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Jun 26, 2014 02:59 PM

Brother's Barbecue Reno

This place opened recently in a small house on Wells (a few blocks north of Vassar) that has been at least two other barbecue places if I recall correctly...maybe the same smoker is still there?

Anyway, somehow I was hoping that the name "Brothers" might hint at Oakland-style cue. No, they advertise on their menu as "Texas Style" but the ribs are can that be Texas style? Just more generic imo.

But on to the food: Of course I tried the ribs. I will always try the ribs first at a Barbecue place. The rib plate had three large meaty pork ribs. I ordered them without sauce and was glad I did...they didn't need it. The meat had the right bite with just a bit of chew but very tasty with a spicy rub. I ate every bite. I tried a bit of the regular and the "habanero" sauce....neither one did that much for me. They actually tasted too sweet...both of them. And the habanero sauce wasn't that much more picante than the regular.

The plate came with two sides and the requisite soft bun. The "kicked-up" cole slaw (as opposed to regular slaw) doesn't have too much mayo, which is how I prefer my slaw, and the spice was nice. Unfortunately it too was too sweet. Someone at this place needs to go easier on the sugar or honey or whatever they use. If it had a little less sugar and a little more vinegar it would have been perfect.

The homemade potato salad, otoh, was darn near perfect...and I'm fussy about potato salad. A little bit of crunch from celery, and a good mustardy kick to it. No bland potato salad here. And I was glad to eat something that didn't taste sweet. The counter guy steered me to the potato salad as opposed to beans....and he was right.

The rib plate was 11 dollars. Plenty of food. I would definitely go back for more ribs, minus sauce. And potato salad. Actually, after I ordered I noticed a special "Texas Plate" that sounded good (and like enough food for two): a 1/4 chicken, a hot link, pulled pork, beans, coleslaw, and Texas Toast for 12 dollars. I would like to try the brisket as well (you can get that on the Texas Plate instead of the chicken), and definitely a hot link. I'll be back; I'll just go easy on the too-sweet sauce. Maybe I should sneak in a little bottle of vinegar to doctor up that cole slaw:-)

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  1. We've been driving past that also and thinking 'hey, is that new?' Thanks for the write up. That TX plate sounds great for two. I assume they have beer?

    2 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      hmm....not sure they have a liquor license. Didn't notice any, and I wasn't planning on having any so didn't really pay attention. I remember soft drinks and lemonade (I had water) but no beer. Sorry.

    2. I made it to Brothers Barbecue last week. I think it’s a good addition to the restaurant scene in the area. Overall I liked my meal, although I wouldn’t rate it the best barbecue place in the area.
      I ordered the combo plate. I got ribs, beef brisket and for $2.50 ordered the hot link.
      Like Janet I liked the ribs. I asked for the sauce on the side and they still had a little sauce on them, which was fine for me. They were tender and had nice pork flavor as well as a little bit of zing. The big question on the ribs is whether RevAndy would approve. I got three ribs. The first was fall-off-the-bone, what RevAndy calls meat jello. So at that point I pretty much wrote them off for him. I didn’t really pay attention to the second rib, other than to notice I liked it. I bit into the third rib and it was firm and flavorful. This would be a rib that RevAndy would like. So which is their true style? I didn’t pay attention to the second rib to get the deciding vote. But I don’t mind going back for more ribs to find out.
      As Janet noted, they said they are Texas style. So that means beef brisket to me. And this is where I felt they had their biggest failure. The brisket I got was a nice piece of beef, tender from being slow cooked. But it tasted like expertly cooked pot roast. The dominate flavor, about the only flavor, was the fat from the beef. No smoke. No spices. I’m not even sure it had salt and pepper. I remember that Arthur Bryant’s brisket wasn’t exceptionally spiced. It was kind of a vehicle to deliver the awesome Arthur Bryant sauce. But it still had some flavorings beyond fat.
      And as Janet said, the sauces were nothing to get excited about. The non-spicy one tasted too ketchupy.
      I liked the hot links and recommend them. Good zing and some other nice flavors.
      I don’t like cole slaw but I liked their regular cole slaw and ate it all. I don’t know if an endorsement from someone who doesn’t like cole slaw is a good thing. Like Janet said, I liked that they went easy on the mayo.
      The beans were not bad. They were firm, which I like, and not mushy. But they were also a little bland. I think I would try something else next time.
      The staff was friendly.
      The location is Roberts Street at Wells Avenue.
      Brothers Barbecue
      463 Roberts St
      Reno, NV 89502
      (775) 384-3547

      1. I checked out Brothers last week with the rib brisket combo, beans, and potato salad. Steve was right about the ribs being fall off the bone and I didn't care for them. I like a rib with more fight, as you will find in all the BBQ centers such as Memphis, KC, and Texas. The brisket was absolutely tasteless. Even though there was a slight pinkish smoke ring, there was no smoke flavor to the beef, same as the ribs. As Janet remarked, the sauce was too sweet for my taste. The beans were meh. The potato salad was the best of the bunch-refreshing after all the sugar.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RevrendAndy

          Just an fyi -it's been absolutely proven that a "smoke ring" means nothing. We still need to check it out.