One of the guys at work was telling me about his family really enjoying The County Line, a restaurant often cited as some of the best barbecue in San Antonio, when I told him I had never been. He was nothing short of shocked given the fact that we try so many places serving up meat.
By pure coincidence, Eva and I were downtown during a break in the rain on Saturday, quickly darting from one touristy place to the next, taking pictures of a Flat Stanley-like foam board character. Let me briefly explain: One of Eva's Facebook friends was involved in a terrible automobile accident a few months ago, and as a way of making him feel better during his hospital stay, several mutual FB friends have been sending around a flat version of the guy, and taking pictures of him in different locations, then posting for him to enjoy. The foam-board picture was sent to Eva and we wanted to get some good San Antonio shots before sending it on to another friend in Dallas.
So first off, the potato salad was good. We both enjoyed that. I don't think I even tried the fries - probably a bad choice for a side. The pork ribs were okay. The beef ribs were a little more than okay. Eva thought the turkey was a little dry but if you soaked it in sauce I thought it was okay. The brisket was disappointing. The only thing I thought was above average was the sausage. In my mind, the sauce was not particularly that great. And it was smothered on everything. I would prefer a presentation where they give you the sauce on the side so you can choose how much or little to use.
The atmosphere and the solid service were outstanding and I would never tell somebody not to go and enjoy the place and make their own call on just how spectacular (or not) the food is. But if you just want some good barbecue in San Antonio, I say you need go further than Augie's.
I honestly think that a lot of these places have circular reputations based on people who have never actually been to a particular restaurant repeating reviews told to them by someone else who hasn't been. Since San Antonio is a tourist town, people who live there feel bad if they can't offer real advice to out of towners on where they should eat. So a couple of people repeat positive reports about a place even though they have not been themselves, and before long, the place is a must visit. Look no further than the legend that is Chris Madrid's. That place offers a good burger, but there is no way it is even close to "the best" yet for some unknown reason, they always seem to be voted the best burger in SA year after year. Horse pucky!
Enough of my little rant. The County Line was okay, so try it if you like. Are you a fan of County Line or Chris Madrid and need to set me straight? Feel free to leave a comment and give your side of the story.