BBQ Review: Albuquerque, TX?
Story/Legend goes… Pete Powdrell grew up in East Texas where he honed his BBQ skills using hickory wood. He moved to Albuquerque, NM in the late 70’s and opened up a BBQ restaurant that has stayed true to its Texas roots. The Mr. Powdrell has passed on and the business has stayed in the family, now run by Pete’s son, Mike. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike at a wedding in Lubbock, TX. Needless to say, I was shocked to be able to shake hands with a direct descendent of such BBQ royalty. Really nice, cheerful guy, faithful member of the Fellowship Baptist Church of Albuquerque with a really cool license plate to boot:
Bro. Mike told me that he had gotten convicted over a message his Pastor preached about working on Sundays. He decided God could do in six days what man could do in seven. Mr. Powdrell’s BBQ is now closed on the Lord’s day.
All pleasantries aside, we had to get to the “shrine”. The original restaurant is not in the nicest part of town, but we are quickly put at ease by the imposing, yet glorious, sight of their catering rig:
Sweet! We are greeted with a warm friendliness that is remiscent of … Texas! Only without the twang. But unlike the BBQ Joints in the Lone Star State, this is a sit down restaurant, which wouldn’t be so bad if weren’t for that strangest of all American traditions, tipping. Certainly not up to par with the smokey ambiance in Texas, but, oooooohhhhh, the food!
The pork ribs were wonderfully tender and moist with just the right amount of smoke. The brisket was great, sliced nice and thin across the grain. We’re usually not that into chicken, especially white meat. Served up on our combo platter was a chicken quarter that had the breast and wing. Chicken breasts are usually dry, but Mr. Powdrell found a way to keep it juicy. Not real smokey, but their house sauce made it mighty tasty. More tangy than sweet with a little bit of chile in the background. Very nice, just wish there was a hot version. New Mexicans are fanatical about their chile peppers and Mr. Powdrell combines the local flavor well with his Texas best. There was also the wonderful flavor of New Mexican red chile in their beans. Very, very good! The cole slaw was solid, creamy and slightly sweet. The sausage was the weakest link (pun absolutely intended–insert growns) of the meal. Not bad, just not great.
The big surprise of our meal was the ham and cheese sandwich we ordered for our two youngest to split. The BBQ Princess (daughter Jenna, eight years old) can be a bit picky with meat, but she really enjoyed the sandwich. I had to give it a try and realized the ham was wonderfully smoked. Next time I visit Mr. Powdrell, the ham and cheese sandwich will definitely be invited to the party!
Excellent food and friendly, efficient service make Mr. Powdrell’s BBQ in Albuquerque, NM a “must try” for the BBQ enthusiast. A taste of Texas with a New Mexican twist. I would drive out of my way to get there.
The BarBeQuethMinstry! Rib Rating (1 bone being awful, 5 bones being legendary):
Ambience/Service: 3.5 bones (good service; very plain decor for a sit-down restaurant)
Sides: 4 bones
Sauce: 4 bones
Meat: 4.5 bones
Overall: 4 bones
For more restaurant reviews, check out my food blog, The FUNdamental Foodie.