Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Road Trip Dining - Ball Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que

Ball Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que - McAlester, OK

The Beer Snob loves roadtripping and several times a year I get to roadtrip through eastern Oklahoma.  Normally, road trips through Oklahoma are sheer bathrooms, crappy beer and fast food dining.  At least that is the way it was until I was told about Ball Bar-b-que in McAlester, Oklahoma.  There is nothing really special about McAlester, which is about 1/2 way through the state and a bit larger than most of the speed-trap happy villages you pass through on your way home.  Along US 75 you will see the normal fast food joints, WalMart, a stray auto dealership or 2, but if you are adventurous and are wanting the best barbeque you have ever had, go off the the main road and find Ball's.

When you finally find the restaurant which is truly off the beaten path (a local cop led me to it the first time I tried to find it), somewhere off Business 75 in a non-descript neighborhood, you will be treated to what may be the finest quality meat I have ever had.  Have you ever listened to someone bragging about their 87 ingredient rub that they use to hide the fact that their meat is gamey, tough and barely edible?  Not here my frends, just the highest quality meat, that's it, no seasonings, then a long session in the smoker using hickory wood to finish.  The brisket, you ask?  Tender, moist, delicious.  But don't stop there, it would be a crime to stop there...beef ribs, pork ribs, pulled pork, turkey, bologna, ham, chicken and hot, hot, hot links...and all the finest quality of meat you have had.  The sauce is so good that I have been known to have a gallon or so of it in my fridge so that I can pretend that the local Dallas barbeque is edible.  And damn it all, they even have great frigging hamburgers as if all that is not enough.  Oh my aching gut.  Potato salad, coleslaw, french fries, bbq beans....I guess I can stuff in a bit more.  "Pickle bar?  You make your own pickles?"  Groan, I think I can do it.  "Homemake blackberry cobbler?  Peach, too?"  Oh god make it stop!

I have become so enamored with the quality of the food and the friendliness of the staff that I make sure that my driving schedule takes me through McAlester at lunch time on one of the 4 days that they are open (Thursday through Sunday only) both coming and going.  Be forewarned, it is dangerous driving through all of the revenue challenged small towns loaded with Barney Fifes and their radar guns while battling a meat coma, but my oh my it is worth the battle.

Ball Bar-B-Que
319 West Shawnee Avenue
McAlester, OK 74501-6247
(918) 423-4430

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