Dixie's Smokehouse Texas BBQ and Rotisserie
12 Indian Head Rd. Kings Park, NY 631-292-2520
A relaxed, family-friendly building of brick walls, wood floors and plain tables, the suggested order of the day is pit-smoked meat--although there are plenty of options outside of that recommendation. Appetizers of onion loaf, chili and chicken tenders can be had, as well as entrée items like the big-portioned "Texas-Size" salads, burgers, sandwiches and seafood platters--but if you've come for the beef prepared in their wood smoker, the spice-rubbed, barbecue-sauced briskets and ribs will be waiting.Hours:
11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday; Noon-10:30 p.m. Saturday; Noon-9 p.m. Sunday.Ambience:
If you catch the scent of something smoky and seductive at the Kings Park LIRR station, chances are it's emanating from Dixie's Smokehouse Texas B.B.Q. & Rotisserie. Here, on a nice evening, you can dine alfresco, watching the trains pull in, feeling their rumble. Within the brick and wood dining space, your view is of poultry spinning on the rotisserie.
A winning appetizer of "riblets" amounts to tender smoky baby back and St. Louis ribs judiciously glazed with a piquant barbecue sauce. A sampling of sliders reveals a surprisingly fine crab cake, juicy burger and succulent sliced beef brisket.
Salads aren't usually a barbecue-joint forte, but here, they're both bountiful and beautiful. A "Cobb" - missing the requisite avocado - is nonetheless satisfying, made with field greens, bacon, hard-cooked eggs, grilled chicken, tomatoes and blue cheese. A vibrant grilled-shrimp-and- watermelon salad with mango salsa, candied pecans, cucumber and red onion will appeal to those who favor the sweet and fruity. I, for one, would ask the kitchen to hold the raspberry vinaigrette; the salsa is dressing enough.
I request my baby back ribs spice rubbed and sauce free; they arrive tender and smoky. So, too, do outsize beef ribs. I'm a fan of the spicy smoked Andouille sausage and am impressed by how deeply savory the rotisserie chicken is. Turkey breast, also off the rotisserie spit, is another juicy surprise. The real shock is a successful entree of cornbread and jalapeño coated catfish filet.
Desserts, while not house- made, aren't bad. Best are a moist red velvet cake and sweet-tart Key lime pie.
UP IN SMOKE
Chili comes up candy sweet rather than spicy. And I'm not enamored of the dry, somewhat tough St. Louis ribs or the saucy-not-smoky pulled pork on my slider. Most side dishes should be sidelined, especially the pasty, cold mac and cheese and metallictasting collard greens.
A pleasant spot with some surefire hits. A little fine tuning and it might really cook.