Texas Saloon in Quincy took over the Bad Abbots space that has a Hancock Street address but is actually located behind the row of Hancock Street buildings. You can get to it on foot using the alley between Payless Shoes and Gentle Dental, or by car from Dennis Ryan Parkway near the courthouse. It's still a work in progress, with no phone (the 617-770-7900 number given out on Facebook and posted on Urbanspoon is never answered) and much of the previous ownership's Irish bar look still in place. The spacious dining room and bar has a new look that revolves around sports (many bar TVs at high volume) and women (small framed photos of the attractive servers over the bar; larger framed photos of professional models in cowboy attire in the men's room).
There seems to have been a lot of attention paid to hiring the most photogenic servers possible, as evidenced by the 200 photos of them on Facebook. Here's one example:
If "slow roasted" ribs and pulled pork make it a barbecue joint, then Texas Saloon is a barbecue joint, but that and a pulled chicken sandwich form the extent of the barbecueish options. The menu has the typical pub fare like chili, wings, chicken tenders and the like. Interesting here are two types of fried onions (rings and blossom), fried chicken, chicken fried steak, a trio of 10-ounce burgers, a Reuben sandwich, jambalaya, four salads and an all day Irish breakfast (bangers, rashers, eggs, beans, home fries, brown bread).
View menu here
I stopped in for a Saturday lunch about two weeks into the operation. While the male bartender did an admirable job, I'd be lying if I didn't state for the record that I was extremely disappointed not to be served by one of the Facebook lovelies, who don't work the weekend lunch shift.
I didn't try any of the appetizers.
Ribs: The rib portion on a 2-meat combo was impressively large, with about a half dozen spares whose length picked up the meat slack from lack of thickness. The light crust had a modest red saucing (think Ah So color with a more traditional flavor) that contributed a faint but pleasant sweetness without soaking and dominating. Despite the thin cut, the ribs were extremely moist, though the meat was grayish, had no smoke (none was promised) and was lacking in flavor aside from the sauced crust. Overall, the ribs were typical of what you'd get at a generic chain restaurant, with points added or subtracted (depending on your personal taste) for the restrained saucing and less-overdone-than-expected texture.
Fried chicken: The generosity theme continued with very large breast and thigh pieces, both well breaded and crunchy. Seasoning was light. Inside, the meat was straightforward (no brine or anything special), with the breast meat quite dry and the thigh meat quite moist.
Pulled pork sandwich: If the ribs were only slightly overdone, the pulled pork was very overdone, bordering on babyfood texture. Close examination revealed some surface bark, but for the most part this was bulk pork, finely shredded, heavily sauced and not smoked. Interestingly, cole slaw topped the sandwich, providing some solid to counteract the foamy pork. If you like a saucy, Sloppy Joe style of pulled pork sandwich, this might hit the spot, but there are better saucy examples elsewhere.
A generic barbecue sauce kissed the ribs and soaked the pork. There are no options for different sauces.
Fries (possibly hand cut) were crisp in spots but mostly of cooked carrot consistency, though flavor and seasoning were both good. Cole slaw was crisp but bland. Beans were served nearly cold and barely seasoned beyond its extremely mild tomatoey bath.
The Bottom Line
While it doesn't stack up against a real barbecue joint, Texas Saloon might be a fun place to unwind with a burger, a brew and a view.
Urban Spoon reviews of Texas Saloon