Hold onto your cholesterol as you step into the Barbecue Inn and warp through time all the way back to 1946. That’s how little this place has changed since the year it opened, and they’ve got the original menu on the wall to prove it.
So. What do you order at a place called the Barbecue Inn? Certainly not the barbecue. No joke. While the brisket and ribs are decent, you can find better in this meat-obsessed cow town. There are brighter sides to the menu. Salads are standard fare made with iceberg lettuce, but the dressings are made fresh from scratch in house. Honey mustard, Ranch, Blue Cheese, Thousand Island... Each one tastier (and creamier) than the last.
But homemade salad dressing does not longevity make. What keeps this underdog afloat? Simple: The Barbecue Inn has -- hands down -- the best fried shrimp in town. Fresh, jumbo shrimp nicely battered and deep fried, served with homemade tartar sauce. Fried chicken, too, is one for the record books, served piping hot alongside gloriously crispy French fries and a leaf of kale posing as a vegetable. And don’t forget the third element in the trinity: chicken fried steak. This one sits pretty under a blanket of cream gravy. Man, if only Elvis were alive to see this place.
Despite its shortcomings, the Barbecue Inn has been a family favorite for years. So much so that you can expect a line at peak weekday hours. Final verdict? Your heart wouldn’t survive a weekly visit here, but it’s certainly worthy of an annual pilgrimage.
Barbecue Inn - 116 W Crosstimbers (at Yale)