Beef brisket is in my top three meals, so it was with excitement and trepidation that I ordered the brisket sandwich from Backyard BBQ. Good brisket is tender, smoke-infused and ringed with a tasty layer of fat and spices (my friend Adam taught me that with the right cut of meat, salt and pepper are all that are needed). A great brisket doesn’t even require BBQ sauce to get my taste buds singing with delight. A bad brisket tastes like rubbery pot roast.
Backyard BBQ is run by Levy Restaurants, which operates concessions and restaurants at dozens of stadiums and convention centers. Unless clearly denoted as otherwise, all concessions in the BC are operated by Levy, including The Carvery, which was featured in a previous entry.
There were two offerings and only one person in front of me when I arrived at the Backyard BBQ stand, located outside of section 224, about 20 minutes before game time. The two options were beef brisket and pulled pork. Both entrees were $11. About two minutes after ordering, my plate arrived. I was hopeful, but not overly optimistic, so I poured myself some BBQ sauce and headed to meet my friend, Mike, at Sobelman’s, where he was dining. As this was a small stand, there was nowhere to eat in the immediate vicinity.
The food: Three thick slices of beef brisket were stacked with arugula on a caramelized onion roll. The plate was ringed with standard potato chips and a pickle. I opted for the spicy BBQ sauce (one of three options, the other two being sweet and original), which was pretty tasty with a nice little zing. Upon my first bite of the sandwich, I realize the BBQ was necessary. The brisket looked good enough, but it was bland and a bit tough. The onion roll added a bit of much needed flavor. The chips and pickle were a good compliment, but unmemorable.
The game: The Bucks came out hot, but only managed to secure a one-point lead at the end of the first. After that, it was all San Antonio. For the Bucks, Khris Middleton led the way with 19 points and Jarryd Bayless got hurt. For the Spurs, Kawhi Lenord scored 24 and rookie Jonathon Simmons looked like another lucky find for San Antonio, throwing down some highlight-worthy dunks. Irritatingly, lots of Spurs fans in the crowd and gave Tim Duncan a standing ovation when he was pulled in the waning minutes of the game. Bucks 94, Spurs 123.
The verdict: I like to say you can get great brisket anywhere—some of the best I’ve ever had was from a gas station in Houston. Perhaps I’ll have to amend that statement. While the price seemed fair, this brisket wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. Of all the brisket sandwiches I’ve had, this was definitely one of them. Skip it.
Other BC Eats
Sobelman’s “The Sobelman”
The Carvery’s Corned Beef Sandwich
Backyard BBQ’s Beef Brisket
Give ‘N’ Go’s Bacon and Maple Syrup Chicken Waffle Cone
Qdoba’s Chicken Nachos
Grill 71’s Buffalo Chicken Tenders and Fries