On-campus eatery makes debut with barbecue

Hungry students line up on the first day of Bad Axe BBQ’s official opening. The previous week the restaurant had a soft opening, allowing customers to sample some of the food. Hours are Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. until they run out of food.

Wedged between Panda Express and the bookstore is Bad Axe BBQ, the addition to the student center that officially opened this week, replacing Zoca.

Between tweets from students encouraging SFA Dining to have the eatery become a permanent fixture and the amazed gasp of a student who exclaimed on her plate was “so much food,” this on-campus barbecue joint has so far been a hit.

A long line cued up for the opening on Monday, and the food was definitely a treat to something different on campus.

The ordering process is much like Which Wich. You grab a piece of paper with a list of options ranging from a one meat plate to a vegetarian option. If I’m going to be honest, the vegetarian option at a barbecue place hurt my soul a little bit, but people have to eat. 

I chose the one meat plate with sliced brisket, honey chipotle barbecue sauce and two sides: Macaroni and cheese and potato salad. An addition I was not expecting was a moist jalapeño, corn and cheese corn bread muffin and the option to add pickles, onions or jalapeños. 

The brisket was good, but not smoked-in-a-smoker- for-18-hours good. It was a little fatty in places it shouldn’t have been, but it was bearable. Maybe I got a bad cut of meat. Oh, and by the way, the meat is cut right in front of you on the line, so kudos for that. The actual flavor of it was slightly smoky, but had the potential to be better. Of course, there is going to be an obvious difference between a home smoked brisket and campus food, but I would definitely go back for more and try out the smoked sausage.

The macaroni and cheese and potato salad were obvious choices for me. The potato salad was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. It had the perfect texture and taste and reminded me of when my mom would make potato salad. The macaroni and cheese however lacked one thing: salt. Or just some more flavor. This is even a problem in the dining halls from what I have had. But, the noodles were not overcooked, so that was a huge plus.

If you knew me, you’d know I’m very particular about my macaroni and cheese. It can’t be too mushy, too sticky or too dry, and it has to be seasoned. If dining services added salt and pepper shakers to tables it would even help out, but from what I’ve seen, there are not any. But take that with a grain of salt that is not being used on the macaroni.

If this restaurant were to stay past the spring semester, I can see Bad Axe BBQ easily becoming the campus favorite and a go-to place for students to grab a lunch or dinner with friends. While it might be the most expensive place to eat on campus, I would say it’s worth it.

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