Steppin’ Out – Back Forty Texas BBQ, Shingle Springs

Back Forty Logo2I was very surprised that my friend, Russ Salazar, had never been to this very popular restaurant at 3977 Durock Road in Shingle Springs. I’ve eaten there several time and enjoyed their food at a number of catered events. It has always been consistently good.

Shelley Cobb, along with her husband and pitmaster, Jerry Cobb, have been in business at this easy to reach location for 23 years as of last March, she told me. I remember when they first opened and called me. That seems like just a few years ago. How time flies when you’re having fun.

We dropped in one early afternoon on a Thursday and were showed to a table by one of their efficient and friendly staff. As usual, the restaurant was spotlessly clean.

I wanted beef brisket (moist) and Russ wanted to try their ribs, since he just bought a smoker and is looking to try as many different ribs as he can.

If you are not familiar with a beef brisket, it has two parts: flat and point. The point, which is more marbled and fatter, is on top and the source of the moister meat.

We looked at the menu trying to decide how to do this most efficiently and decided to split an order of Ribs and Beef (four ribs and a quarter pound of moist brisket) from the Best of Both portion of the menu. It came with two sides and a choice of bread. We chose Gram’s Chili (Russ wants to try everyone’s chili) and Texas Country fries. along with cornbread.

Well, everything was great. The ribs bit off the bone like they should and were not only pretty, but delicious. The moist brisket was just as I remembered, tender and full of flavor. I had been tasting it in my mind for several days before we went there. I was not disappointed.
The chili was thick, hearty and full of delicious shredded meat. Russ, my chili expert, was impressed, as was I.

Often thick cut (steak fries) are mushy inside. These Texas Country fries were crispy on the outside and firm inside. They were especially good when dipped in their barbecue sauce.

The cornbread was excellent and held together. I love cornbread, but hate it when it crumbles away. Theirs did not. I guessed how they did it, but I am sworn to secrecy.

While we were enjoying the food, our server brought us some pickle slices. They were outstanding and looked fresh and homemade because the skin was still bright green. I asked and it turns out they get them from their supplier (could have fooled me).

We were almost finished with our growing lunch when we were unexpectedly brought a serving of Burnt Ends, which they only serve on Wednesday and Thursday. Now, this was a real treat they thought we would enjoy.

Burnt ends are flavorful pieces of meat cut from the point (fatter) part of a smoked brisket and usually re-smoked or cooked longer. Thus their darker color giving them the name “burnt,” although they really aren’t. I have only had burnt ends once before and these were even better than that time.

Full of great food, we decided to skip dessert, although Bread or Banana puddin’ seemed appropriate.

The menu is full of great things and starts with quite a list of appetizers, followed by their list of meats. They serve their award winning pork ribs, beef ribs, chicken several ways, moist and lean brisket, tri-tip, sliced turkey, hot links, Cajun catfish and pulled pork and even prime rib after 4:30. You can order one or as many of these as you like.

For sides you can choose from potato salad, cole slaw, bbq beans, the Texas fries, chili and, after 4:30, baked potato with all the fixin’s.
The menu continues with several great looking salads and a lot of sandwiches made with their wonderful meats. Under Soup and Chili they have the homemade soup of the day and Gram’s great chili. Not only can you get a bowl or cup of the chili, you can get it in a combination as “Bob’s Chili Size,” Chili and Cheese Fries and even “Myhah’s Chili Mac,” which is Gram’s Chili over their mac and cheese.

For beverages they have coffee, tea, sweet tea, milk, soda, floats, beer and wine.

I should also add that they can make up a “Party Pack” for you and are very popular as a party and event caterer. As they put it, they don’t just cater, they “Cater to you.”

I can’t really do their menu justice by relating it to you, go on line and look at it at backfortyshinglesprings.com. Both their regular and catering menus are there.

Back Forty Texas BBQ is open Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m, Friday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Closed Monday.

For more information give them a call at (530) 676-4040.

There is also a Back Forty Texas BBQ in Pleasant Hill and Roseville.

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