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May 2, 2011 10:49 AM

Dickies BBQ in Burnsville

This store is part of a Texas-based BBQ chain (a franchise or corporate-owned I don't know).

The good:

Deep fried okra. It was very crisp on the outside. No bad old-oil flavors. The okra was properly slimy on the inside.

Brisket. It was very tasty.

The mediocre:

The pork spare ribs. Too tender. Despite a smoker in the store, the ribs didn't taste of smoke. To keep it from drying out while they hold it, they wrap it in plastic wrap. Hot meat in plastic wrap isn't a good idea. Not even close to Big Daddy's when Big Daddy's is firing on all cylinders.

The bad:

The pulled pork. Flavorless.

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  1. Not to threadcrap, but I gotta disagree with Dickey's quality. Went to the new one in Eagan, and won't be back. The brisket had no rub or smoke flavor whatsoever, no pink indicating a smoke ring, no bark. The spicy beans were basically beans with some jalapeno-like flavoring. Mac n cheese tasted like they brought it over from boston market. I thought the pulled pork was fine, but the flavor was all from the rub they put on.

    I will say, I've never seen my meat massaged prior to being plated before. Wasn't sure what to think of that.

    If you're going to say you have texas bbq, your brisket better be pretty darn good.

    Both my dining companion and I agreed that the bread and free pickle were the highpoints of the meal. This echoed a previous experience at the Maple Grove location.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mech_e

      You are free to disagree with me and I won't be pissed off even a little bit.

      However, I think you misunderstand my post. If I say the highlights were their deep-fried okra and the brisket was tasty, it doesn't mean I think the place was good...see what I say about the ribs and the pulled pork.

      1. re: JimGrinsfelder

        I work near the one in Burnsville and went once after they opened. There is absolutely no chance I'd ever go back. I had the ribs and much like Jim wrote, they came wrapped in plastic and had no smoke flavor whatsoever. They were tough to top it off. And the sauce tasted to me like ketchup and brown sugar.

        I don't even remember which sides I had. For some reason, I remember potato salad that tasted like it had been bought at Cub down the mall and corn, but I could be wrong. I had it ranked as one of the worst dining experiences I'd had in all of 2010.

        If you're looking for good BBQ in this area, I'd suggest Rack Shack in Eagan. It's a tad on the pricey side, but you get much higher quality so it's worth it to this BBQ lover.

        1. re: Db Cooper

          DB! Thanks for the tip on rackshack. I'll give it a shot.

          1. re: JimGrinsfelder

            Let me know what you think ... I found it to be one of the better BBQ joints in town. You can definitely taste the smoke in the meat.

            I have a hard time as I prefer the more vinegary BBQ sauces and tangier rubs that you find in the Carolina's/Arthur Bryant's in KC. Almost every Twin Cities BBQ house serves more of what I call red-candy BBQ sauce. So I have a hard time really praising any of them.

            And Yes, I have woken up on a Saturday morning, decided I wanted BBQ for dinner that night, and driven to KC for Arthur's and Gates. It's only six hours and the quality is so far superior that it is worth the drive.

            I'm hoping to try the new Bayport BBQ to see if they are any better. I guess I can dream.

            Bayport BBQ
            328 5th Ave N, Bayport, MN 55003

            1. re: Db Cooper

              I think you will like Bayport BBQ. The links and brisket are outstanding. They do serve their sauce on the side - vinegary like KC. Be sure to get a side of mixed pickles and white onion. I just got back from Luling, Texas (City Market) and Lockhart, Texas (Black's) and I can honestly say that Bayport BBQ can hold it's own with those two bastions of Texas BBQ.

              Bayport BBQ
              328 5th Ave N, Bayport, MN 55003

          2. re: Db Cooper

            Eh, someone recently brought me brisket and pulled pork from Rack Shack. We thought the brisket was fine, but the pulled pork was dry and not that interesting. The sweet sauces were too sweet; the vinegary sauces too vinegary. The sides--mac and cheese, baked beans, corn pudding, baked potato (with BBQ sauce sour cream)-- were just okay. If I were in Eagan or Burnsville, I might swing by this place, but it's nothing I'd go out of my way for.

            Did we order wrong?


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              No, Rack Shack in Burnsville (it's not in Eagan) is completely hit or miss--mostly miss.

      2. Franchise. A couple of Edina boys own them.

        1. they catered a lunch at my work once. t was alright for free food, but I wouldn't go to the restaurant.

          1. We went the Eagan location for takeout couple of months ago. The ribs were overdone without much flavor. I'd like to tell you about the brisket, but when we got home we found they hadn't put it in the bag along with one of the sides. We called with the idea that they might send us a coupon or certificate. The worker on the line kept asking the manager to take the call, he wouldn't, and told the worker to tell us to drive back and get our brisket and side. This was during one of our 6" snowstorms. Obviously we did not drive back and will not go there again. The side of potato salad we did get had the Cub food flavor mentioned by DB Cooper, but had the consistency of mashed potatoes. We tasted it and threw it away.

            We never did try the pickles, so the best thing we had was the free soft-serve.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Hankdad1

              I don't get how you can have a smoker and not have your meat taste of smoke? They do realize you have to put wood (hickory, oak, cheery, etc) in it to work right?

              Another fault is that they don't remove the layer of skin from the bone-sie of the ribs. By removing that, you give the smoke a better chance to penetrate the rib.

              All in all, this post is reminding me why I bought a Char-Griller Pro with a side smoke box. I can order my rubs and sauces via the Net and just do it at home. It may take more time, but my results are far superior.

              1. re: Db Cooper

                You can buy a great steak at the grocery store and cook it perfectly on your home grill for less and have far superior results than any of the big name houses but some people still want to have someone else cook for them.

                While I don't think that Dickie's is worth anyone's time, I don't dismiss it simply because I could do much better at home--especially when it's a strip mall restaurant chain.

                1. re: Bill Roehl

                  No one is dismissing Dickies because they can do better at home. Db Cooper mentions 2 other restaurants in the area he recommends or wants to try. I too can grill a superior steak or smoke better ribs on my Weber smoker. That doesn't mean I won't swing by Ted Cooks or Big Daddy's for BBQ, or go to the Strip Club for a great streak.

                  Dickies is being criticized for food that ranges from poorly prepared and tasteless to inedible (the potato salad flavored mashed potatoes), poor service, and a sad lack of customer relations knowledge.

                  I would love to have a great BBQ joint near our home. Dickies is not it.

                  The Strip Club
                  378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                  1. re: Bill Roehl

                    I'd say it's also difficult to really get superior results at home compared to a big name steak house. Two reasons:

                    1. The aging process of the meat. It's just not that easy to find dry-aged beef in this town where the big name houses can do it themselves. I know most of the grocery stores I shop at don't carry it. I'm sure some butchers do, but it's special request and its going to be pricey.....

                    2. Most of us don't have the industrial grills that can produce the type of temperatures a big-name steakhouse does. This allows them to really get a good crust on the outside while leaving the inside rare and tender. That's tougher to do on on a home range/oven/grill.

                    I can make a mean steak at home. But I'm not sure I would call it superior to a big-name steakhouse as 99% of the time it is lower quality beef.

                    I dismiss Dicke's for two reasons now:

                    1. My experience which was awful
                    2. Kathy Jenkins gave it a thumbs up in the Pioneer Press today. I've found that she and I are exact opposites when it comes to dining out.

                    1. re: Db Cooper

                      I'm with Bill Roehl on this one. DB, I don't know where you shop, but Whole Paycheck and Widmer's both in my neck of the woods carry dry-aged prime beef steaks. And if you think the dry-aged beef is pricey, what about that same beef at Manny's or Murray's or Ruth's Chris? That's pricey X 2.

                      As for getting a hot hot fire, I have a $5 secret. Buy two chimney starters and use a double batch of hardwood charcoal (not briquets). The fire will be very very hot.

                      The real secret is in how we handle our beef. Turn it frequently. As frequently as you can within reason. Every 15-30 seconds. This gives the best crust with the most evenly cooked interior.

                      This goes against everything I was taught about steak cookery in the 1970's...the old 'turn it once, halfway through' method.

                      Also, according to some work done by the guys at Serious Eats, salting it an hour before cooking or right before cooking is preferred over salting it 20 minutes before cooking.

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