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Best Brisket Phoenix 2010 - Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

Bryan\'s Black Mountain Barbecue

Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

6130 E. Cave Creek Road

Cave Creek, AZ 85331


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It's been open barely a year, but Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue already has an excellent reputation among aficionados of smoked meat. Culinary Institute of America-trained chef Bryan Dooley left the swank Scottsdale restaurant he'd been working at to barbecue full time, and his training is evident across the just-a-tiny-bit-upscale-for-a-BBQ-joint menu. Witness the olive slaw and vegetarian-friendly pulled squash. Still, it's one of the Big Four traditional barbecue meats that'll draw us to Cave Creek time and time again. Simply put: The brisket is unmatched. And, yeah, we've had pretty much every smoked brisket the Valley has to offer — even that little joint your cousin from Alabama loves — and we're confident saying, unequivocally, that Bryan's is the best. The restaurant's Texas-style take on the meat is appreciated, considering all the joints you'll see chopping and saucing it up around here. The decadently smoky bark is a treat unto itself, but it's the way the brisket falls apart at the slightest brush of a fork that proves any doubters wrong.
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Summary: The naked brisket tasted like boiled beef and the service was frustratingly slow.

A bud and I went up to get some hot sauce from a store in the area and decided we'd stop in to try this brisket.

Overview:Bryan’s BBQ is an order at one end of the counter, get it at the other end of the counter restaurant. A person takes your order, and some other person assembles the plate.

Service:We showed up around 2PM on a Saturday and the restaurant had 4 people on staff. (Order taker, two kitchen workers, and the manager.) The order taker was really slow, and not the trainee kind of slow either. More like the I could care less about being here kind of slow. I didn’t see the exact time we got in line, but after several minutes of her still dealing with the first couple, I pulled out a watch. It took 17 additional minutes to get through a line of 4 couples.

The kitchen staff seemed to have the same urgency as the order taker. Orders came out about once every 5 to 10 minutes. All of us waited around for plates of a few ribs, or half pounds of chopped pork and beef. It took 33 minutes for someone to finally serve us two combo plates of ribs and brisket. The manager was running around wiping down surfaces and refilling napkins. It didn’t appear from her demeanor, and activity level, that the wait times were abnormal. She certainly wasn’t put out that wait times were so long for so few people.

The foodThe naked brisket tasted like boiled beef. While the slices were very loose and juicy, all the flavor had run out of them. There was also no smoke ring anywhere present on either of our servings. I can honestly say that Honey Bears, which I despise, tastes better. The ribs were good, mostly from the rub. It’s one of the better rubs I’ve tasted in a restaurant. Funny enough the potato salad stole the show. I generally dislike potato salad, but the ranch flavor was awesome. Lastly, the BBQ beans were mediocre.

ConclusionI could see Bryan’s BBQ restaurant as an average BBQ joint. I just can’t believe that someone thinks that flavorless, grey, lump of something is the best brisket in Phoenix. Save the gas money along with 2 hours of your day, and go to a chain.