Thursday 31 Jul

Pickin’ and grinnin’

Sand Stone Spring Vineyard, 9211 Sloan Road, in Mustang offers a unique opportunity for a glimpse into the wine industry. From now until mid-August, the winery welcomes visitors to pick their own grapes.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Food briefs: You’re toast, er, pretzel

There’s a new food truck on the scene.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Upward mobility

Locals can have fresh microgreens and herbs for cooking in a new and convenient way. Microgreens, a chef favorite, are petite vegetable greens that add color, nutrition and flavor to dishes.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Late-night bites

What a wealth of choices! We remember the days when the only places to eat after 10 p.m. were Denny’s and Waffle House. Next time you’re out late with friends, check out OKC’s abundance of local late-night eatery options.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Gazette staff

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Cool places, cooler drinks

We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

07/16/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Slab slingers
Restaurant Reviews

Slab slingers

Pecan-smoked pork ribs, beef brisket and hot links make this unpretentious barbecue joint a local favorite.

Doug Hill March 30th, 2011

Billy Craig’s BBQ
6001 S. Sooner Rd.

Like many of the best barbecue joints, it’s not a fancy restaurant. You can walk from the gasoline station next door that it’s attached to without going outside. There are only a few tables, but the place is spotless. The staff is friendly and efficient.

“God bless Tinker,” Scott Pearce, general manager, said one recent afternoon. “They’re our main customers.”

above Tinker employee Chrys Smith carries chopped brisket sandwiches away from the counter at Billy Craig’s BBQ, 6001 S. Sooner Road.

Indeed, a serviceman in desert camouflage fatigues and his family were just tucking into a late lunch at the table next to us. Having a customer base familiar with barbecue served around the world has necessitated that Billy Craig’s set its food apart from the pack.

“We use only pecan wood to smoke our meats,” Pearce said. “Most places use hickory, but I think pecan gives it a more distinctive flavor. We’ll put our special-cut ribs up against anybody’s.”

Although he has a background with dry rub Memphis barbecue and its vinegar-based sauce, that’s not what’s served at Billy Craig’s. “We’re more the Texas-style brisket and pulled pork,” Pearce said. “We make our own sauce, and it’s sweeter than

above Tinker employee Chrys Smith carries chopped brisket sandwiches away from the counter at Billy Craig’s BBQ, 6001 S. Sooner Road.

some you’ll try.”

We tried a generous slab of ribs ($12.99) that was plenty for two people. It was the pleasing color of dark brown sugar and expertly smoked. The meat was tender and the flavor decidedly milder than hickory-smoked meats often are.

Sauce was served on the side. It’s sweet, tomato-based and similar to many found across the Midwest. Billy Craig’s has tame and spicy versions. Some barbecue snobs maintain that meat should stand alone without sauce. Served on the side like this, you have your choice. These ribs did not need a sauce bath, but it was a good complement to their more delicate flavor.

“Ribs by far are our most popular menu item,” Pearce said.

I liked Billy Craig’s pulled pork over the beef brisket. It was moist and delectable.

The brisket tasted fine, but was served chopped instead of sliced. It’s strictly a matter of personal and regional preference. I grew up in a town where people have very definite ideas about barbecue. You can take the boy out of Kansas City, but you can’t take Kansas City out of the boy.

Plates of both meats ($7.25) are served with two side dishes and a thick slice of white bread. Other plate choices are chicken, hot links, smoked sausage and ham. Combo plates are available. Sandwiches are made with these meats as well, and there’s also smoked bologna ($4.49), a burger ($4.49) and Polish sausage ($3.49), served with homemade potato chips, pickles and onions.

Along with the traditional trinity of beans, fries and coleslaw, other sides ($1.49) include creamed corn, potato salad and macaroni and cheese.

Most places use hickory, but pecan gives it a more distinctive flavor.

—Scott Pearce

Unlike many rib joints, Billy Craig’s has a daily special that’s not barbecued. It rotates between fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef or Coney dogs.

“On Friday, people are lined up all day long for our fried catfish,” Pearce said. “That’s our busiest day. We’re thinking about going to two days a week on catfish.”

People may line up, but they don’t wait long. Because of the small dining room size, service is geared to be speedy. I observed a mid-afternoon rush that staff handled with ease.

Soup ($2.59) of the day is served with a roll or cornbread and varies throughout the week. “We have a homemade turkey noodle soup recipe contributed by my father and perfected over many years that is excellent,” Pearce said.

There are only two dessert choices, but they’re scrumptious. A generous serving of peach cobbler ($2.29) was warm and delightfully rich. The banana cream pudding with vanilla wafers ($2.29) was thick and creamy, just like grandma used to make.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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