Even with yesterday's rain and 37-degree temps, at 10:30 AM, a short line of people had already bundled up outside the closed front doors of just-opened Killen's Barbecue. By 11 AM, the line snaked around the side of the building, and it didn't stop for hours. Open less than a month, Killen's is already poised to become a smoked-meats mecca. We had a chance to experience the magic for ourselves; here are five things you absolutely must order.
Bone-In Pork Belly
Affectionately referred to as 'bacon ribs,' this unusual cut of meat has all the charm of pork belly, but with the added flavor of being slow-smoked on the bone. This is usually quick to run out, so arrive early if you plan to order it.
Caveman-esque, these massive, meaty ribs are melt-in-your-mouth good. It's hard to imagine anything more beefy than brisket, but these have surpassed our love of the latter.
The housemade sausages are ground and mixed in-house and are just smoky enough. The casing has that perfect snap, and the texture of the sausage itself is nice and coarse.
Mac 'n' Cheese
As far as sides go, Killen's has several that are recommendable, though our favorite was the mac 'n' cheese. It's just enough starch and cheese to give you a quick break from all that meat.
It's not a Texas barbecue joint without a pecan pie slice for dessert. This one is homemade with a 'secret' ingredient of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. (Don't knock it until you try it.)