Fargo’s Pit BBQ – Bryan, Texas

The new location of Fargo's Pit BBQ.

The new location of Fargo’s Pit BBQ.

Fargo’s Pit BBQ opened in 2000 in Bryan, Texas. Alan Caldwell, owner & pit master, opened the joint in a small shop down the road from where he now operates his restaurant. The original location lacked seating (neither indoor nor outdoor), only serving food to go. Alan moved his original brick pit to the new location, and continued putting out some of the best smoked meats in the Brazos Valley.

Fargo's proudly displays their being named one of Texas Monthly's Top Ten BBQ joints in Texas.

Fargo’s proudly displays their being named one of Texas Monthly’s Top Ten BBQ joints in Texas.

Fargo’s Pit BBQ enjoyed notoriety after Texas Monthly named it one of the top ten BBQ joints in Texas. It proudly boasts its acclaim on the sign out front, and embraces its position in the Texas BBQ elite.

Being local to Bryan/College Station, the staff here at The Best of Texas Barbecue have enjoyed the fare at Fargo’s Pit BBQ on numerous occasions. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, Fargo’s offers rib tips in addition to their standard offerings. You can be sure the staff has made special runs to sample this delicacy, arriving early after showing up too late more than once.

The Brisket

Making superb brisket is difficult, but making superb brisket consistently is nearly impossible. Efforts to smoke briskets more consistently have had a deleterious effect on the quality of the meat. Fargo’s Pit BBQ has suffered from inconsistent brisket, delivering excellent meat on some days, and just so-so brisket on others.

The line forms early and remains through the afternoon at Fargo's, where the day ends when the meat sells out.

The line forms early and remains through the afternoon at Fargo’s, where the day ends when the meat sells out.

On this day, three staffers from The Best of Texas Barbecue ordered brisket – moist. The inconsistency across the table, much less across different days, reared its ugly head once more. Overall, the beef was very good, nearly falling apart. Some pieces had better rendered fat than others, and the smoke ring was more and less pronounced across the samplings. One staffer received a fantastic piece of brisket, replete with a thick smoke ring, substantial bark, and an incredible flavor.

Some pieces of brisket showed more of a smoke ring and rendered fat than others.

Some pieces of brisket showed more of a smoke ring and rendered fat than others.

However, another reviewer found the meat to be nearly flavorless aside from the bark, reminding him of roast beef. Depending on the specific cut received, opinions of the brisket varied wildly.

The beef brisket was tender, pulling apart with ease.

The beef brisket was tender, pulling apart with ease.

The Ribs

A smoked rack of ribs is a beautiful thing. The bark across the top of the rack with its deep hue of burgundy is enough to make my mouth start to water. When the meat pulls perfectly off the bone without just falling apart, and the tender morsels just dissolve in your mouth, it is cause for celebration. I am happy to report that across the board, the pork ribs at Fargo’s Pit BBQ were technically fantastic. Every aspect of the ribs showed an expert’s hand at work to craft truly remarkable table fare. The only category in which the ribs received less than a perfect score was on flavor. They were a definitely good, but left the reviewers wanting more.

The pork ribs were cooked perfectly, leaving the author wanting more.

The pork ribs were cooked perfectly, leaving the author wanting more.

The Sausage

It is not certain whether Fargo’s Pit BBQ makes its own sausage in-house, or simply prepares locally made sausage. Either way, the sausage sold by Fargo’s appears to be the standard variety that one might find at a local butcher shop, but not the type that the staff here at The Best of Texas Barbecue has come to expect from the top shops in Texas. The reviewers were unanimous in labeling Fargo’s sausage as a solid “good”, but not “great.”

The sausage had a store-bought "spongy" texture.

The sausage had a store-bought “spongy” texture.

More than for its meats, Fargo’s Pit BBQ is best known to the staff at The Best of Texas for its beans. They are a delicious blend of ranch style and baked beans. The recipe is suspected to include nutmeg and cinnamon, and really must be tried.

IMG_0849In all, Fargo’s remains an enigma. If they ever get the consistency worked out with their beef brisket, the staff would expect Fargo’s Pit BBQ to come in with a higher score.

OVERALL RATING: GOOD FOOD!

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