Today I was able to try out The Tired Texan BBQ for lunch. I had not been to this restaurant since they opened their doors right off of 108th and L, very close to Hog Wild, which is a brave move. Walking in I noticed that the décor was nice and the pictures on the walls were stunning (taken by a local Omaha photographer) the openness and lighting of the restaurant left an empty feeling, “tired” is an appropriate word. Looking at the menu two things stuck out at me. One, there was not much variety, and, two, the prices were very very reasonable. The lack of variety is a double edged sword, on one, and they have the staples, pork, brisket, and ribs, this makes choosing a meal easy as you just need to decide if you want it as a sandwich or not and what amount of meat you’d like. You can mix and match meats and there are a decent amount of sides to choose from. On the other hand, if your favorite barbecue comes in the form of chicken, turkey, or, like mine, sausage, you won’t find it here. Our waiter, Erik, came out quickly and gave us free samples of an appetizer they called the Texas Tumbleweeds, they were a sphere of fried potato, bacon, and cheddar. I have never had anything quite like this and must say it was quite good and reason enough to stop in again. A full order comes with 6 so if you want to try them, come with a decent amount of people because they are large and filling. Our waiter was very friendly and provided excellent service the whole way through.
I ordered a plate consisting of a quarter pound of pulled pork, a quarter pound of brisket, 3 ribs, a cornbread muffin top and Texas baked beans. Erik delivered the meat and all the fixins’ to the table very quickly. I did the first thing one naturally does when getting barbecue. Reach for the sauces. I’m going to speak on variety once again here. There were two sauce bottles on the table each containing, as far as I could tell, the same sauce. Where you often may have to decide if you want smokey, sweet, spicy, or any other variety of sauce, here you have one option. This sauce is a bit smokey, a bit sweet, and a bit spicy, all in one. On my first few tries, I found it just so-so, but as I ate it grew on me. If you can’t handle spicy this is not the sauce for you. The heat was not overwhelming but grows as you eat.
I will talk about the meats one at a time. I tried each meat first without sauce and then finished with sauce. I found the pulled pork to be my least favorite upon the first bite. Not an incredible amount of flavor and somewhat dry. After sufficiently smothering it with the sauce I found it to be okay, not bad, but not memorable in any way. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone cooked (BBQ purists may see this as a negative). They also had a unique flavor that was prevalent with and without sauce. That being said, this flavor did not speak to my personal tastes. Again, I had no problem finishing my ribs, but they didn’t quite do it for me. That brings me to the brisket. I couldn’t find a bad word for the brisket if I tried. It was so good that I was reluctant to put sauce on it and change its magnificent flavor in any way. The crusted seasoning nicely complimented the meat. The smoke ring was perfect and the meat was tender enough to cut without my knife. Once I did finally put the sauce on it seemed to be made for it. The flavors fused together very well. If I go back I would happily just get brisket. The beans were mixed were sauced with a variation of their sauce and topped with fried onion strings. If you like beans and you like their sauce, you’ll like their Texas baked beans.I finished it off with a delicious cornbread muffin top. I did not try any desserts they offered but they looked incredible.
The restaurant is owned by Chip and Christine Holland and has quite a story of how it came to be on their menu.Chip owned a smokehouse in Tennessee but hist story has roots in Alabama. His story talks about the life lessons learned sitting at picnic tables eating food. Hist story speaks of how barbecue brought people together and helped people from all walks of life visit in acceptance of one another. It also mentions of how barbecue is polarizing. Everybody has “their place” and everyone else disagrees. Coming from Kansas City this is a sentiment I understand. This concept should also serve to remind us to keep an open mind regarding barbecue, while the Tired Texan may not have been my taste (outside of the tumbleweeds, delicious brisket, and addictive sauce) and, although not opposed to it, I do not think I will go out of my way to be back, it could certainly be the barbecue you are looking for. We encourage you to try out and support this locally owned business. Decide for yourself.