Monthly Archives: April 2011

Barbec’s: The only place to go for biscuits and gravy

The ham platter with a side of biscuits and gravy and Barbec's/Taylor Adams

It’s no surprise that my attempt at a good diet is commonly disrupted by the first meal of the day. The good (meaning delicious, not healthy) meals include high carb counts, too much sugar and an extraordinary amount of fat (hopefully from a type of breakfast sausage).

Blueberry pancakes are always great. Chorizo can make a breakfast taco the best $3 ever spent. But biscuits and gravy give a feeling that goes beyond comfort food, into that “down-home” cooking that implies a mother dressed in a waist apron, happily delivering a home-cooked, cholesterol-packed meal to the breakfast table.

Only Barbec’s has been able to grant me this breakfast appropriately. There aren’t women replicating a scene from 1957, but the quality of both the biscuit and gravy surpasses any other attempt I’ve had in a restaurant. Numerous other places have biscuits and gravy on their menus, but even other great breakfast joints deliver plates full of dense biscuits and flavorless gravy.

On a Saturday morning, the line to be seated at Barbec’s arranges across from the kitchen, where one to two trays filled with fresh beer biscuits are always sitting. The consistency of this biscuit is delicate, but its buttery taste and texture makes it an indulgence. There’s no question the cooks here take the tray out of the oven just before these biscuits would finally be done.

Jelly and honey sits beside a bottle of ketchup on each table, and a couple of times, I’ve seen people use them. But the gravy (while it does need some pepper each time) is one that makes a small piece of bread into a decadent meal.

The thick gravy looks homemade before you even spoon it over your biscuit. (This is drastically different from many places that serve a stark-white fluid of some kind that they call gravy). The flavor pairs perfectly with the biscuit, though it could easily go on top of anything on your plate.

Beer biscuits and gravy are offered with a number of meals on Barbec’s menu, one that is overwhelmed with breakfast items. Omeletes and platters provide various combinations of meats, peppers and cheese with eggs. The western omelete or platter is a classic, and the ham platter is a simple approach to incorporate all the necessary breakfast food items of eggs, cheese, ham and hash browns (with a side of biscuits and gravy, of course).

Every so often, a perfect, gold Belgian Waffle is carried passed my table, and I tell myself I need to have it, but I can never skip over the chance to get the biscuits and gravy.  I guess one day I could go for lunch and try something new. After all, I can get biscuits and gravy with the chicken fried steak.

Location: 8948 Garland Road, Dallas, 75218, 214-321-5597
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: $
Service: Friendly, acceptable attentiveness
Ambience: Feels like a local diner
Attire: Casual
Payment information: Cash and local checks only
Alochol: None served
Seating: Indoor and patio


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Filed under American, Breakfast

1 year and another taco joint

We’ve been eating delicious tacos from a metal tray for a year now, as Rusty Taco marks its birthday of one year today. Owner Rusty Fenton, who also co-founded Uncle Julio’s, has a celebration in store for this upcoming weekend with a concert and slashed taco prices.

“We’re going to have a big, old wing ding on the patio,” Fenton told me.

Jayson Bales performed on the taco joint’s opening day last year, and he’s returning with his band, “Sons of Taco,” Saturday at 7 p.m.

While Fenton sounds excited for his restaurant to make its one-year mark, he wasn’t exactly planning on it for months in advance.

“I forgot we were a year old,” he said, “my employees actually reminded me.”

While Fenton’s on Greenville today, he also has his focus on St. Paul, Minn., where Minnesotans are also tasting delicious tacos today and apparently, they’re liking it.

Fenton explained that while Minnesota has good food of its own, it’s unsurprisingly lacking in much authentic Mexican cuisine.

“They’re happy with what we’ve given them,” he said.

Owners of the new franchise location came down to Dallas to train for a month to develop the right attitude of the restaurant and, of course, take with them the recipes. Fenton and others then went up to St. Paul, where they helped the new restaurant open.

He says the new restaurant feels similar to the Dallas joint, it’s just missing a patio and some Texas heat.

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Filed under Tex-Mex/Mexican

A rusty breakfast

A couple of tacos at Rusty Taco/Photo: Michael Danser for the Daily Campus

I have been craving breakfast tacos for about two weeks now. I have no idea why it took my so long to fulfill this craving, but finally, I was able to get some egg, cheese and chorizo enveloped in a tortilla this morning.

With Rusty Taco‘s proximity to the SMU campus, it’s amazing I’m not stopping by every day. They’re regular tacos on the menu are fine, but it’s the breakfast that’s really worth the short trip (and even the calories).

I went for two tacos this morning: one bacon, one chorizo. Let me note, if you go with this pairing, it’s imperative that you have the bacon first, that way the grease of the chorizo doesn’t make you feel so horribly that you can’t have a second taco.

Rusty Taco’s approach to bacon has improved since the taco joint first opened–flimsy strips of bacon on top of egg have been replaced with bits of crispy bacon intermixed with the melted cheese and egg. The chorizo taco should be handled carefully–the grease will escape the moment you pick it up. I’m not sure if there’s a better meat to start the day with other than chorizo, and Rusty Taco provides it to me in a small flour tortilla holding in egg, cheese, and the ever-necessary sausage.

Curious about other items at Rusty Taco? See my full review in the Daily Campus.

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Filed under Breakfast, Tex-Mex/Mexican