Thursday, February 9, 2012

BirdDog Barbecue and YoYogurt review

Fountain, CO has recently acquired something other than McDonald's (a fine Scottish restaurant, try the McHaggis).  Both Birddog Barbecue and YoYogurt have arrived and opened on Mesa Ridge.  It's nice to see a little diversity for a change.

Birddog Barbecue has been around for a while.  They say 20 years but I think it's more like 4.  They also claim they're Oklahoma style BBQ, which pretty much means nothing except that according to them they a) don't season their meat and b) don't add BBQ sauce.  I noticed this right away.  I've gone twice just to be sure they weren't kidding. 

I experienced their safe "lunch special" which I arrived 10 minutes too late for, but they were good about giving me the discount anyway, so kudos on them.  Industrial interior.  Pulled pork sandwich and a side with a drink for just under 6 bucks.  Fair enough.  Earlier I had tried several of their other items as a "meat plate" to try them out.  A lot of guys at work rave about it, but here's the deal: the meat is completely flavorless.  It's as if they boiled the meat Irish-style until all the flavor was sucked-out in a crock of water which was then discarded (to ensure no flavor penetrates the meat).  It's also violently dry, though it is soft.  Mashed together in a ball would make a fine sponge for spills.  Tastes the same.  It's confusing because the place smells of burning oak, yet the meat tastes nothing of it.  No smokey flavor whatsoever.  I have a decent palette I believe and can detect specialized wood-smoke in things, as I consider myself a connoisseur of fine and rare scotches.  I'm also a BBQ snob.  I absolutely love BBQ done right.  Or, well, done at all.  Thing is, they seemingly don't even salt their pork.  No seasonings.  Plenty are given at the table to our amusement.  "What do you think this is?" Becky bemusedly asked, holding a shaker of salt-pepper mixed with red-pepper.  Honestly, those ingredients should be ON the meat, rubbed IN beforehand

Looks good but..

We sampled the meat plain, as it's given, before adding questionable table sauces room-temperature on the table.  The meat should smack heavily of oakwood and spices that compliment the meat. The pork had zero flavor.  None.  Zilch.  Try it yourself.  It's raped of flavor, spirited away to some other dimension, like Negative World in Super Mario Brothers.  I struggled to find any flavor for several minutes, savoring the meat very slowly, tongue searching, questing for hope.  None.  Sigh..  The three sauces are non-committal.  A honey-based, a vinegar-based, and a mustard-based sauce.  Your choice.  My choice?!  No sir, you should decide!  It's your BBQ house!  Personally, I'm a Mississippi man on that account, and slathered the salt-red/black-pepper mix heavily on the sandwich.  The steak fries accompanying it were also flavorless, though had a very tiny hint of potato, almost immeasurable as if they were defiant like a French Resistance force, overtaken by the evil empire of flavor-stealer's BirdDog is.  Unsalted, they were a misery.  More salt and salt-red/black added to save them from nowhere. 

At least the Sprite was good.

BirdDog better wake the frack up.  It was near-empty inside, only one group who had never tried it before was there.  They seemed equally nonplussed.  Only with tons of BBQ sauce did it have any hope, and even then with a "we cater to everyone" moderate-politician attitude, it's more like the McRib than 20 years of BBQ Legend.  I still strongly recommend Dad's BBQ (aka the Kwik Inn) in Security on Main St.  Though he serves his meat also plain, it's good by itself, not dry, and the sauces he recommends are sweet and sweet-hot.  Chocked with flavor it wins time and time again, and has been on The Today Show and CNN.  BirdDog BBQ, you suck.  Grade: F-

So we then went to YoYogurt next door.  It took them 6 months to open, which was a bit insane.  Inside you grab either a giant or super-giant cup and self-serve soft-serve yogurt, small teeeeeny cups ketchup-serving-sized for samples if you're not sure.  I tried a few: Cheesecake, RedVelvet Cake, Godiva Chocolate, White Chocolate, and Vanilla.  They were all pretty good but un-tart like normal frozen yogurt should be.  No more TCBY in Colorado Springs which was quite good.  At the end of the line is a place to shove Halloween candy all over your selection, like Nilla Wafers, gummy bears, chocolate chips, kitten heads, aphids, human fingers, chocolate springs, etc.  Two half-full smallest containers was about $7 which was fair.  Taste was like Kindergarten-sweet.  I was warned that all the people at YoYogurt are homosexual.  Judging by the two workers with fro-hawks and Skinny jeans and off-piercings I can attest that this is likely, but I don't really care.  I'm ambivalent of gays.  Sorry gays, you aren't that interesting or scandalous.

I knew gays back when I watched Hollywood Montrose in Mannequin 2: On the Move featuring Kristie Swanson and the band Starship's Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.  As a matter of fact, that's what YoYogurt reminds me of.  Mannequin 2.  Bad art on the walls of giant food in pastels with paint thrown at it for good measure and industrial concrete floors with bad '90s chairs, the gay workers cleaning a bit too incessantly.  Shrug.  I found it mediocre.  Grade: C

That's a wrap.

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