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Jun 16, 2012 12:07 AM

Rod's BBQ in Wharton; Very Mixed Results

first time visit to Hot Rod's BBQ on Main St. In Wharton with wife and just home from college daughter who couldn't wait for some real wood smoked BBQ. Based on some recent good press we chose Rod's and visited hot hungry and ready for some 'Q. Rod's delivered, sort of.

Great choice of artisan brews, served a wee bit colder would have been ok, but truly some great choices.....unfortunately expensively priced at $6 to $8 each so there was no consideration for any second round.

Lured by a review of their low and slow smoked wings we tried 3 different styles; the naked version, their BBQ sauced ones and their traditional buffalo versions. The underlying smoke came thru in all versions. They were spicy with a lovely rub, hot (temperature) still moist, very good sized, in short the highlight of the dinner....the naked version being our top pick.

Entree's were. For the most part disappointments. A half rack of ribs combo with brisket yielded ribs that were well smoked but tuff enough to require a knife to cut and tear them apart.....I don't subscribe to the 'fall off the bone mentality' but the ribs should be tender enough to readily separate without a hacksaw. The brisket slices were worse in. That they were dry, dry, dry as shoe leather and tough. I couldn't tell if this was just an old brisket or a poorly cooked one. Dated had the brisket/cheesesteak and removed the brisket slices since they were distracting. The underlying cheesesteak was not up to her expectation and led her to vote not to bother returning which is too bad as she just started a job in easy driving distance of Wharton. Wife's choice of sliders (meatloaf and pulled pork) were described as ho hum and not inspired. With experiences in Kansas City and Chapel Hill BBQ country she knows what she likes and Rod's just was not on target.

While the small sampling of corn bread and the sweet potato fries were enjoyable, and the wait staff service was quite good, friendly, polite a d attentive, the fact is aside from the good wings, we found nothing worth a return visit. My own smoked brisket on our big green egg over applewood is beats Rods for tenderness, moisture, texture, etc. Sorry as. We really wanted to find a local home run Q joint.

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  1. I probably have not been to Rod's now for a few years, but like yourself, i had read some good reviews and wanted to give it a try......I gave the place two visits, with each visit a few months apart. The first time we were coming back from playing gold and were in the area, and it happened to be the same evening as their *All You Can Eat Night* special. When the order came out it was a full rack.....nothing exceptional. The second round of ribs was a half rack small tip end that ere inedible. The second visit the ribs were similar and nothing to get excited about.....

    any insight or opinion on Texas Smoke in Jefferson?

    1. They were just on Restaurant Stakeout. The owners seemed like a nice couple, the staff could be better. I am going to try it, but not too sure about places that need to call for help for various reasons.

      1. I had a very similar experience with my entree at Hot Rod's. The brisket was inedible and the ribs were very dry and tough. I will not return to Hot Rod's because the food was inferior and the prices were high.