Restaurant Reviews --> Dick's Bodacious Bar-B-Q
Dick's Bodacious Bar-B-Q
A little bit of Texas in Noblesville
A visit to Square I first met Rich Allen last spring, when he brought us a sample of the Bar-B-Q sauce he had just begun to bottle in conjunction with the BBQ catering business he was running from a portable BBQ pit he towed behind his truck. The sauce was outstanding and we have carried it here at the store ever since. In November, Dick's BBQ went legit, opening a restaurant in the Noblesville Square on Highway 32. So, on the Wednesday before Christmas, after another 10 hour day, Linda and I decided cooking was not an option and decided to give Dick's bodacious wares a try.
In my former life, I was fortunate to spend enough time in Dallas and Memphis to discover that only Texans should be allowed to cook beef brisket, and that Corky's in Memphis is the standard by which all ribs should be judged. For years I have been convinced that good BBQ is extinct in Indiana with only pathetic pretenders like Tony Roma's, Damon's and the abominable former Montgomery Inn existing to remind us what BBQ isn't! Only G.T. South's at East 71st and Highway 37 has done anything to try and uphold Southern BBQ traditions in Indianapolis. And while I sure don't need a fancy environment for my BBQ, their cattle call "dining room" (not distanced enough from the smoky bar, as in cigarette) just doesn't cut it, except for an occasional lunch with Linda. So, Rich has renewed my faith... good BBQ is alive and well and hiding in Noblesville!
Rich is a big, transplanted Texan, who obviously has a passion for authentic East Texas BBQ! And ya' gotta love his mission statement - on every menu... "Our mission is to serve "Bodacious" food to great people at a great value, which upholds the high standards of traditional Texas Bar-B-Q." (Bodacious, by the way, is defined by Webster as noteworthy, memorable or red-letter). Dick's occupies a tidy storefront on the east side of Noblesville Square with plenty of room for dining or carrying out. No wine or beer yet, but the license has been applied for, so I hope to help him pick out some BBQ friendly Zin and Shiraz this spring.
Like all good BBQ restaurants, the menu is simplicity itself. All of his goods come from the smoker - slabs of pork ribs, the fixings to make up sandwiches or plates of beef brisket (chopped or sliced), pulled pork, chicken breast and sausage. And all are served with Dick's homemade sauce in mild or spicy, properly served on the side. The secret here isn't a creative menu or special presentation. Good smoked BBQ is an art involving good meat, dry seasoning, the right hardwood fire and someone who knows how to put them together. Mr. Allen has found the secret, as his meats are tender and filled with flavor. His regular sauce,and I hesitate to call it mild since it still has some punch, is as good as any I have ever had, including Corky's. And, for the fire eaters amongst you, the hot sauce is flavorful, but truly incendiary. In true BBQ joint tradition, the side dishes include ranch beans, potato salad, cole slaw or chips and something Dick calls a smoked potato (actually a big Idaho smoked in the BBQ pit).
Allowing for a hungry 14 year old at home, we managed to come back with two slabs of ribs, pulled pork some brisket, potato salad, cole slaw and a smoked potato. The ribs immediately received the "Brad" seal of approval and even the sides were pronounced very good. The pulled pork and brisket were both tender and lean and even the potato, while unnecessary with all the other stuff, proved to be pretty good. This was a serious meat fest, that matched well with a bottle of the 1999 Dry Creek Heritage Clone Zinfandel and left both Linda and I craving salad for the next 2 days.
So, next time you get that craving for authentic BBQ, just remember... Noblesville, while not exactly next door for most of us, is still a heck of a lot cheaper than a plane ticket to Memphis.
Dick's Bodacious Bar-B-Q
579 Westfield Road
Noblesville, IN 46204
January 2, 2002