Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lunch Report: B&D Ice House in Southtown...

Over a month ago I saw an article in the SA Express-News (online) food section talking about the latest  Jason Dady food place, this one in the Southtown district of San Antonio.  I immediately fired off an e-mail to our fellow foody friends from the old neighborhood and after triangulating our calendars, the date was set.
You can read the background on how B&D Ice House went from being a place to get a cold beer on a hot day to a place filled with the delicious aroma of Texas BBQ and grilled jalapeno poppers on their web page, but the gist of it is, the folks from The Friendly Spot (just across the street) teamed with the Dady brothers and transformed the place into some seriously good eats.
The first thing to know about this entire area is that, parking is very limited.  We found parking in a residential area down the street and couldn't help but wonder how irritating it might be for the people who live around there to constantly have cars up and down the street.  I guess that comes with living down town, but I can just imagine the commotion in the evenings.  Anyway, after a very short walk up Cedar Street, we walked met our friends inside the air conditioned seating area.  Outside, there are plenty of picnic tables and such, but the sun was out and it was already 90 degrees.

Behind the bar, there were a larger selection of beers on tap than most places, 6 or 8 anyway.  The menu is pretty simple and I like that.  You have your basic meats sold by the pound, some sides sold by the portion, you order at the window and in no time at all, the food is there.  Our wait from the time I ordered to the time I picked it up was easily less than 5 minutes.

Here is the big surprise:  Except for my daughter, everyone at our table felt that the brisket at B&D was hands down superior to, and I can't believe I'm even writing this, Augie's Barbed Wire. Yes, in my opinion, we experienced the best brisket in San Antonio at B&D.  Not too smokey, the right amount of caramelization, and just melt in your mouth tender.  Order the brisket and you will be very pleased.
The chicken was interesting.  The skin had to be removed - it was simply too tough to even bite through, but the brilliance was, it locked in all the delicious, juicy flavor and everyone agreed it was outstanding.  I love chicken and this was wonderful.  I even enjoyed the sausage.  I usually skip the sausage links at most places but this was easy to cut and it had a great taste.

Do not under any circumstances put the sauce on any of your meats.  I know, some people say you should never use sauce anyway, but in this case, the real downer for our experience was the BBQ sauce.  It was simply awful.  Maybe that was on purpose - to force us to appreciate the delicious meats on their own.  If so, well done.
The beans were crappy too.  I'm sure they took pinto beans and just mixed in some of the ugly BBQ sauce.  Not a good choice.
Most of us enjoyed the potato salad, and everyone thought the mac & cheese was excellent.
One real winner:  The Jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon.  Just how I make them and wonderful.
Not into meats laid out on a paper towel?  B&D has several Sammie options.  Tyler got The Bruno which is chopped brisket with mac & cheese and Cole slaw.  Wow!  It was fantastic.  The bread was nice and soft, that mixture of the meat with the slaw worked very nicely and I could see making this a nice messy lunch time meal.
B&D is my new favorite for BBQ downtown.  If you even think that you like BBQ, you need to go in and give it a shot.  The price was very reasonable (you'll pay the same at Rudy's or Grady's) and the atmosphere is great.  Skip the sauce and lubricate your lunch with a draft Shiner.  I promise, your in for a Tasty Treat!

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