Sunday, August 26, 2012

Outstanding Pulled Pork - Post Office

I owe Post Office Barb-B-Que on Highway 51 an apology. The first time I visited back in November the texture and appearance of the Atoka restaurant's ribs caused me to think they had been boiled.

The ribs were tender to the point of falling completely apart with the meat drawn up on the bones like a serving of braised meat like Osso Bucco. A friend of a friend who is friends with the owner asked about the ribs being boiled before cooking and the owner was appropriately offended that someone was suggesting he'd take a shortcut like that with his ribs. It made me feel terrible to think I'd unfairly disparaged a place with unfounded accusations back when I was just getting started with this blog and still learning a lot about barbecue. I posted a disclaimer at the top of the post retracting the claim until I could make a return visit. After stopping by Post Office on Thursday that post is now the only one on this blog I've ever removed.

These are the ribs I got on my first visit. I'm not sure if they spend a lot of time cooking while wrapped in foil so they sort of braise in their on juices but they were completely falling apart while I didn't notice a lot of smoke flavor. Or maybe my taste buds just failed me that day. Either way, if you think that barbecue can never be too tender you will love them but I thought they were too mushy.

On my return visit I got a pulled pork dinner. I immediately knew there was no way I could leave up an old post that questioned Post Office's dedication to serious time and smoke. It was easily some of the best pulled pork I've ever had.

There was an astounding amount of charred bark on pieces from the outer sections and a deep, intensely pink smoke ring. The taste lived up to the appearance. A mix of different, but all delicious, flavors and textures that hit you in tandem is what makes truly great barbecue stand above any other meat. I didn't notice that with the ribs but it was definitely there in the pulled pork. 

If you can create a bite of barbecue like this I can't question any of your cooking techniques.

One thing that stayed consistent between my first and second visit to Post Office was that to me there was no contest between the two sauces offered. The bright orange mild sauce was so sweet it reminded me more of duck sauce from a Chinese restaurant than barbecue sauce but obviously some people like it or it wouldn't be offered. Meanwhile the hot barbecue sauce offered a perfect mix of heat and flavor that caused me to continually reach for it even though the pulled pork was so good it could have been eaten without any sauce. Of the sides, I enjoyed the baked beans while the cole slaw represented the sweet and creamy approach to slaw that I don't care for. But the pulled pork is all the reason any barbecue lover needs to visit the restaurant.

Post Office Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

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