Walking up to Bobcat’s Texas BBQ, you can smell the smoke several hundred feet away. We knew we were in for a good meal coming around the corner from Main Street. Bobcat was the nickname of co-owners Leo and Lisa’s dad and they cook and smoke all their menu items based on his recipes. He is prominently featured on the wall above the tables. This is the family restaurant to beat all family restaurants.
If you clicked on this article because of the amazing lead picture, I don’t blame you. The Kitchen Sink sandwich was one of the things that brought us here. Its name gives you a good indication of what’s in there. It’s all the scraps from all their dishes. There’s pieces of sausage and brisket, pulled pork shreds and even cabbage from their cole slaw. It’s sweet and salty and all kinds of all right. You even get a little extra bowl of it on the side. They already know you’ll want extra.
Speaking of their sausage, you gotta try it. We got little samples and forgot to get a picture but it’s a special sausage that they order directly from Texas. Its texture is somewhere between a kielbasa and an Italian sausage—smoked and chewy without being tough. And, it’s got a fantastic taste, of course.
Once we were able to tear ourselves away from the Kitchen Sink, we dug into the half chicken that was incredibly smoky and tender. I’ve never had something so tangy and spiced on the outside and yet tender and juicy on the inside. I brought some home and it perfumed the whole car with its smokiness.
Our last entree was the sliced brisket sandwich. I’ve had a lot of brisket before but nothing so tender. It almost tasted like rib-eye slices it was so robust and meaty. I think the thick slices is what helped make it so toothsome. Obviously, the taste was phenomenal, too—beefy and sweet from the sauce. I should make special note of the sauce because they not only make the sides and meats in house using their father’s recipes, the sauce is from dad, too. It’s not as thick as average BBQ sauce is. It’s thin and saucy with a very nuanced spice blend. You could almost drink it. The bun it came on was a nice brioche one that soaked up all the delicious juiciness.
Even the cole slaw is special. It’s not just a mayonnaise-laden mess. It’s got crunch and lots of good vegetable flavor.
It’s time to come clean about something that’s nagged me for a long time. Everyone who has macaroni and cheese on the menu almost always has a gloppy cheese sauce on some noodles masquerading around as mac and cheese. I’ve always believed that real mac and cheese should be a casserole that’s cheesy but dry and crispy on the outside. If I wanted cheese sauce, I’d buy Kraft. I want a restaurant to make me something special.
Well, Bobcat’s gets this right on all levels. It’s neon orange with cheese but it’s not saucy. It’s intensely cheesy and very well seasoned. It’s simply the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had. And, that includes my own family’s recipe.
And, of course, the baked beans are chock full of their complex BBQ sauce taste. I didn’t know Bobcat but I sure wish I had! Go visit Leo and Lisa and you’ll feel like you know him, too.
112 E. Main St., Ramsey
Closed on Monday
Open Tuesday thru Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm or until SOLD OUT
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