by Steven Doyle
In 1948 Peggy and Howard’s Beef Bar opened in what was a former location of a Sinclair gas station located on Hillcrest across from SMU, offering much of the same fare that Peggy Sue’s BBQ does today but in a cafeteria-style fashion. The Beef Bar closed in 1980 and it took another nine years for Peggy Sue’s to resurrect where it is today.
Filled with much of the Highland Park crowd and the SMU set (we spotted friends from both on our visit) the restaurant has grown with additions to include the newly adorned Cadillac Bar where we spotted another familiar face, bar manager Roger Rangel. We have known Roger for some time now and followed him and his career. He said he was extremely happy at Peggy Sue’s and meets interesting people, including many attorneys who make their way in for a few fingers of whiskey.
The restaurant has a time honored feel and the walls are loaded with memorabilia from the many years in existence. This is comforting, but we were here for the meats. All of them.
Roger on duty
Queso at its finest
We started with one -articularly awesome and large bowl of white queso topped with chopped brisket. The order was accompanied by a large plate of house-made tortilla chips that was roof -raising. The silken cheese was obviously made from scratch without the assistance of a bar of Velveeta. Hallelujah! The bowl of queso and a beer would suffice as a well-rounded dinner. But there was much more to taste.
Rangel suggested we try out the smoke corn elotes, and we did. Another home run with a serving meant for at least four people. The corn was fresh and crunchy, with a slight char of some and smokey on all the kernels. Definitely begin with both the queso and elotes.
The bbq sampler gives you a taste of everything, and is definitely built for two hungry people. We ordered and enjoyed sauced baby backs, pulled pork, brisket, a duo of sausages (one jalapeno, the other not) and smoked turkey. They also provide fresh baked dinner rolls, house-made pickles and pickled onions.
The Sampler ($29)
We should begin with the fact that brisket is not exactly their strong suit as the beef is well trimmed and bereft of fat. But you scan and should order a fatty cut which would easily remedy this.
The sausages are excellent, sliced very thin and addictive. If given a choice we prefered the jalapeno for the added benefit of spice. The pulled pork was marvelous and juicy. This made for a great sandwich using the provided dinner roll and a spot of their vinegary Coleslaw and a generous slash of Peggy Sue’s own spicy bbq sauce. Smiles.
Peggy Sue’s does ribs the best. Available in half or full pound racks, or on the sampler where you will receive about 4 ribs. These are pre-sauced, so if you are not into that ask for sauce on the side. The sauce is amazing. The ribs are amazing. Take a bit and you will discover that the ribs are very tender but leave a requisite bite mark behind. The mark of excellent ribs. When a rib has been rendered “fall off the bone” tender they are over-cooked.
There are many sides available at Peggy Sue’s including onion rings, sweet potato tots, mac and cheese and so much more including heart healthy squash casserole, broccoli and fresh green beans.
End the night with a massive fried pie with a scoop of ice cream, you will appreciate the fact you did.