Q at the Creek
Woody Creek Bar-B-Q has roots in Parker County. The original restaurant in Springtown started on the banks of the creek that gave the restaurant its name, and, as the story goes, Woody Creek was way ahead of its time. The first base of operations was an old bread truck surrounded by a few picnic tables. (Now there’s a food truck on seemingly every street corner.) Co-owners Mary and the late Jimmy Neely Sr. moved into an actual building in the town square in 2005. The West Fort Worth location, which opened a couple of years ago, sits beneath the flight path of the planes and copters from the Joint Naval Reserve Base. The Cowtown site doesn’t look over any creek or charming grove of oak trees, but no matter. It’s what’s inside that counts.
For starters, the sliced brisket had a lovely ring of fiery red inside and was so moist it didn’t even need sauce. However, the meat left the taste of hickory smoke in my mouth. Seriously. It wasn’t bad, just a little overwhelming.
There’s only one flavor of sauce, and it’s sort of on the mild side. But the restaurant has a condiment bar with jalapeños if you want to spice things up. And the sauce is nicely balanced, with the teeniest vinegar bite to cut the sweetness.
Sometimes smoked turkey in a barbecue joint can come out looking and tasting like plastic, but not here. The turkey was lusciously moist –– but plenty salty.
Who raves about bologna? Well, I can tell you the “bolo” here was a delicious surprise. Although it looked a little like slices of burnt-orange soy product, it was all meat (and counts as a meat option on Woody Creek’s plates). I loved the odd little savory slices. My dining companions were afraid to try them.
There was nothing odd about the sausage. Plump, with the kind of casing that snaps a little when you bite into it, the sausage was on the mild end of the flavor spectrum.
On the sampler plate, one serving of ribs amounted to two Fred Flintstone-style tusks with a great ’cue crust on top. The meat fell off the bone (thanks in no small part to a hefty layer of luscious fat). Once again, the meat was so moist that sauce was merely a condiment, not a necessity. You can purchase a rib by the bone for $2.25 if you’re a little hesitant about a half-rack. (Woody Creek sells its ribs by the rack or bone.)
The grilled chicken was served sliced, more fajita-style rather than traditional barbecue. If you want a full breast replete with the overdone wing with burned tip, you’ll be disappointed. If not, you’ll probably like Woody Creek’s juicy, peppery slices.
There are only four sides to choose from (not including onion rings and bags of chips). The red beans were more like chunky, almost-refried beans and went well with the chicken. The coleslaw was mild and creamy-crunchy, a welcome addition to some of the saltier meat. The home-style fries achieved the precarious equilibrium of being just greasy enough without being too soggy.
For dessert, the peach cobbler’s good, but the banana pudding is better. It’s your standard pudding with Nilla Wafers doused in whipped cream, but the bananas were sliced in half lengthwise and caramelized, almost like Bananas Foster: a nice touch in a restaurant full of nice touches.
Woody Creek Bar-B-Q
6986 Green Oaks Rd, FW. 817-737-2008.
11am-4pm Sun, 11am-9pm Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
One meat plate w/two sides .. $9.25
Sampler plate …………………… $13.95
Banana pudding ………………… $3.75