Two friends and I met at Gabby’s BBQ on Shepherd at the North Loop on National Pecan Day for a mess of familiar good barbeque. I never ate at the original that opened in 1978, but have frequented the one on Shepherd since the middle 80’s.
Everyone with me has a favorite barbeque dish, which he/she ordered. However, since my last visit there (several years ago), owners Frank Roche and John Mariner have added some North Carolina ‘que with a Texas slant. So, we started with Pulled Pork Nachos. Crispy corn chips were the Texas twist on this one and the North Carolina-style pulled pork on nachos is a tip of the hat to two worlds, in my opinion. You are unlikely to top Pulled Pork with Pico de Gallo and sour cream in the Carolinas.
The second touch from the southeast coast is the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Again, it is with a Texas touch, as although it is topped with a righteous Cole slaw, it still has the Texas-style tomato-based Texas barbeque sauce available to top it.
We tried a Combo Plate with brisket (a little thin-sliced for my taste… but after slow smoking for over 20 hours, it was falling apart and VERY tender), chicken quarter (again VERY tender and moist) and smoked pork sausage. We topped that all with their excellent traditional (yet unique recipe) “dipping” barbeque sauce and it was all delicious. I don’t usually order chicken as an entrée (or meat choice) in a barbeque restaurant, but this was good enough to be a destination dish.
We ordered a half rack of Baby Back Ribs to pass around and found that after smoking for 3 1/2 hours, they were still attached to the bone, yet took absolutely no effort to liberate the tender smoky meat from the bone.
Sides include a Loaded Baked Potato, but at this size, I would consider it lunch rather than a side. I don’t know, what can you say about a baked potato? Well, it was huge… it was properly cooked and flaky… it was loaded with grated cheddar cheese, butter and sour cream. I could imagine that there are a lot of ladies who come in for their salads and a loaded baked potato for lunch.
Now, Red Beans and Rice. I almost didn’t order it, as I make it at home so often. Rice… red beans… smoked pork sausage. I think that the photo above says all you need to know.
It was, as I said, National Pecan Day, so we all finished up with a slice of Pecan Pie. Gooey, sweet, covered with Texas pecans and topped with whipped cream. Not a one of us complained and we relaxed after a feeding frenzy with a slice of pie and a cup of coffee.