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The loaded baked potato at Kipz is buzzworthy. Photo by Lee Chastain.

Kipz BBQ is back. The unassuming smokehouse off East Rosedale has come and gone, and come and gone again, since first opening more than 10 years ago. Each incarnation has garnered accolades from local barbecue connoisseurs craving the genuine article. The latest version will likely do the same, thanks to the potent combination of perfectly smoked meats and rock-bottom prices.

The menu is small: six meats and four side-dishes, to be mixed and matched any way you please. Cans of soda pop (including Big Red) come standard with the combination plates, and slabs of freshly baked cakes sit in a stack on the counter until they sell out. That’s about where the frills stop. Kipz dispenses with any formalities quickly. There aren’t too many choices, and there aren’t too many distractions. The meat is the priority.

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Kipz BBQ

1509 Evans Av, FW. 817-877-5479. 11am-7pm Mon-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.

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Sliced beef brisket came lean and tender, with a beautiful two-tone smoke ring over a quarter-inch thick. The house barbecue sauce, good as it was, was completely unnecessary and would have muddled the complexity of flavors at play in the bark. The pit is loaded with pecan and hickory wood to smoke, and I swear I could taste them both.

Dark-meat chicken in a cracked-pepper rub was so pink I did a double take to make sure it was cooked. It was — the cascade of juices ran clear under crackling skin. Once again, sauce would have been the wrong tool for the job. This bird came with everything it wanted already built in, except maybe a roll of paper towels and a sink to eat it over.

The sauce finally found a place on the smoked sausage, where the sweet twang was the perfect pairing with the spicy links. Even after being sliced, the taut casings managed to explode around every morsel.

Pork ribs came three to an order, but for $1.50 more, you can add on a fourth and eat it with dessert.

Kipz’ baked potato may be the menu item that will cause the most buzz. Certainly it had the sexiest presentation — the giant foil-wrapped russet came loaded and then some. With butter, cheese, sour cream, chives, and bacon bits, topped with chopped beef and crowned with three pillars of sausage like smokestacks on a ship, one of these left conspicuously in the break-room fridge will have the whole office begging you to take them to Poly for lunch.

On a menu of bargains, the $3 Bolo Sandwich was a standout. If you’ve never thought to give smoked bologna a try, you’re in for a treat. Kipz’ cooks transformed the humble sausage into a thing of dark beauty, a slab over one inch thick that tasted the way summer camp should have. A thrifty parent could silence a carful of children by stopping here before soccer practice.

The side-dishes were fine, but to tell the truth I don’t think the kitchen or I thought about them that much. There was a potato salad of a type that predates the Food Network, as well as cut green beans from a #10 can. The baked beans weren’t bad. The side-dishes weren’t what brought me out there in the first place, though, and they won’t be what bring me back.

The desserts, on the other hand, are worth saving some room for. If you get there early enough, the yellow cake with chocolate icing is big enough to share and tastes exactly the way it should. Even better is the homemade banana pudding, with big chunks of ripe bananas and real Nilla wafers tucked into a custard that stands up straight when you talk to it.

In a town full of excellent Texas barbecue, Kipz BBQ deserves a place on the rotation. Here’s hoping the third time is a charm.

 

[box_info]Kipz BBQ
Two-meat combo plate     $12
Loaded baked potato     $7.50
Smoked bologna sandwich     $3
Banana pudding (small)     $2
Yellow cake     $2[/box_info]

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