Dyer’s is a polite barbecue just off I-40. When I walked in Sunday about noon, it seemed that every single person in the room was dressed in church clothes. Tables were occupied by multigenerational families plowing into big plates of ribs and brisket. Décor is Texas-rustic, including bare wood tables, a brick floor, paintings on the walls of such Lone Star icons as roadrunners, the Alamo, and a stagecoach. Catch ropes and branding irons also share wall space with a few neon beer signs.
I ordered a combo plate of beef brisket, Polish sausage, and a rib. The brisket was tender but dry. Sweet and sour barbecue sauce, presented warm in a Corona beer bottle, did a good job of rehydrating it, but it had none of the succulence of really great Texas brisket. The sausage was fine: a taut, full-flavored section that needed no sauce whatsoever. And the rib was delightful, its surface sticky with cooked-on sauce, its meat moist and succulent, pulling easily in long strips from the bone. All meals come with the house apricot sauce, which the waitress suggested I use to garnish the meat. It’s a curious condiment – not necessarily an idea whose time has come.