Black Forest’s Firehouse on the Run BBQ honors Texas

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER

  • Matthew Schniper

Takeout and free delivery within 5 miles

I’m a sucker for barbecue sold at convenience stores, as some of the best Q I’ve had while traveling (a backwater place in Louisiana comes to mind) required passing through the rows of junk food into a back room you could smell a block away.

It’s no frills but no joke, and Black Forest’s decade-old, Texas-style FireHouse on the Run BBQ proves no exception, feeling remote in its own way under the area’s canopy of Ponderosa Pines. I order a two-meat plate with two sides for $14.95, plus $2 extra on account of choosing ribs. They’re smoked with hickory chips, as is the house brisket, and we opt for spicy baked beans and potato salad.

Chopped chiles are suspended in the saucy beans and bear respectable spiciness, while the salad rates perfectly pleasant. The ribs don’t quite fall off the bone and require a little fight from the teeth (my Texas friends do love a good fight) but their bark’s nice and the flavors are spot-on, just like the brisket, which bears big smoke and juicy beef threads with a pot roast texture.

Portions are generous and three apple cider vinegar- and brown sugar-based house sauces are each great in their own way: the Sweet & Tangy for its clove essence, the Wild Side for more molasses flavor and slight jalapeño bite, and Bab-B-Nero for habanero heat with mild mustard influence.