say about the biscuit is was dry and not very flacky. Not great. But the chicken was wonderful.

Small apple pie/tartlet. We had a 2" diameter apple pie-let that was good but not great. Its worth eating but I wouldn't order it myself.

Overall I really enjoyed Territory BBQ. The meat was excellent and obviously the focus of the place. I have no idea as to most of the sauces, but they were really unnecessary, which speaks for the flavor of the meat. As for sides, the beans and slaw were good, but the collards and mac-n-cheese were fair to middling. On my second trip I brought a six-pack of Shiner and sitting outside eating BBQ in a totally laid back low-key spot and drinking a beer reminded me of what BBQ should be and what I truly enjoyed during my youth in Texas.

alephnaught

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    GrillEmAll RE: alephnaught May 18, 2009 11:54 AM

    wow, yer goin easy on these guys!

    i'd never had truly horrible bbq until going to territory. as a fan of bad wizard and tee pee records, i was really really hoping this place was going to rule! but nope...

    paid $11 for two small pieces of brisket, half of each piece was fat. the mac and cheese tasted like nothing, which i didnt know was possible. but the beans were actually really good.

    the set up of the place not great as well. and where i was sitting i watched old boy cooking just drinkin beer with his friends. he even went inside, grabbed a rib, and then ate it in front of everyone while he cooked, gross!

    i normally dont post anything negative on here because i think its a waste of time, but this place really bummed me out, i had such high hopes!

    oh well, its prolly a good thing cause its right down the street and i dont need to gain any more weight this summer, haha!

    Ryan

    3 Replies
    1. re: GrillEmAll
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      bsquared2 RE: GrillEmAll May 19, 2009 12:02 AM

      I hope this isn't the "ironic trucker hat" of BBQ restaurants. When they told me they ran out of most menu items before dinner Friday because "they had a party last night", I had a bad feeling.

      1. re: GrillEmAll
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        natinator RE: GrillEmAll May 24, 2009 11:33 PM

        In fairness though, the patio was nice.

        1. re: GrillEmAll
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          natinator RE: GrillEmAll May 25, 2009 01:11 AM

          so i'll qualify my mini-review by saying that i've been to austin about 9 times in the past year and had alot of good bbq there. i went tonight hoping that this might prove to be in some way a simulation of texas or southern bbq. it was pretty lame, the pulled pork was mushy and dull, the bbq sauce overly vinegary and the mac and cheese boring. these guys have a great location and they need to get somebody in there who knows what they are doing in terms of cooking, because its very uninspired. i would go back and try something else, but with very low expectations. also i was refused tap water which whether or not there's a law or whatever, is lame and seems very contrary to whatever laid back vibe they are going for. the guy literally said "if you have your own cup you can have some water" WTF? I'd much rather eat bbq at the salt lick airport than this place.

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          JustinM RE: alephnaught May 19, 2009 05:13 PM

          I can't agree with the negative notices, this place was pretty tremendous. We went on Sunday. I'm not familiar with Carolina BBQ but my gf is and she was pretty ecstatic after we left. Really friendly service, excellent fried chicken, AMAZING pulled pork. It's really casual here, the setup is wonderful and inviting, and I think it will be good summer destination. I wouldn't hate on it 'til you try the pulled pork, for real. And nothing ironic about this place, these guys are very serious about it from what I can gather.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JustinM
            lvgoodfood RE: JustinM May 20, 2009 10:21 AM

            We also had a great time and enjoyed our lunch at Territory last Saturday, we didn't try the pulled pork, but the brisket was quite tasty, and the fried chicken was excellent.
            Yes, it is a very, very casual place, and no fancy waiters with bad attitude, or fake friendliness, everyone at Territory seems to be enjoying what they are doing.
            I posted some photos on another post, and also on Flickr, if interested.
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/620813

          2. alkylyou RE: alephnaught May 22, 2009 09:02 PM

            god, i was looking forward to this.
            i have a feeling it's something i'm going to talk about a lot, but never actually go to in fear of being let down.
            also, you can bring your own drinks?
            i thought pbr tallboys would come with everything, but i guess they're not to the liquor license stage yet.

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