- Backdoor BBQ ribs, homemade pickles & onions, fried okra, deviled eggs and mixed fruit cobbler. Housemade BBQ sauces
Back Door Barbecue 315 NW 23rd St. 525-7427 What works: The ribs, the Daily Beast, almost everything What needs work: The texture of the smoked burgers. Tip: Park behind the restaurant and go in through the back door.
Be an insider and skip the front door at this barbecue eatery on NW 23rd Street.
You have to give it to the practical jokers at Back Door Barbecue, 315 NW 23rd St. Theyve created a prank so esoteric its almost invisible, yet it gets me every time. First, they created a maddeningly large number of delicious sauces. Then they make barbecue so tender, moist and flavorful that it doesnt need sauce. Just ... cmon, everybody. This deserves a slow clap. OK. Stop. Stop clapping. You cant read this with your hands moving. Just ... stop. Good. Back Door Barbecue, like the successes Big Truck Tacos and Mutts Amazing Hot Dogs before it, begs the question, Is there anything these two cant do? No offense to owners Chris Lower and Kathryn Mathis, but when I heard they were trying barbecue, I thought it would be their stumbling block. Then I went. I ate. And I realized that, as usual, I have no idea what Im talking about. God almighty, that is some tasty barbecue. And it doesnt matter that its in the middle of Oklahoma City or that the decor is kind of faux-rustic or that its clean (rarely the sign of great barbecue), because the food is wonderful. If you would like to try a bit of everything, the Grandads Platter (named for Grandads Bar next door) is $28.50 worth of brisket, pulled pork, ribs, turkey, sausage and bologna. And its a bargain. The brisket is fall-apart tender with a flavor that doesnt quit. Get it either fatty or lean (get the fat) and enjoy. I like it fine on a plate (one-meat plate $10, two-meat plate $13, three-meat plate $16), but it also makes a very satisfying sandwich ($8). And while I wouldnt call its brisket run of the mill, if youre looking for something more adventurous, check out the Daily Beast. Once a week, they choose something different. Pork cheek. Duck. Venison. If they can get something different and make it delicious, they do. Prices vary, but Ive yet to walk away disappointed no matter how much I paid. Still, if I was told I could only have one meat from Back Door, it wouldnt even be a contest. The ribs ($2.25 a piece, half rack for $12, full rack for $24). Get the ribs. Try the ribs. Oh my god, did you taste those ribs? For my money, you wont find a better example in the city. I am absolutely and utterly obsessed with the ribs. Deep, dark, flavorful bark that peels away to reveal tender, but not mushy, smoked meat below. If you must use some sauce, for the sake of trying it, you will want the espresso barbecue sauce. On the ribs, its amazing. It kicks the turkey and brisket up, too. Sandwiches? The Back Door Club ($8) is the hands-down winner. And while I like the idea of the smoked burgers, none of them capture my heart the way that club does. On the side, I recommend you get everything. But, barring that, the fried pickled okra is wonderful; the homemade pickles and onions are a treat; and the deviled eggs, like all deviled eggs, will disappear so fast you will not be sure they were ever there. If you have room left for dessert, I assume its because youve done something wrong. Did you accidentally become a vegetarian halfway through your meal? I will pray for you. If, however, that has occurred, you are hereby required to get a jar pie ($3.50, or $4.50 if you get it to go). Theres much more to the Back Door menu, and I encourage you to do some exploring. Or be like me and just keep getting those ribs every time because seriously, did you try the ribs?