Dining & Drink

Meat Good!

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(Staff Photo: Richard Davis) The beef brisket platter at Sassy's Red House in Fayetteville. And, yep, that's two helpings of fried okra on that plate.

Sassy’s brisket steals the show

By Rachel Birdsell

TFW Contributing Writer

Sassy’s Red House
sassysredhouse.com
708 N. College Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
479-856-6366

PREAMBLE RAMBLE

I’d been meaning to try Sassy’s for a long time.
I’ve driven by there many times looking for a place to eat, only to be past it before I noticed it. It just seems to be on the part of College where I don’t see businesses until it’s too late. Maybe I just have a special talent for not noticing bright red buildings until I’m three blocks down the road. Maybe I’m just a tad touched.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I was at Sassy’s for lunch and decided I needed to try the BBQ Chicken Sandwich plate, which comes with two sides. My side choices were coleslaw (because of my coleslaw and barbecue law) and the baked beans.
Sassy’s claims bragging rights to their four kinds of barbecue sauces, but I think they’re missing the boat. Their sauces are good, but I wouldn’t classify them as great; however, their meat was outstanding.
It didn’t seem to be smoked, which I thought was strange for a barbecue joint, but it was definitely slow-cooked and tender and juicy and perfect. My chicken was sliced, which was a nice change from the normal chopped you usually get on a sandwich. I also stole some brisket and a bite or two of ribs off my fellow diner’s plate. It’s OK, though, I knew him. I don’t want you to think that I go around stealing food off strangers’ plates.
The ribs were good — maybe a little too strong of a pork flavor for my liking, but they were tender. But the brisket? The brisket was some of the best I’ve ever had. Even with no sauce and just the dry rub on it, it completely and totally rocked.
Of all the sauces, I liked Sassy’s Molassey the best. It’s sweet, rich and thick, just like I like my men. The hickory and original were too thin and vinegary tasting for me, but my biggest sauce gripe is that the hot barbecue sauce didn’t have any heat. It was like someone had already blown out the match. The smoky taste was there, but there was only a very tiny hint of heat.
If you’re not a garlic fan or you’re a vampire, you aren’t going to like the baked beans because they were very garlicky. That is the exact reason why I loved them so much. They were fantastic!
The coleslaw wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t sweet and didn’t seem to have any celery seed in it, which left it tasting like it was possibly made with just mayonnaise and a touch of cream to thin it out. It didn’t stop me from piling it on my sandwich though. Like I said, it wasn’t bad. It just wouldn’t be my choice of coleslaw.

THE SPORKCAST

(1-5 sporks)

ATMOSPHERE: 3.4 checkered sporks with tiny television sets on the handle.
The décor at Sassy’s is relaxed but has the feel of a sports bar. However, all of the windows having white trim made me think of Cape Cod.  Maybe it’s how a semi-sports bar would look in New England.
FOOD: 3.5 pulled sporks
The meat for the win! Not only was it very good, but it arrived at our table extremely fast.
STAFF: 3.4 unobtrusive sporks
The wait staff took care of me without being overbearing like that annoying chick in the seventh grade who was always trying to braid my hair.
DOLLARS SPENT: The sandwich plate was $6.99, which I thought was more than fair. However, my glass of sweet tea was $1.99. You can make a whole gallon of sweet tea for around 55 cents. I probably had about two cups of tea in my glass. According to my math, that means Sassy’s tea costs more than $15 a gallon! I mean, it was really good, but it wasn’t that good.
CHANCE OF RETURNING: I want to go back and try the barbecue baked potato and maybe a fried pie. I really wish that Sassy’s sold their brisket by the pound for carryout. I would definitely buy it on a regular basis.

If you know of a great eating place, drop me a line at rabirdsell@gmail.com. I’ll check it out and let you know what I think.

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