Barbecue borders on a religion around here. Folks have their favorite styles and restaurants, usually shacks in the middle of nowhere with plumes of smoke rising from out back.
Now a couple of chains want in on the barbecue game — Bojangles’ with its pulled pork barbecue sandwich and Starbucks with a beef brisket sandwich.
Are they any good?
I sat down a panel of tasters to see. Joining me: Andrew Dunn, Helen Schwab, Kathleen Purvis and Madysan Foltz.
— Andrew Dunn (@andrew_dunn) July 23, 2015
//><!--Pull a seat up to the table and let’s eat.//--><!
Bojangles’ pulled pork BBQ sandwich
– Cost: $2.99
I came into this expecting to hate this sandwich. I didn’t. It didn’t taste nearly as bad as I expected it to. Would I get it again? Not unless I was desperate.
HS: “There’s a decent bit of meat on the Bo one … and if you don’t like it, you can pop open the accompanying container of thick, sweet sauce and drown it in that.”
KP: “Bun like a week-old hamburger bun. The meat does have some smokiness and a little vinageryness, and the cole slaw is a stab at authenticity. But the meat is also too soft, too wet, very bland. Sort of a wet-cardboard quality.”
AD: “Without the bun, the meat itself could probably hold its own against the type of barbecue you had in a styrofoam tray before your high school football team played. But if this was your first experience with Bojangles’, then man, you might get the wrong idea.”
A photo posted by Andrew Dunn (@andrewmdunn) on Jul 23, 2015 at 10:22am PDT
MF: “I was born and raised in Lancaster, Pa., and I attend college in upstate New York. I wouldn’t know good barbecue if it bit me in the *ss. … So, to me, a pulled pork barbecue sandwich from Bojangles’ makes all the sense in the world.
“But dear God almighty, that sandwich was not so bueno. … It mostly tasted like a cold, wet slop of rubber.”
Starbucks’ BBQ beef brisket sandwich on toasted sourdough
– Cost: $6.45.
Let me show you Starbucks’ picture of the sandwich:
And now a couple of pictures I snapped of one we got:
Also: Why in the world did they put cheese on it?!?
To the tasters:
HS: “The Starbucks sandwich I got had about one tablespoon of recognizable meat on in it (others had more) … and it added cheese.”
KP: “Outrageously high priced. Like barbecue imagined by people who live in Seattle. … Apparently the cheese (which she called an abomination) only fills the role of gluing the sandwich together. …
“The meat: minced beyond all recognition, sort of a pre-chewed quality.”
AD: “I would never pay for this. … It tasted like imitation brisket, like somebody in a lab was tasked with coming up with a flavor that is supposed to taste like brisket.”
HS: “Barbecue being a religion here, I’m going to use a religion-based analogy: The Bojangles sandwich is a venial sin (essentially: forgivable), while the Starbucks sandwich is a mortal sin (essentially: unforgivable).
“Final reason that they’re both sins: This made our girl Madysan, who’s from New York and Pennsylvania, think she’d now tried barbecue. Chilling.”
Corey Inscoe @CoreyInscoe