(Another cool thing Chow, Baby learned on the city web site: If you pay your outstanding warrants before March 31, they’ll take $50 off each one! Now that’s a great place to raise a family.) The promisingly named Hometown Café was dark at 7 p.m., when Chow, Baby was cruising the strip, but there’s also an indie-appearing Joey’s Italian, a branch of Pulido’s, a Chinese buffet, and several donut shops. The “Let’s go there!” shout came at the huge yellowish twisted-smiley-face sign, like Tweety Bird would look if either it or Chow, Baby were on acid; it marks the home of Texas Pit Bar-B-Q (324 S. Saginaw Blvd., Saginaw). The saliva-inducing hickory-smoke aroma wafting out to the highway helped, too.
Owner Leon Adams has impressive ‘cue credentials; he worked at Angelo’s and Railhead before opening Texas Pit a couple of years ago. You can see the influence in the décor, a barnlike structure filled with good ol’ boys, whimsical signage, and patron photos. Of course, Texas Pit is cozier than the old-timers. And cheaper. It also has better food. Granted, that’s a matter of personal preference; Chow, Baby happens to prefer skin-on, thick-cut fries, mustard-spiked housemade potato salad (without too many onions), and pepper-doctored canned green beans.
And Chow, Baby happens to like its veggies piled alongside big, meaty, fall-apart ribs (plate $9.99); juicy brisket with a nice crisp edge and red smoke ring (plate $7.89); and mounds of succulent chopped pork (plate $6.95). Texas Pit’s zingy-yet-sweetish barbecue sauce is also to Chow, Baby’s taste – the meats didn’t need any more flavor or moisture, but Texas toast was on hand for sopping up the good sauce. If all that, chased by a root beer float made with Blue Bell ice cream and served in a schooner ($2.95), sounds too good to be true, just follow the tracks to Saginaw.
In case anyone was wondering: Chow, Baby’s months-long sofa search is finally over. Unclaimed Freight Co., of all places, had not one, not two, but four couches in colors, styles, no-contrasting-piping-ness, and prices that perfectly fit Chow, Baby’s exacting requirements. (It helped that Chow, Baby’s co-buyer/co-sitter caved on all points.) To cap the great day, the celebratory lunch at down-the-street Gyros House (720 W. Division St., Arlington) featured the combo plate ($6.25) of Chow, Baby’s dreams: Greek salad with lots of feta; spit-cooked beef and lamb gyros meat; falafel that still had some green inside (so many places fry them to golf-ball consistency); thin but tasty hummus; and warm sliced pita bread.
The only thing it was missing was dolmas, easily resolved with a side order ($1.99) of the cold, rice-stuffed grape leaves. Well, the plate was missing housemade baklava, too, but not for long. Some might have trouble choosing from the four delectable varieties – pistachio, walnut, cashew, and pine nut (79-99 cents) – but not Chow, Baby, who decisively ordered one of each. Not a good approach for couch buying, by the way.
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