Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewery (Dallas, TX)
I really wanted to try out Pecan Lodge today since I had the time, but it was a little too cold to be wandering around down at the Farmers Market. Instead, I decided to hop up the street to Humperdinks.
Humperdinks has a really nice sports bar atmosphere inside. There are nearly two dozen flat screens, and even a huge projection screen broadcasting ESPN. They also have darts if you're so inclined, and gigantic 100 oz. beer dispensers (just in case you weren't bad enough at throwing darts already).
I was feeling extra hungry, so I started with a small plate of their Armadillo Eggs, which despite the name, have absolutely nothing to do with armadillos or eggs. In reality, these are "large jalapenos, stuffed with Cheddar-jack cheese and chicken, then battered and cooked golden." Of course, by "cooked golden," I assumed they meant "deep-fried," at least I hoped so.
The Armadillo Eggs were spectacular! Set before me were three giant stuffed jalapenos, so I'm glad I got the small plate. The batter was fantastic and flaky, but also crispy. Panko breadcrumbs, I think. There was enough gooey cheese that it dribbled out with each bite. I also got a good amount of heat from the jalapenos, so I'm assuming they left the veins completely intact, but it wasn't enough to be unbearable. The chicken inside was also fairly tender, although the main focus of this dish was clearly the cheese and jalapenos. The fried onions that my "eggs" came nestled on were a little tough and chewy, but that's ok because I figure they were mostly there for garnish anyway. This was a great way to kick my palate into high gear before the main course.
For my entree, I ordered a half-rack of their Baby Back Ribs, which came with seasoned fries. The ribs are marinated in Buttface Amber Ale, and topped with a house-made porter beer barbecue sauce, so I was pretty excited to give them a try.
My ribs came with a healthy slathering of barbecue sauce on top, so I'm not quite sure why they felt the need to give me an extra cup of sauce on the side. The "seasoned fries" weren't seasoned with anything other than salt, which means they probably need to either change the name or actually season them. The ribs themselves were moist and very tender, but the meat was almost too soft. I was able to cut each individual rib off the rack with my fork, and the meat kept breaking apart when I tried stabbing a bite. The fat was also rendered so much that it had almost faded away completely. They were definitely overcooked, but at least the flavor was good.
The sauce was slightly sweet, but there was also an interesting aftertaste, which I'm guessing came courtesy of the porter beer. It was potent enough that it precluded any possibility of tasting the smoke (if there was even any there). I caught a whiff of smoke from the kitchen at one point, although it smelled more like burning hamburger grease than a barbecue pit.
The ribs were ok, but they could definitely be improved by being more mindful of their cooking time. If you're craving barbecue, I guess Humperdinks will do in a pinch. Otherwise, just stick with a cheeseburger.