Wednesday, May 10, 2017


I've never kept it a secret that I'm a fan of Central Texas style brisket. I cook my briskets at home using that style (meat seasoned with salt and pepper and smoked with oak and pecan wood) and heaven forbid I ever end up on death row. My last meal will include brisket from Snow's BBQ in Lexington, TX and a bottle of Big Red... But let's hope that's not how my story ends.

Anyway... I was pretty excited when I heard a new place was opening in the Midtown District of Oklahoma City that was going to bring Central Texas style BBQ to a town dominated by Kansas City style BBQ... Not that there is anything wrong with KC style but it's not my personal choice for a death row meal.

.Maple's officially opened on April 26th, which was a cold, and stormy, spring day in Oklahoma but that didn't keep people from lining up for this new BBQ offering in Oklahoma City. I was sent pics from fellow BBQ eaters of long lines never before seen for BBQ in Oklahoma City...... Why was I not in that line you may wonder... And that's not a bad thing to wonder... I wanted to give thema little time to work out any kinks. So I gave them exactly two weeks which was also a cloudy, cool, and potentially stormy, spring day in Oklahoma but the lines had shortened... Only about 5 deep when I arrived at about 11:40 AM.

I had been following the reviews and had received several reports from friends on their visits. So I had some pre-conceived notions about what to expect before I ordered my food.... And as long as I'm on the subject of ordering. The ordering process at Maple's is very much like ordering in Central Texas.

They offer a few sandwiches but meat is sold by the pound. No that doesn't mean you have to order a pound. It just means they will weigh it after you order it and charge you a by the pound price. Or you can do like I did and tell them how many slices you want.... It all seems confusing at first but it lets you get exactly what you want in the quantities you want unlike the standard 1-4 meat combo options you find at the typical Oklahoma Q-Raunt..... I ended up with about 1 1/2 lbs of meat because I wanted to try everything and I'm a glutton like that.... Well and I had skipped breakfast... So I WAS HUNGRY!

Central Texas is totally unlike Okie Brisket in that it is served with all the flavorful fat left on it and it's simply seasoned with salt and pepper. You can order it lean, which comes from the flat of the brisket, or you can order it fatty, which comes from the point of the brisket. I prefer fatty so I went with two slices of that but I wanted to try the lean so I got a slice of that too.

Flavor wise Maple's nailed the essence of Central Texas brisket.... Texture wise... two weeks after opening... They still have some work to do in my opinion... The lean was just a tad dry and the fatty was mushy..... The fatty, or moist, brisket I've had in Texas melts in your mouth. It doesn't mush in your mouth.... Even at that. This is some really good brisket and I recommend giving it a try.... Just don't compare it to what you have eaten in Central Oklahoma because while the brisket comes from the same animal... Texas style brisket and Okie style brisket are two totally different beasts.

I had been told by others that had been before me that the ribs had great flavor but were falling off the bone... If you like your ribs to fall off the bone that's a good thing... If you're like me and prefer to use the bone as a handle... That's bad news!

Fortunately for me todays ribs were not falling off the bone but were very moist, tender, and delicious. They had a very light sweetness to them that reminded me of some ribs I had at Luling City Market in Luling, TX back in 2011..... I enjoyed every bite of these ribs and will definitely be having them again.... And remembering a rib I ate 6 years ago tells you it was a good rib too because some days I can't remember what I had for lunch the day prior.

The sausage definitely isn't Central Texas style. It's andouille sausage and if you're looking at the picture and wondering what's up with that sausage... You aren't alone. Not sure what went wrong but this one was limp, cold, and a little mealy... It was a coarse ground sausage and I liked that but I had heard from others that it had a touch of heat to it and I found it to be on the bland side..... I was really hoping for an Elgin style Czech/German sausage but this one left me hoping.

The pulled pork was the one meat from Maple's I had consistently heard negative comments on. I'm going to confirm that the comments I had heard (dry, a little bland) were pretty much spot on. With one exception.... If you dip the pulled pork in the thin, vinegary, sauce provided.... IT'S MONEY!!!

It's not really a Carolina style sauce because I detected an almost Tabasco, maybe Habanero, pepper type taste to it. Whatever it was it rocked that pulled pork! Next time I'm going to put the pulled pork on a slice of the white bread and smother it in sauce so the bread can soak up all that saucy goodness!

Oddly, after being told what I was about the pork, I was expecting it to be my least favorite of the meats but dipped in the sauce I really, really, enjoyed it.

After ordering 1 1/2 lbs of meat the only side I went with was the mac & cheese and it was a really good mac & cheese. Pasta was not over cooked and the cheese, tasted like 3 cheeses, was creamy, smooth, and tangy.

Central Texas BBQ requires a few accompaniments to really be Central Texas BBQ... Either cold Shiner or Lone Star beer or a bottle of Big Red soda..... Maple's doesn't offer beer but they do have Big Red. Which makes me a happy BBQ eater.

Overall I enjoyed Maple's and I'm really happy to see the "Open Until Sold Out" concept coming to  Oklahoma City.... Which I should probably point out... Maple's opens at 11:00 AM and serves until they run out... Usually around 3:00 PM.... Now I know some of you don't understand why that's a good thing but trust me it is.... Unless you prefer that your BBQ has been sitting around for who knows how many hours in a warming cabinet waiting to be served to you.

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