Sunday, August 5, 2012

Roadside Diner Barbecue in Brownsville - Cuz's Smokehouse

I was driving through Brownsville, TN, on Wednesday when I noticed a roadside restaurant on Dupree with "BBQ dinner" written in large letters on one of the windows. I've passed by the building numerous times in the past but never even knew what the place was called since it has never had any type of exterior identifying signage. It was lunchtime and the parking lot was full. Any local, independent place that draws plenty of customers with no advertising has to be doing something right so when I realized I could get a barbecue dinner there I doubled back to try it.

Once I was seated I got a menu that told me I was sitting in Cuz's Smokehouse N Grill.  The menu also told me that a pulled pork plate was only $6.99.

It's a generous serving of food for the low price.

The barbecue and sauce were both good and the beans were nice and meaty. I also enjoyed the big, thick-cut onion rings that I subbed for the fries that are normally included with the dinner. The only problem I had with the meal was the cole slaw, which looked like rice pudding from an Indian restaurant. It also had the consistency and sweetness of rice pudding. But it had the cabbage crunch of slaw and it was being served with a barbecue plate. I know different people have different philosophies on slaw, and there are people out there who like it creamy, runny and sweet, but I thought it was terrible and only ate a couple bites. 

Cuz's has waitresses to take your order at your table, plenty of non-barbecue options on the menu and it also offers a country-cooking buffet. And I've heard the place serves up really good breakfast food in the mornings. So it's more of diner that offers barbecue as one of its options than a genuine, old-school country smokehouse like Helen's Bar-B-Q, which is right around the corner and offers a truly perfect barbecue plate. Of course, Helen's also has a far shorter menu and if you want to eat there you'll probably end up sitting with some complete strangers at one of the the cramped restaurant's two tables. Helen's and Cuz's both draw steady crowds of repeat customers. Which of the two someone will prefer will depend on what they are looking for in their dining experience.

Cuz's restaurant on Urbanspoon

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