DALLAS For several months, coming across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge from downtown, Oak Lawn, and points north into West Dallas, meant landing in a culinary no-man's land. There wasn't much there except for a sign promising the wonders of Trinity Groves, the restaurant-incubator concept from Philip Romano of Eatzi's and Fuddrucker's fame in which new restaurateurs with new ideas would be able to show their stuff.
Well, the seeds he has planted are starting to grow. Four Corners Brewery -- which doesn't serve food but offers tours -- opened at the end of 2012. Now, Babb Brothers BBQ has thrown open its doors across Singleton Avenue as the first Trinity Groves eatery. As the introduction to a neighborhood and concept new to most in the Metroplex, it's a good, solid, if unspectacular, welcome.
The first time I went to BBB, I was pretty disappointed. It was later on a Sunday, there weren't many people, the lean brisket and the turkey breast leaned toward the dry, and the onion straws side order was cold. Except for the tasty pulled pork, the place seemed kind of dreary.
However, going back on a Saturday afternoon was a different experience. There was a good crowd and the food was much better. The only thing missing was the live blues music which BBB sometimes hosts. When the weather warms out, the large patio should be alive with activity.
The best thing to do is order either the two-meat ($10.50) or three-meat combo ($11.50) plate. In addition to getting a sampling of the proteins, you get a choice of two side orders and the portions tend to be large (cheesy potatoes, collard greens, creamed corn, onion straws, creamy cole slaw, pinto beans, or baked potato).
If you get the brisket, go for the moist option as opposed to the lean. That solves the dryness issue. The pork ribs ($12.99 half-slab, $24.99 full slab) are tender with a good flavor, and the hickory sausage ($6.50 half pound, $12 pound) have just the right amount of spice.
The chicken wings ($6.50 half pound, $12.95 pound), while enjoyably messy, are rather ordinary. On the other hand, the turkey breast ($6.50 half pound) was much more moist the second time around. Remember that if you get the combo plate, you're getting enough food for two people.
When you only have one dessert available, it better be good. And the home made banana pudding ($2.75) is richly satisfying.
For fans of barbecue, Babb Brothers isn't the best the region has to offer. But as the first example of what Romano wants to use to bring outsiders to West Dallas, it's a good lure.