Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

2010-03-20 19:45:06 UTC

I ate at the Dickey’s in Huntington Beach for the first time tonight, and decided to write up my observations.

(ADDED 2010-07-04: The Dickey’s in Huntington Beach has closed.)

The place is very obviously a chain. The first thing you notice upon walking in is that the decor is not the burned-wood-and-horseshoes type you usually see in barbecue restaurants. It looks more like a fast-food restaurant, and, in fact, that’s what it is (slogan: “Slow cooked, served fast”).

If I were to describe it pithily, I’d call it the KFC of barbecue. Like KFC, it serves a type of food that most fast-food chains don’t touch; the main difference is which type: fried chicken vs. barbecued meat. One particular similarity is their acknowledgements of their founders in messages on the walls: for KFC, it’s the famous Colonel Sanders; for Dickey’s, it’s Travis Dickey.

Here’s their drinks menu:

  • Big Yellow Cup (32 oz.), $1.99

That’s it. That’s the only size, not counting the smaller size included with the kid’s meal.

Both sizes are a hard-plastic yellow cup, similar to what you used to be (maybe still are) able to get at AM/PM and some other convenience stores. The cup calls itself a “souvenir cup”, but otherwise looks like it’s intended to be refillable. I don’t think you get a discount for that, but you can at least feel good about not throwing away cup after cup.

One nice touch: At every table is a roll of paper towels.

You can buy meat by the plate or by the pound; the former option, which is what I went for, comes with two sides and a roll.

Curiously, the baked potato counts as two sides. It’s a large potato, and comes with a full suite of toppings: Two individually-wrapped four-triangular-sided thingies (what do they call those?) of sour cream, a cup of chives, a cup of bacon bits, three tubs of “whipped spread” (essentially margarine), and I think one or two other things. All of that occupied an entire second plate, next to the one that had my brisket on it.

They offer six types of meat: Beef brisket, Polish sausage, pork (two kinds), chicken breast, and turkey breast. I had beef brisket. It was good. It cut easily, sometimes a little too easily (falling apart under my fork). I eventually settled on scooping it onto my fork with my knife.

The sauce is not too spicy, but you will want to alternate between the meat and either the roll or cole slaw, or else the heat will accumulate. It’s not unbearable, but it drowns out the rest of the flavor. They also have a “hot ‘n’ spicy” sauce.

I will go again sometime.

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