Texas native Tim Dodd satisfied a local legion of barbecue enthusiasts in September when he opened a brick-and-mortar version of his A Taste of Texas food truck and catering business. The new space is located in an eclectic and hidden strip mall down the road from Lynnhaven Mall. Dodd and his smoking crew combat what the area lacks in aesthetics with the aromas emanating into the parking lot. The smell of slow-cooked platters of comfort food is what lures both repeat and new customers into this “hole-in-the-mall,” meat-lovers treat.
Patrons walk in, order at a counter just beyond the entrance from a menu written on metal sheet pans, and head to one of a few tables to take in the Americana décor. Cinderblock walls are livened up with kitschy but fun signs and splashes of the bold, Texas-flag colors.
A non-fussy atmosphere allows the food to be the star here, particularly the pit-smoked pork. Mounds of Texas-style brisket—thick-cut with ample bark—comes sliced or chopped. Savory pieces of tender meat flavored with just the right amount of fat don’t even need sauce, but add a punch if you choose with several choices like Sweet Heat, Texas Vinegar or Blackberry Jalapeno. Hefty portions of side items (all house-made) like tomato-forward baked beans, cream corn or bacon-laced mac and cheese complete the plates along with a traditional slice of white bread.
Customary meals do the trick on the first visit, but come back for original options like The Hoss sandwich—Texas toast, hot links, brisket, hoss sauce and Gouda.
Sweet-as-pie hospitality tops the experience, including a free dessert on a recent visit that the chef was considering adding to the menu. A Cheesecake Egg Roll with raspberry sauce seems overboard until it hits your lips and reminds you that at this place, you must bring an appetite that doesn’t back down easily.