Country Tavern in Kilgore TX

by admin on May 13, 2013

in Barbeque

country-tavernI’ve stated on this site before that while I live (and grew up in Tyler), I work in Longview. This is an arrangement that sometimes makes fulfilling social and after- hours work requirements difficult. And since I spend a lot of time in my car, I’ve started becoming more aware of eateries and local culinary hotspots in and around the Longview area as well as Tyler. Incidentally, this past weekend, I visited another East Texas barbeque legend in Kilgore Texas.

Now before I go any further I should stipulate that I’ve developed a fairly refined barbeque palate. (I realize that refined and barbeque should maybe not be used together). I’ve had Hill Country barbeque. I’ve eaten at the likes of the Salt Lick just outside of Austin. I’ve tried all kinds of little mom and pop hole in the wall, Texas barbeque joints, and generally love them all. I’ve even eaten at Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City, (which is great, even though it’s not Texan). So, I know at least a little about how barbeque is supposed to taste. Well, all self- promotion aside, I finally visited the Country Tavern off of highway 31 outside Kilgore and experienced their legendary ribs.

In terms of ascetics the Country Tavern is everything one wants in a barbeque joint. There are no real decoration or décor apart from a pool table and a few neon beer signs. There are a few TVs hanging over the bar, but otherwise it’s merely a large dining room with simple tables. As I say, all this is as it should be. I and most of the people who joined me, all ordered the ribs, with baked beans on the side. The beans in particular were terrific. The ribs were tender and delicious, with meat that fell off the bone. I had little to complain about… except this. While the food was great, it was far from the best barbeque I’ve ever had, and for what I paid, it should have been close. Not to mention the portions were merely adequate, and not really what I expected. Honestly, all preconceived notions aside, I would say the Country Tavern is better than a chain like Bodacious or Spring Creek, however, (and maybe this is my Tyler pride speaking), I don’t think it can touch either of my local favs, the Purple Pig or Stanley’s. For readers who find themselves in the Kilgore area and are looking to absorb a little local color, this is a great stop, but don’t expect to get out for under twenty dollars, and don’t think you’ve heard the last word in Texas barbeque.

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