Stiles Switch BBQ
On my way down lamar headed to Lucy's Fried Chicken from up in the NACA hood I passed Stiles Switch and saw with delight patrons, so I changed my lunch plans and we tried it.
Best: Brisket: I order the money cut every time - fatty crusty beef please! It could have used a touch more salt (and I think Rudy's is too salty for my palate), but other than that it had a deep well developed crust and a nicely penetrant smoke ring. This stuff melted in my mouth and I think is well on par with the best this town has to offer up at Franklin's and John's place. Dare I say better? Who cares, when it's this effing good, we're needlessly quibbling. The pic of my lunch is attached.
Almost best: Sausage: They have three varieties, all of which I think they make in house. I had the "thorndale" link, they also have a jalapeno variety and another, the switch I think it's called. Anyway, the thorndale was just as I like it, pretty grainy / meaty and not too greasy, lovely flavor and smoke. I'm pretty sure it was beef (embarrassed I can't say for sure it wasn't a combo of meats). I quite enjoyed it and so did my lunch date, she doesn't usually go for smoked sausages. I found it to be reminiscent of southside's in texture, another fine link.
Mediocre: Pork Ribs - St. Louis style ribs. These had decent smoke flavor, and couldn't be eaten with spoons as you can with Franklin's. But for those that like a little more bite to the meat in terms of texture, these were not tough by any means. My problem with them: bland. just bland. Sadly. They'll need to step up the flavors for these to be on par with their other offerings.
Sides: The potato salad was really eggy and made with French's mustard, I enjoyed it. The cole slaw is savory not sweet, with a light mayo dressing and strong on the black pepper. I loved it.
Sauce: was good too, just a tad sweeter than John's and slightly thicker. Not as inventive as the espresso sauce, but solid. I usually don't eat sauce, but needed it on the pork.
Verdict: Solid A- performance out of the gate! Nice work fellas. But fix those ribs up.
I ate there also. the pork sausage is made in taylor. the beef and jalapeno sausages are made in thorndale special for him. i only had the pork. it was pretty good.
I had the beef ribs. they are a "chuck" cut and were spot on.
The brisket didn't blow me away. but hell, its his first day. He's got time to work it out and its so close to my house i have to bump him up on the curve.
I'd like to see him step up the caliber of beers over time. They did great work on the buildout.
Looking forward to this place maturing.
I've been 4-5 times now. My favorites to date are the chop beef sandwich and the sausages. I've had some good pork ribs there. They are sometimes fall off the bone tender but personally I like a little sweeter bark on my ribs. If I'm going to be that picky I'll just make it myself. I also like the sauce
the people that run the place are super friendly and always there. The brisket is getting better I think as he gets more time with the smoker rig. I really enjoy the open space and the fact that they are open for dinner.
2nd visit 9 days after grand opening was different. They had maybe 20 folks dining and were apparently training a new cutter. He cut the brisket the wrong way grain wise and the boys overcooked it to boot. It was stringy, roast beefy, and the edges were inedible. The flavor was there, but I feared for a moment I broke a tooth on one bite. Far from the melt in your mouth experience from the first day. I still loved the sausage, but am hopeful to see the growing pains turn around.
Funny, I just went today for lunch and had a different experience. The brisket was most definitely melt in your mouth (and cut the proper way by one of the owners) and flavored so well. What we had was very delicious. Hopefully the consistency will get better. We also tried the jalapeno cheddar sausage, which was 50/50 combo meat and not overly greasy. The flavor was nice, with the jalapeno spicy without actually burning you. We also tries the chopped chicken (not sure why I ordered that!), it was fine but boring.
As for sides, we only had the potato salad. It is mustardy and eggy (as someone else has described it), which happens to be exactly how I like potato salad.
After we ate, we ordered a half pound of brisket, potato salad and mac-n-cheese to go for dinner. Cannot wait for dinner.
I went for lunch today with the Mrs. and concur completely with missmitzi - the brisket was great - tender, flavorful, wide smoke rings. The jalapeno sausage was really nice. Would just add that even the turkey was really nice - moist...must've been brined before smoking. Will definitely return.
This brisket experience was similar to mine. I went a few days after they opened and while the brisket was certainly cut the right way (c'mon, a Texas BBQ joint would actually screw that up?!), but it tasted like underdone roast beef. My wife's chopped beef sandwich was just so-so.
I can't believe someone would say this place is up there with Franklin's! Maybe I'll give them another shot in a few months, but then again, by that time the weather will have warmed up and I'll be making my own melt-in-your-mouth brisket on my Big Green Egg...
I went at 2:30 on Monday and two people were in the dining room. Ordered 2 slices moist, 1 Thorndale sausage link and a pork rib to go.
Brisket was awesome - competitive with Franklin, Meuller (x2), Smitty's etc. Lots of smoke, moist - really, really good.
Sausage was also very good. Coarse texture, good snap, not too greasy (which I prefer). Excellent flavor.
Pork rib was a dud. Not enough salt and pepper. Reasonable smoke but way too chewy. Hard to believe it was the same pit/pitmaster.
Total tab was $18.62. Even the cashier did a double take. Turns out the 2 slices of moist was 2/3 of a pound - $10. I have no issue paying this for the quality of the brisket but be forewarned.
I really, really want this place to make it.
Oh yes, the beer choices need to improve. If the word "Brew" is in your name...
I went to Louie Mueller's in Taylor last weekend and their brisket was $12.99/lb and I'm positive Rudy's moist brisket is right at $13/lb as well. I guess those were two generous slices, but $10/lb is actually very reasonable for good quality smoked brisket. I am looking forward to trying this place.