If you’re reading this on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you need to drop everything you’re doing and go directly to RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack on Lamar Ave. and order the Brisket Burnt End Hash. If it’s not Saturday or Sunday morning, and you’re reading this for the first time, I’m sorry that you’re going to have to wait a few days for what is, quite possibly, the best beefy brunch in town.
The truth is, it’s not even really brunch. That would be too pretentious for a place as casual as RJ’s. And I wasn’t aware that they served any booze, because the server probably wasn’t aware that I’d want to drink at noon on a Sunday, and didn’t give me a drink menu. The Brisket Burnt End Hash is available during the joint’s “Country Breakfast,” served only on weekends.
[box]RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack
5835 Lamar Ave.
Country Breakfast served Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.–1 p.m. [/box]
RJ’s is exactly what you’d expect from a place that calls itself a shack. The service is friendly, but a little slow, the coffee is nothing special and the food is painfully abundant. (Make sure you’re wearing stretchy pants when you go.)
A few minutes after my brunch date and I ordered our food, the waitress placed two cinnamon rolls — that we hadn’t ordered — on our table. The smell of smoked meats was making my stomach growl, so I scarfed mine down. It wasn’t gooey like a regular cinnamon roll; it was doughy and fluffy. But as soon as our main courses arrived — with a completely unnecessary, yet tasty, side of biscuits and gravy, made even tastier with a dash of RJ’s sauce — I immediately regretted eating it.
My boyfriend had ordered the Up Before the Chickens Platter. It came with two eggs — which he got scrambled — two pancakes and house-smoked bacon. It was even garnished with a little fresh fruit. The bacon was great, cut a little thicker than most restaurant varieties, and it was clear from the first bite that it had been smoked out back. The pancakes were thick, too. Maybe a little too thick, and definitely a little too dry.
But, you know what? Don’t go for the pancakes. Forget about the pancakes. You can get mediocre pancakes at IHOP. The Brisket Burnt End Hash is the reason to go to RJ’s for brunch. Really, it’s the only reason. But it’s a damn good one.
A heaping serving, the hash features huge chunks of impeccably burnt ends, with large slices of mushrooms and perfectly fried potatoes. That’s all sautéed with finely chopped onions, red peppers and green onions, and it’s served atop a slice of toast that soaks up all of the delicious grease. It also comes with two eggs, which I recommend getting over medium so the yolk doesn’t dilute or mask the burnt-end flavor. Because you don’t want to mess with perfection. You just want to eat it.