By Margaret Locher, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The Texas BBQ Company is the kind of place you tell your friends about. When we were introduced to the restaurant, my family fell in love with the place. After that, we took friends there every chance we got. We bought gift cards for others. We celebrated birthdays there.
Simply stated, this place is great.
I met a friend there for dinner recently. As soon as you get a seat, you feel as though you are among friends. Owner David Brannon is often at the bar chatting with patrons. That is, when he isn's in the kitchen or minding the smoker. The meat he serves is smoked for 12 to 18 hours. That's how BBQ is done in Texas, where Brannon and his wife, Linda, were born. He learned from his dad the art of smoking meats and brought those skills to Massachusetts when Texas BBQ opened seven years ago.
Appetizers include wings (10 for $8.39, 20 for $15.89), Texas chili with fresh tortilla chips ($8.79), and you can get pulled pork or chicken on your nachos. We ordered the homemade guacamole appetizer from the specials ($7.79). It was so chunky and fresh, we devoured it.
There are many inexpensive sandwiches: sliced brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs or Texas hill country sausage, all $7.99 to $8.49. Grilled salmon and shrimp are also on the menu, and every now and then, quail and bison too. But if you'se at a BBQ joint, odds are, you'se there for the ribs. My family typically orders a full slab of baby back ribs ($21.99) or full slab of beef ribs ($17.99).
When I first ate at The Texas BBQ Company, I was a vegetarian. And I still loved it. I used to order the vegetable platter: a combination of four of the possible twelve sides, plus cornbread ($6.99). My choices always included the fried okra and cornbread.
This time, I ordered fish and chips from the specials menu ($15.99). The piece of fried haddock I got was massive. It is battered with a Texas-style mix, deep-fried to perfection, sprinkled with scallions and served with homemade chips. Ribs may be the specialty, but every item on the menu shines.
My friend couldn's decide between pulled pork or beef ribs. The combo BBQ plate option, which allows you to choose from seven meat choices in combos, allowed her to get both??”with a side of grilled asparagus. She said her meal was awesome and that her husband would love this place. I bet they'sl be back soon.
If you have room, Texas BBQ serves homemade desserts like sweet potato pie, pecan pie and fruit cobbler ($4.99). But with their Texas-size meal portions, you may have to split it.
In addition to their standard catering, you can have a Texas-style Thanksgiving this year by ordering a smoked turkey, turkey breast, bone-in or boneless ham.
The Texas BBQ Company is located at 309 Main Street (Route 20 West) in Northborough. 508-393-4742. www.texasbbqco.com. Closed Mondays.