Slick’s Que Co – Bend Oregon

2011/12/05

Slick’s Que Co. – Bend Oregon

I’ve driven by Slick’s Que Co. on Revere a ton of times but never made it inside. I’ll admit that I’m a Baldy’s BBQ fan and didn’t really feel the need to venture out. But Slick’s Que Co. opened up right at the same time that I was taking some time off from writing. Venturing out wasn’t really my priority over the last 5 months.

Sadly, I wish I hadn’t taken a break in writing and trying the new places in Bend. Especially if the newbies are as good as the combo plate I had at Slick’s BBQ. On my first visit the friendly gal behind the counter (where you order) gave me a sample of their Burnt-ends Brisket while I made up my mind. The Burnt-end wasn’t burnt but it was tender and flavorful.

Brisket is a weird cut of beef and so when it is smoked, the edges tend to get tough and somewhat burnt. So many BBQ joints will chop the ends up and drench them in BBQ sauce. The “end” piece that I tried tasted and had the textural integrity of a great chunk of brisket, not tough or burnt at all.

The “burnt-end” was tasty but I decided on a combo plate of Brisket and Pulled Pork along with a side of beans and slaw. The side options include garlic mash, mac n cheese, blah blah. But that’s not really what you’re here to read about.

Combo Plate of Brisket and Pulled Pork – $12.75

Slick's Que Co - brisket and pulled pork 

Normally I don’t get into the actual ambiance or decor unless there is something out of the norm or annoying. I’d rather just tell you about the one dish that I ate on that one visit. But on this occasion, the western movie playing on the one tv in the restaurant got me thinking. If you’re going to play a western all the time in what appeared to be a kind of cookie cutter/starter edition of a BBQ restaurant atmosphere**, I’ll play along with one of the greatest western’s of all time:

 The Good - The pulled pork was great! Tender and juicy and packed full of smokey goodness. The brisket was good, a tad (and I mean really slightly) on the dry side. The brisket was fine but it was definitely better with BBQ sauce while the pulled pork was amazing with or without it. 

The BBQ sauces were very good. Both the regular sauce that is on all the table and the spicy sauce by the soda machine are really really good. I dipped the brisket and pulled pork in both and enjoyed it all. Tangy, spicy, goodness.

The speed of service. I know that the meat I’m about to eat was smoked the day before so having it ready is not a bad thing. The ordering process is like a cafeteria line but they keep the tray/plate on their side. It goes fast and you pay, sit, eat, just that fast. 

The Bad - white bread/orange slice. While there are many many BBQ joints in the south that will server white bread with meats, it is a pretty lame ass side. I’m no expert by any means but I served time (meaning lived for 3 years) in Texas and had plenty of Texas style BBQ. Again, no expert, BUT the places that I got white bread I also received a mountain of smoked meat. Here in Bend, just give me some “Texas Toast” and I’d be happy.

The Ugly - The side dishes – I was ok with the beans and slaw but they were not anything special at all and I didn’t eat much of either one. I only tasted a small sampling of the mac n cheese my friend had and it was not good. Flat out bland. Could have just called it mac. The good thing about the sides are that you get plenty of them. So if you find one you like, you’ll get your fill.

I’m actually excited to go back to Slick’s to try something else, possibly the ribs. Glad to have another option for BBQ in Bend even though I was fine with Baldy’s. Its good to have some healthy competition, even though neither are healthy options. 

Slick’s Que Co.
212 NE Revere
Bend, OR 97701
541.647-2114
Hours: Monday – Saturday  11AM-8PM or til Sold Out (which I hear happens often)
http://www.slicksqueco.com/

**Meaning the shit on the walls didn’t seem to match up with a typical Texas BBQ restaurant. There is a dented trombone, old license plateson the walls, old timey western movies – bbq isn’t exclusively old school cowboy cooking, there is great modern bbq. There is just random kind of stuff on the walls that didn’t really mesh. I loved the photos of what looked like the family involved in the business but outside of that I didn’t get it.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin December 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Me personally, I prefer the service, music, and flavor of Slicks over Baldy’s.
I enjoy walking into Slicks, eating great food and listening to live music. One thing I wish Slicks would do is put more quantity on their sides instead of a scoop.
Slick’s > Baldy’s

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Jen December 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Welcome back, BOR… you’ve been missed! Even thought I disagree with you a lot (including your unreasonable love of Baldy’s – they used to be good but not any more).

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Keith December 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

I agree with both of the above, I love Slick’s, it is way better, Baldy’s has been voted best BBQ for the last 5 years because they have been the only BBQ around since Kasey’s closed 5 years ago. Everything at Slick’s is far superior to Baldy’s, the food, service, ambiance, bathrooms and the cool handwashing machine. If they went head to head, Slick’s would win hands down. I am a newbie and won’t go back!

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Arlene December 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm

My husband and I finally tried Slicks, and I had to report in, after reading your review, Bend Oregon Restaurants. He had the two meats combo with brisket and sausage (both were excellent – and yes, the sauce is tasty). He got mac ‘n cheese and baked beans for his sides and the mac was just O.K.. I see your point – they are onto something but need to add another cheese to their recipe – perhaps a sharp one. The beans, though, were excellent. Perhaps they’ve stepped up their recipe since you went? I had their smoked turkey Caesar. The salad, itself, is nothing to write home about: ripped Romaine lettuce, dried cranberries, basic croutons, shredded Parm, and creamy Caesar dressing – but the smoked turkey! The portion (like with the meat platters) was excellent and the turkey is moist, a gorgeous slight pink color (from smoke not under-cooking), and the meat was so tender. I have to say, for such a ‘meh’ salad – I was impressed and the meat was the treat. I’ll be having more. It made us consider buying their smoked turkey for the holidays. Just had to report in and good to see you back, BOR!

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Marianne Horrell February 4, 2012 at 4:36 am

You didn’t check out the hot New Orleans style bread pudding with the warmed and runny sauce, topped with praline ice cream? Sometimes I dream of going just for that! Even non-bread pudding eaters are pleasantly surprised. Maybe it’s because it convincingly tastes like there’s alcohol in it.

You mirror my thoughts completely on white bread and bland sides. I shake my head ruefully. Roy Slick has blind spots on these two items. Someone needs to introduce him to great bread, like The Village Baker’s striata or Nancy P’s ciabatta. Even hours-old Texas Toast would be better than the bread without a face he serves. (Remember how soft and squishy fresh Wonder Bread used to be? That would be an improvement.) His delicious heated BBQ sauce on tap is brilliant, though.

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