You can’t miss the Fat Racks BBQ truck. Kitty-corner from the historic Irma hotel on the main strip of downtown Cody, this bright red truck has a huge smoker on the back and a big Texas flag painted on the side.
Originally from Denton, Texas, owner Michael Mitchell is warm, friendly, and unpretentious about his home-state barbecue. He smokes everything daily, and when he runs out, he runs out. When we arrived, he had just run out of stuffed baked potatoes, which are also thrown in the smoker, and, as we overheard, “worth driving eight hours for.”
We did get one of everything else, and were not disappointed.
All the meat is served naked, which Michael told me is deliberate — to encourage everyone to try it without sauce first — which is the way it’s done in Texas. And he was right. I love all types of sauces, but this meat doesn’t need it.
Brisket is served in long strips about a quarter-inch thick. The meat is tender and flavorful, with hints of smoke. Pulled pork on a bun is delightfully soft and squishy, the meat itself smokier than the brisket, but lighter in flavor. In a sandwich, it does warrant a dollop of sauce, which comes on the side and is more tomato than vinegar.
Ribs are a stand-out: smoked, not grilled, and not drenched in sauce. There is hardly any fat to be found; each morsel falls off the bone ready to be devoured.
Potato salad and coleslaw are each simple and good with the meat.
Two picnic tables are available next to the truck. If they are occupied, there is a park about three blocks down; and if you visit around 6 PM you’ll be able to see the Wild West Show gunfight that takes place in the street outside the Irma.
But next time, I plan to come earlier to get my hands on one of those potatoes.