Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

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Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Jenise » Sat May 26, 2012 3:16 pm

So when we were in Missouri a few months ago we stopped somewhere between the airport and town to grab a cold iced tea for the road, and one of the two fast-food looking options in the mall we stopped at was a Dickey's BBQ. We didn't eat, but it smelled good. Well lo and behold last week I was driving down a road 12 miles from here and passed a new business in another strip mall: Dickey's BBQ. So it's a chain and we've got one--anyone know if it's any good?

So while we're on the subject: why are the sides in barbecue joints so darned lifeless? In Kansas City people wait in line an hour to eat at Oklahoma Joe's which, I have learned since, is the one Anthony Bourdain named his favorite for barbecue. The sides weren't that great, though: the beans were fine but the potato salad was factory, and we didn't have anything else but other people's didn't look that good from where I sat. Then a few weeks later we ate barbecue again in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Not interested in the carbs I stuck to collard greens and green beans. The green beans were simply out of a can, and the collard greens were cooked so long they might as well have come out of a can, and both lacked any seasoning but salt.

With all the work that goes into making such great meats, why doesn't tradition require equal effort at making worthy side dishes to go with it? I don't understand.
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Carl Eppig » Sat May 26, 2012 3:29 pm

Agree, that's why we mostly make our own BBQ and sides like freshly picked corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes right out of the garden. Still have to wait a month or two for all that!
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Hoke » Sat May 26, 2012 4:04 pm

The tyranny of low expectations?

Dickey's is a big chain now, so the barbecue will never be better than modestly good. Nature of the beast.

As to sides, in the South, and in bbq culture, it's traditional to cook the collards until they're listless. They should, properly, have some hamhock or side meat in them though, and at least a vestige of the natural bitterness of collards that makes them interesting in the first place. The green beans sound ghastly, but then they often are.

I judge the quality of sides by, first, whether they have fried okra---if they have good, crisp and non-soggy okra, all else can be forgiven---and if they have either good corn bread (preferable) or tasty Texas toast.

I don't think I've ever had a decent potato salad in a bbq joint. Cole slaw, yes, but not potato salad.

Shame of chain bbq though is that it's all mass-prepared and then just sits there and gets soggy and flavorless. And that's just wrong.
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Carrie L. » Sun May 27, 2012 11:40 am

We have a Dickey's close to us in North Carolina that opened a few years back. We actually enjoy it for a quick bite, or lunch. Their brisket is especially good and they DO have pretty decent sides. One of which is a sort of "loaded" mashed potato thing. Can't remember exactly, but very tasty. They also have free soft serve mini ice cream cones, but I know you wouldn't go for that Jenise.
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby GeoCWeyer » Mon May 28, 2012 3:15 pm

One opened up in my suburb. We waited 1 month or so before we tried it. Long line of people waiting to order, they were out of a couple of side and one meat option, looked like they were working one order at a time, manager/owner was walking around kitchen/order area looking clueless. I think for BBQ chains I'll stick with "Famous Dave's". Oh, after hearing they had very limited options due to running out of things we left. From what I have heard from others-they described it a McDonald's sort of operation. The menu item in store preparations were designed with am emphasis to be idiot proof for the franchises not to be good BBQ.
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Hoke » Mon May 28, 2012 3:17 pm

GeoCWeyer wrote:One opened up in my suburb. We waited 1 month or so before we tried it. Long line of people waiting to order, they were out of a couple of side and one meat option, looked like they were working one order at a time, manager/owner was walking around kitchen/order area looking clueless. I think for BBQ chains I'll stick with "Famous Dave's". Oh, after hearing they had very limited options due to running out of things we left. From what I have heard from others-they described it a McDonald's sort of operation. The menu item in store preparations were designed with am emphasis to be idiot proof for the franchises not to be good BBQ.


You pretty much nailed what I think about barbeque franchises. Thanks.
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Jenise » Mon May 28, 2012 3:22 pm

GeoCWeyer wrote: in store preparations were designed with an emphasis to be idiot proof for the franchises not to be good BBQ.


Which pretty much nails most chain food operations, doesn't it? The food has to be reduced to steps that can be easily accomplished by the average teenager and appealing to the average seven year old.

But still, I appreciate Carrie's review and I'll give it a try next time I'm hungry in Lynden. I'm not opposed to all chain food: still love me some KFC from time to time!
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Jenise » Tue May 29, 2012 8:26 pm

So today we tried Dickey's. We both had ribs and tried three of the sides. The Jalapeno beans had no sign of green chile, but the baked potato casserole, I think they called it, and their green beans were pretty good--well seasoned and better than anything we had in KC or Chattanooga. The ribs we weren't as pleased with--their style is fall-off-the-bone tenderness where we would both like them a little less done than that. What we prefer is done enough to pull away from the bone but still have some chewiness to it. The barbecue sauces were vinegary and a nice balance between sweet and savory. The meats are all actually done on the premesis, which I was worried about being the case. We knew because we took the last ribs they had, and more wouldn't be coming out of the smoker until 6:00. Good iced tea, too: real, not from instant. All in all, one could do a lot worse.
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue May 29, 2012 11:18 pm

The word is "premises", Best Beloved. :)
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Re: Dickey's BBQ and, while we're at it, barbecue sides

Postby Jenise » Wed May 30, 2012 10:33 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:The word is "premises", Best Beloved. :)


Thanks, I think. :) Must add this about Dickey's if this location is the corporate model: this was a brand new building with seating space for 52 but only one bathroom for all. And no seat protectors, at this location, are provided. Which means everybody pees all over the seat and a trip to the bathroom to wash your hands before you sit down to eat does not result in you feeling clean enough to eat with your hands. I would never eat-in there again.
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