Steve's Gastronomic Home Page

BBQ Chop Shop (Closed)

7801 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK

BBQ Chop Shop at N. May & Wilshire

It is not often that barbecue places successfully compete in Oklahoma which use cooking traditions from another state, but BBQ Chop Shop has received rave reviews everywhere I have read them, and its popularity speaks for itself. The Texas barbecue tradition that BBQ Chop Shop practices is not that different from the one in Oklahoma, but it may be enough that some people will make this restaurant a favorite when they have been disappointed by others.

I would be speculating in trying to figure out what makes BBQ Chop Shop different, but I think it partly has to do with the type of wood used for cooking and the way the sauces are made. The Texas BBQ tradition includes the belief that meat should be just as good or even better without sauce on top of it, although there were several places I tried when I lived in Austin in which this was not the case. At BBQ Chop Shop I preferred the meats with sauce, but they were good without sauce. I am not sure after one visit that I can definitively say whether this restaurant passes the "sauce" test. I did think, though, that the sauce was very good (something that was the case in almost all of the Austin restaurants I tried).

One thing I have read consistently in the reviews of BBQ Chop Shop is that they tend to run out of items. This was the case when I went in the evening and I was unable to try the ribs because they did not have any. This is a small restaurant and I do not fault them for running out of certain types of meat. Instead, I think cooking in relatively small quantites ensures the quality that I and others have experienced here.

Pulled pork and brisket
Pulled pork and brisket on the plate combo with beans and cole slaw

The staff suggested that the Pulled Pork might be one of the best meats that was being served, and I agreed after trying it. It had a distinctive color of part pink and part brown, with a smoky flavor and maybe a slight bit of fat. There is so much good barbecue in Oklahoma it was hard for me to say whether this one was any better or worse than some of the others I have tried, but it was certainly very good.

The Brisket was more lean and had an equally good flavor. In Texas I generally liked the brisket better than in Oklahoma, and the one at BBQ Chop Shop was of the same good quality. I will probably need to try it more times, though, to determine how it compares to all the others I have tried.

The Cole Slaw was notable because I thought it was probably the best in Oklahoma City. It had fresh vegetables and a good sauce, and is definitely something I would like to have again.

The staff recommended the baked potato, one of the sides available with the plate combos, but I will have to wait and try it the next time.

While most barbecue restaurants have certain items that I judge to be their weakness, I did not find anything at BBQ Chop Shop that I would call a weakness. Perhaps a weakness would be that I thought the meats were better with sauce than without, but this has always been the case with me regardless of how others say Texas barbecue should be eaten.

One definite strength of BBQ Chop Shop is that you do not have to be an OU fan to enjoy the decor (you will know what I mean when you visit some of Oklahoma City's other barbecue restaurants). The fact that BBQ Chop Shop has only a minimal decor, being located in a former pizza chain restaurant, makes it seem as if you are in a real Texas barbecue restaurant. Of course, the food is the proof.

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Cuisine: Barbecue
Cost: $$
Smoking: No Smoking
Accessible: Yes

Most Recent Visit
Oct. 21, 2010

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Pulled Pork, Brisket, Cole Slaw

Special Ratings
Pulled Pork:
Cole Slaw: