Last year I visited the Richardson branch of the world-famous Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse. I was disappointed, as it was not a great experience. But I had heard so many good things about them that I knew I had to make it to “The Original” Sonny Bryan’s in the Inwood area. Not long ago I was able to make that happen. And I am VERY glad I did. It was an outstanding experience, every bit as good as I had hoped for. The food was much better and the experience was much more authentic than my Richardson visit. I have to admit that I was surprised by the building – not sure why, but I expected a larger building. This original Sonny Bryan’s is small, low-key and nondescript, were it not for the awesome sign out front, and the smoke rolling in the back. The primary smoker they use is the original brick pit that was built back in 1958, when this restaurant opened (yup, more than 60 years ago). When I took a peek out the back, I learned that they also use a J&R Oyler cabinet smoker as well. I was also surprised, in a good way, to learn that this location is open 24 hours a day 7, seven days a week. Talk about awesome?! I love that you can get a BBQ fix any time, day or night.
I had to go with the Texas Trinity of brisket, sausage and pork ribs. The brisket had an excellent bark and a good smoke ring. The fat was well-rendered and the flavor was very good. For the sausage I went with the chaddar jalapeño. It was also excellent. There was a good snap to the casing and a pleasing grind and flavor. Both the cheese and the jalapeño flavors came through nicely. The pork ribs were St. Louis cut spareribs. They had a nice chewy bark, and were not too heavy on the sauce/glaze. The meat pulled away from the bone just the way I would hope, without falling off. And the flavor was outstanding. For sides, I went with their massive and delicious onions rings. I can strongly recommend them. And the potato salad was great. The potatoes were cut up to a nice small size, but not so small as to get mushy. And there was a solid mustardy flavor. In addition, they had fluffy yeast rolls and standard pickles and white onions, along with a solid barbecue sauce. I’d go back to this original location again and again and again.