What I Ate: Green Chile Sausage, Pork Ribs, Beef Ribs, Sliced Brisket with Beans and Tea.
Every cloven hoofed mammal wishes it could one day become the sliced brisket served up by Evie Mae’s Pit Barbecue. All livestock secretly yearns to be smashed between white bread by some lucky West Texan then washed down with sweet tea. Sliced brisket is the highest form of Texas barbecue. It’s the most risky and unforgiving hunk of protein any bovine can offer up to the sacrificial altar of the open-flame. If you want to judge the quality of a pit master, judge the quality of his sliced brisket. Evie Mae’s sliced brisket is legit.
Why Most Sausage Sucks…
Most sausage out there tastes so ordinary and uninspired I never order it. I’ve paid good money for it enough times to know it’s usually an afterthought by the pit master. If you’ve had one, you’ve had them all. However, Evie Mae’s Green Chile Sausage maybe the best I’ve ever had. It has loads of flavor and it’s cooked just right. It’s not too rich, fatty, or coriander-ed. Most importantly, they do the Green Chile justice. They let it shine through perfectly balancing the richness of the fat with flavor and medium-range heat. Evie Mae is Bae.
Pork Ribs… Destroyed.
I don’t want to diminish the deliciousness of their ribs, but ribs are easy to nail. What’s hard is carrying a tray of them, at Evie Mae’s, in the blustery West Texas wind, to your table after they hand it to you from the food truck window where you place and receive your order. The meat falls off the bone so easily the wind may blow chunks of tender pork to the pavement as you make your way to the tables inside. The ribs come out dry-rubbed but moist, as they should in Texas (some places keep their ribs covered in a bain-marie essentially steaming them; others serve ribs dripping in sauce… probably to hide something), cooked perfectly, and tender enough for your dentured grandma to order if she wants to live a little.
Beef Ribs… Delicious, Huge, and Meaty #BobsLeg
The beef ribs are good and heavy… They are massive, too. For scale, I’ve placed one into the tiny hands of a ballerina of Korean descent. You’ll notice the beef rib could adequately serve as any number of her limbs in a pinch, including the big ones like the femur or humerus.
The rib was good enough, but I’m not particularly fond of the amount of fat and connective tissue beef ribs have. They are tender and juicy, but the fat is just too much. After every bite, a layer of the lipids coat your lips the way Leo DiCaprio’s lips could’ve used toward the end of The Revenant.
Brisket is the Measure of any Pit Boss
Brisket is difficult to cook right. You know this is true if you’ve ever been to a barbecue joint and you’ve noticed they don’t offer sliced brisket. It’s a cowardly move and one completely unbecoming of any true Texan meat peddler. It’s the sure sign of a pit master who’s chosen mediocrity. Yet, some places only serve chopped brisket because they know even if that chunk comes out of the smoker leathery as John Wayne’s boot you’ll never know the diff once it’s chopped and sauced. At that point it’s all tender and it’s all moist.
Evie Mae serves great sliced brisket. While a few of my slices had incompletely rendered fat, the brisket was tender, moist, not overly smokey, and delicious.
The Down Sides…
While Evie Mae will always be Bae (I luv u 4 alwayz girl), I didn’t love the sides. They’re just kind of generic. They were all good, but the meat set the bar pretty high, and the sides just couldn’t follow up. The beans were sweet, personally not my preference for barbecue beans. They just remind me too much of Bush baked beans or something, mapley and cloyingly sweet. The sauce was also pretty forgetful. Some barbecue places have such a good sauce you want to buy a bottle for the house, or briefcase. Tyler’s Barbecue in Amarillo is a good example of this. The Shack is a good example of this. Evie Mae’s sauce is on the sweeter end of the spectrum too. That kinda of sweetness probably plays well in KC, but Texas barbecue sides should be a little less faint on the Scoville scale.
Luckily they buy back some love with their pickled pepper onion garnish. It’s the simplest little pile of acidic garden vegetables. They stack it near the corner of your tray. It’s a beautiful bit of color on the greasy, protein-hued butcher paper. Each bite of those veggie slivers cuts through the heavy, rich and savory meat like a spotlight in a midnight sky. Next time I’ll get extra.
The reason hog and heifer alike would want to experience a fiery burial in Evie Mae’s 5-door smoker pit is simple. Because doing so at the end of their short and severe lives would mean they’d answered their highest calling. If someone’s going to eat you, you would hope to at least become a meal worth writing about.
Given the chance, barring all slob like weight-gain, heart-stopping cholesterol intake, sodium-induced high blood pressure, and bank account deflating costs, I’d eat Evie Mae’s…. 4 of 7 days per week.