I love Joints and Dives, BBQ Joints probably the most, although I can be convinced to go for Chili anywhere, anytime.
I took the family to Dicky's Barbecue Pit in Gambrills Maryland on Labor Day Sunday. It is in a small strip center on the North side of Route 3 right after Davidsonville Road.
The family is used to the BBQ drill for new places, we get a plate each of the basics, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Sausage, Brisket and everyone trys what they want, so I had some of each.
Dicky's is a franchise operation, I was shocked when I walked in and it was setup like a fast food operation. It was clean, but there wasn't a trace of smoke smell at all, how they managed that was beyond me.
The staff didn't know much about BBQ. I asked what kind of ribs they served and they said pork. Someone said they were long bone ribs, so I ordered them; they were Memphis cut spares. You got three ribs, 2 sides, and a biscuit for $11. Biscuits were to die for. The ribs were painted with sauce toward the end of cooking and had some flavor, tenderness was good. Flavor was just that of the sauce. NOTHING in the restaurant had any smoke flavor.
The pulled pork plate had about 1/4 lb or so of pulled pork, two sides and a biscuit. There was NO seasoning, sauce, or anything that had ever touched that pork. It was rather tasteless. Cooked well though.
The sausage plate also has the standard 2 sides and a biscuit, but this sausage was GOOOOOD. Not much smoke flavor (I think the packer put a little in) but it was good. Of course Smithfield is great when cooked at home too. This is the best thing we had.
Brisket plate the same, 2 sides and a Biscuit. Brisket was sliced about 1/4" thick and was a little underdone by competition standards, it was tender but again had no taste, none, nada.
The only BBQ sauce (right from the pump) was wayyyy tooooo vinegary for a tomato bases sauce, it tasted like cider vinegar and just overpowered everything. That was the only choice other than mustard, with was from a packet and way better.
The potato salad was OK, but it was a lot more like mashed potato salad. I am used to big chunks (or at least SOME chunks) of potato with the coating on them. There was the occasional little piece of potato, but mostly mush. This might be some form of potato salad with the only chunks being pickles and celery.
Cole slaw was good, I like mine shredded, theirs was chopped, nonetheless, the pulled pork needed SOMETHING.
The onion ring kind of things were really good. Anything out of a deep fryer is usually good.
The beans were also pretty good, nothing special but good.
The biscuits were excellent, the wife and son went back for more. Great to make a brisket sandwich with.
Overall not high marks. This is really not a BBQ joint as we know them in Maryland, really a franchise fast food establishment. We were the only folks in there except occasionally folks would come in for take out (there were about three in the hour we were there). I'm chalking this up to the labor day weekend, MAYBE.
I get the feeling the originators are trying NOT to offend anyone, but have given themselves a flat signature. If you are only going to provide one sauce, make sure it is a good one. If you stop here, bring a bottle of Cattleman's or other favorite and a shaker of rub to put some flavor into what you are served.
I guess "Where's the Pit" sums it up. One star rating, maybe.