The Unvegan

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Low on Sauce at Todd’s Cookhouse Bar-B-Que (CLOSED)

Looks like brisket.

EDIT: What once was Todd’s is now Alice’s. No idea if it’s the same or different. Hopefully different.

In the small town of Oakhurst, just miles from Yosemite National Park, there is but one BBQ joint, and it goes by the name of Todd’s Cookhouse Bar-B-Que. Todd’s is one of your old-fashioned order at the counter type of BBQ places and the menu is quite staggering for being up in a small town of the Sierra Nevada. From sandwiches to wings to jambalaya, everything looked great and well-priced. But would it taste great?

I settled on the Chopped Beef Brisket Sandwich, which was fit for an unvegan because it was described as “Just meat n’ sauce.” It came with a side and some fries. For my side I went with chili, then headed over to the sauce counter to load up on some dippings. What I found seemed to be disappointing. Their traditional BBQ sauce looked like a glorified ketchup, while their hickory smoked BBQ sauce looked like real sauce, but there was barely enough to fill up one little sauce cup. We asked the kitchen if there was any out back and they sadly responded, “No.”

Todd’s: Changing the meaning of chili.

The meal arrived shortly after, and armed with just short of two BBQ sauces, I dug in. The brisket sandwich was totally devoid of vegetables, as advertised, and I poured a little of both sauces on to give it a go. I found that the hickory sauce was better than the traditional, but not enough to hold its own in a BBQ sauce competition. A better sauce really would have made the sandwich great, but instead it was stuck being just decent. The chili was an interesting story as well, because aside from having a little kick and some meat here and there, it was basically baked beans. Good baked beans, mind you, but still not much more than that. Finally, the fries were quite delicious. In fact, the traditional BBQ sauce made for great fry-dipping because it was so much like ketchup. Look, with sauces like this you enjoy them any way you can.

Not dessert, just fries.

The highlight of the meal, however, was the dessert. At the end of it all, we got a Bread Pudding for the table. Because I only wanted one bite, I didn’t get a picture, and that proved to be a mistake. This delectable dessert just may have been the best bread pudding I’ve ever had. Hands down.

But was it enough to make up for the lack of delicious BBQ sauce and twisted baked beans? Not quite. I’m a sauce man, and when I get BBQ I’m expecting some tasty sauce. Unfortunately Todd’s didn’t get theirs quite right, but as long as they remain the only BBQ joint in Oakhurst Todd’s will be worth a visit for anyone craving brisket, ribs or pulled pork.