It's not BBQ but if you are ever in Ardmore and want a delicious meal. The Cellar is one of many excellent restaurants that have opened in the last couple of years in Ardmore. I never thought I would rave about a freaking grilled cheese sandwich but The Cellar makes one that is worth driving hours for.
Now my ultimate plan was to be headed back to Oklahoma City in time to grab some Q at Trail's End in Wynnewood.for dinner. And my plan was a success!
At Trail's End you order at the counter near the front door and then they give you a number that you set on a table of your choosing. The first thing you'll notice is that they also serve Mexican food, burgers, and various other foods. Those items may be tasty but ignore all of them because you want their Q.
I went with ribs, pulled pork, & chopped beef with mac & cheese and coleslaw and my wife chose sliced brisket with mac & cheese and okra.
Ok, let me start with my wife's sliced brisket.
It looks kind of like your typical Okie Brisket. All the fat and any rub that might have been on it had been trimmed away. Don't let those looks deceive you. This isn't your typical Okie Brisket. It is actually moist and full of flavor. It's not Central Texas brisket good but for Okie Brisket it's really good.
So why would they do this to their chopped beef???
When you can actually make Okie Brisket taste good why oh why would you do this to your chopped brisket?
All you taste is sauce and while the sauce is good it's not what I want to taste. I want to taste the meat. So yeah, I was pretty disappointed when I saw that arrive on my plate.
The pulled pork really wasn't pulled. It was two big chunks of pork. It had good color in places but in others it looked more like baked chicken. It was tender and easy enough to pull apart with a plastic fork but I thought it was a little over-cooked. The flavor was good but the texture was slightly mushy.
The spare ribs are big and meaty and I'm going to call them St. Charles style because they were almost trimmed St. Louis style but not quite and St. Charles is near St. Louis. They were finished with just a light glaze of a sweet BBQ sauce and had a nice smoke ring on them.
The ribs were fantastic. Easily some of the best I have eaten in Oklahoma and one of the reasons why I'll say that Central Texas BBQ brisket is better than Oklahoma but Oklahoma Q-Raunts turn out better ribs than any I've ever had in Texas.
The ribs pull away from the bone where you bite them and you get the sweet taste of the BBQ sauce at the front end but then you get this wonderful smokey flavor on the back end of the bite. If Willy Wonka made BBQ this would be the Everlasting Gobstopper of the BBQ world because the flavor profile changes as you chew the meat.
The sides were pretty good. The mac & cheese was good and creamy. Pasta could maybe be cooked just a little less but still pretty tasty. The coleslaw is the typical creamy type and could probably use just a little less dressing but was still good. My wife's okra was a huge portion but I think it was just your typical frozen okra.
Ok, if you've read any of my other blogs you've heard me rant about one sided toast at Q-raunts. Yes, Trail's End serves one sided toast but..... I'm not going to complain about theirs because whatever kind of bread they are using is really good. Of course it would be REALLY GOOD if they toasted both sides but I can live with just really good this one time.
As we were walking in a woman was telling the owner that she was from Mississippi and the BBQ she ate at Trail's End was the best she had ever eaten. Now I have no idea what her frame of reference for great BBQ is but for the most part I have to agree that Trail's End is pretty good. You can't go wrong with the sliced brisket and ribs. If you like sauce you will enjoy their chopped beef and their pulled pork may have just been held for awhile. It happens sometimes.
The portions are huge and the service is quick and friendly.
While we were waiting on our food to arrive I noticed this autographed picture of Robert Duvall from one of my favorite Westerns, Lonesome Dove. So not only does Trail's End make great Q they have great taste in movies too.