Sistah’s Mississippi Style BBQ is not your typical Texas barbecue spot.
More soul food restaurant, there’s smoked brisket and smoked ribs, but there’s also, depending on the day, smothered chicken, or jambalaya, or turkey legs, or meatloaf, or, if you’re very lucky, fried pork chops.
Sistah’s is all over the place — but, oh, the places they go.
Barbara Jones and Faye Coleman opened Sistah’s about seven months ago in a modest space — there are just four tables in the restaurant — in west Arlington. But that 2013 opening date belies years of cooking experience, including a catering service near Joe Pool Lake. And brother Terry operated T-Bones Mississippi BBQ on Collins Street in Arlington for five years. “We use the same recipes,” says Jones.
The menu at Sistah’s is variable. Coleman might find oxtails on sale and, thus, oxtail soup, or Jones might wake up thinking “pork chops,” which is what happened the day we sampled Sistah’s.
The chop was extra large in area, but thin. Pounded flat for quicker cooking, we’re guessing. “It takes a while for the pork chop to fry, but it will be worth it,” Jones warned.
She was right. A generous rub of lemon pepper, garlic and seasoned salt, on top of the fried-while-you-wait freshness, made for a tip-top chop.
Pork ribs were large, tender and steaming hot — we could see the steam rising when Jones’ opened the take-out box. Our only disappointment was the brisket; we’d requested a “brisket dinner,” expecting strips of sliced brisket, but what we received was finely chopped brisket heavy with sauce. Be warned: If the customer doesn’t specify, and we didn’t ask, you get chopped, Coleman says.
We almost began this review with the sides because, unlike your typical barbecue spot, the sides get every bit as much attention as the mains. On the day we visited, steamtable-sides included baked beans, black-eyed peas, cabbage, collard greens, red beans and rice, green beans, mac ’n’ cheese and yams. All of the beans, the cabbage and the greens had been cooked with large hunks of meat. Coleman says they use whatever meat they have the most of that day to flavor the sides. Collard greens were faintly bitter. Yams were exceptionally sweet. Macaroni and cheese did not have the usual coating of sauce, but there was a thick crust of baked cheese on top. Cabbage and green beans were well-seasoned with those thick hunks of meat (it was brisket that day). The baked beans had bits of veggies with them. The yams and the cabbage were our favorite sides, but we’d happily order any of them again.
The details: Major credit cards accepted; no alcohol; no smoking; wheelchair-accessible. Fried pork chop dinner special with two sides was $7.99, rib dinner with two sides $10.99 and brisket dinner with two sides $10.99. Also, meat is sold by the pound (ribs, $12.99; brisket $12.99; sausage $10.99; half chicken, $7.50). There’s a daily $5.99 lunch special.