Keith’s BBQ Reviewed.
Keith’s was a place I had never heard of until Carlos and I stumbled upon it during this past year’s South By Southwest festival. We were looking for some food (preferably ‘cue) and attempted to eat at Micklethwait’s trailer at one of the festival’s pop-up food trailer parks. We seemed to be hours late for that one, but just across the street was a short school bus emblazoned with the Keith’s BBQ logo. So, we tried it out. They only had sandwiches on offer, which is not my bag, but I tried it anyway. The brisket sandwich came with sliced, not chopped, brisket, which is highly preferable. I didn’t expect much, but I was taken aback by how good the sandwich was. Although it was slathered in a tangy sauce, the brisket was extremely moist and flavorful. I just had to try Keith’s again when they had their full menu on offer.
More recently, I did just that. The trailer moves between the parking lots of business complexes throughout the week, so it’s kinda hard to keep up with their location. Their twitter page does a nice job of keeping that info up to date, though. And this strategy provides them exactly what they want: a lunch time schedule with a captive customer base. But it detracts from the ease of anyone else who wants to go there. You have to find out where they’re going to be, and get there before the lunch break crowd cleans the place out. There’s no seating or any other amenities on offer. Just a bus and some meat.
Speaking of meat, Keith’s cooks up some quality ‘cue. I had moist brisket and pork ribs. The brisket was once again extremely flavorful, especially in the too-sparse bark. The fat was rendered well and the meat passed the snap test…half the time. One slice of brisket I got fell apart a little too easy and also kind of chewy. It still tasted good and provided me with the satisfaction only brisket can. The ribs were not that spectacular. The meat was hard to remove from the bone and seemed perhaps a bit overcooked. There was a slightly sweet flavor that added some texture on my tongue, but overall the rib was pretty dull. I used the sauce sparingly, but it was a nice, thin and tangy supplement but nothing too special.
Overall, Keith’s has a lot going for it. They have a strict plan to serve a direct and captive customer base, and that probably means you’re not in it. That shouldn’t stop you from trying to head over to wherever they’ve decided to hole up that day and grab some ‘cue. There’s rarely a line, except for right at noon when most businesses have their lunch breaks and the meat is worth a shot. Just make sure you have somewhere to take your prize…or just eat in your car.
Score ranked from 1 (Poor) – 5 (Best)
Location/Facility – 1.5
Service/Staff – 4
Food – 3.5
Drink – N/A