I think I 8 my w8 at T8ste Tizzzzz.
Oh, all right, enough of the 8s already. But you have to have some fun with a restaurant that boasts such a unique name. If you can't figure it out, it translates to “Taste this.” Sort of.
The restaurant that Curtis Gregory opened last summer has moved to new digs at 6807 Elzey St. in Waynedale behind the clock shop. On the hot day we went, I had only one concern: air conditioning. If there wasn't any, we were getting our order to go.
Fortunately the restaurant was dark and cool inside, and quiet. We were the only customers for a while. Toward the end of our meal, a few customers straggled in and somebody turned on gospel music, so we didn't feel quite so conspicuous sitting there in the silent restaurant.
T8ste Tizzzzz isn't much on atmosphere, but it seemed clean, and blessedly, there was no TV blaring away anywhere. Fewer distractions meant we could give our undivided attention to the food.
Billed as barbecue and soul food, there's no doubt Gregory smokes his meats onsite — the wood-fired smoker was stoked and smoking and smelling wonderful when we walked by it in the parking lot.
We ordered drinks first, naturally; diet Pepsi for me and sweet tea — really sweet tea — for my dinner companion. It was the sweetest tea I've ever had.
At 6 p.m., everything on the menu sounded good, from the meats to the gut-busting sides: fries, macaroni and cheese, barbecued beans, cheezy corn, cole- slaw, onion rings, sweet potato puffs, collard greens, dirty, dirty rice and chili. It wasn't going to be a healthy meal, or an easy choice.
I'd been advised earlier in the day to try the burnt ends. So that's what my dinner companion ordered, as he is a connoisseur of smoked and barbecued meats. I ordered the “Junk Yard Dogg,” a smoked sausage on a toasted bun.
For the sides, we ordered mac and cheese, cheesy corn, barbecued beans and “tator salad.” Then we shared everything.
Here's what my companion had to say about the burnt ends, which come from the end of a brisket, are hickory smoked for more than 20 hours, cut into cubes and served with the “medium” heat house barbecue sauce: “Even though the sauce was flavorful with a little zip, I could have skipped the sauce to enjoy the smoky flavor more.”
I agreed after having a taste; they were, indeed, burnt on the ends, yet fairly moist. I think ordering them with the sauce on the side might be a good idea.
He and I agreed the mac and cheese was good, but nothing special. It is a nice side to go with the smoked meat. The baked beans, however, which included chunks of smoked meat, were great. As my companion said, “They incorporated the smokiness of the meat into the sauce.”
I didn't get a second chance to try them after an initial bite — they were gone that quickly.
The homemade potato salad was on par with the mac and cheese. Definitely tasted homemade, but pretty average. It was a little more creamy than I like.
The cheezy corn incorporated sweet yellow corn kernels into a watery cheese sauce. I liked the first few bites, but then lost my enthusiasm for it.
The Junk Yard Dogg was a sight to behold. A huge, thick, smoked sausage spilled out of both ends of a toasted sub bun. I requested it topped with grilled green bell peppers and onions, with a side of mild barbecue sauce.
There was no way I could eat that much meat, so I cut it in half and cut off one end, so it fit neatly in the bun. And then it was just right for me. The smoky, slightly spicy sausage was great topped with the onion and pepper slices and pickle chips. I didn't even try the barbecue sauce.
Having cut my sausage down to size allowed room for dessert. I'm happy to report I still had all my clothes on after eating the knoc-u-naked pineapple cobbler, probably the highlight of the meal for me.
I couldn't tell you if it was made with fresh or canned pineapple, and I don't really know if it mattered. It was melt-in-your-mouth gooey, sweet and very good. My companion had sweet tator pie that he liked, but I didn't much care for.
Since I'm more of a seafood and sushi kind of gal than a ribs and barbecue lover, I'll let my companion have the last word. “I liked the authentic hickory smoke flavor of their meat… I thought the cost was better than RibFest.”