Barbecue in Texas is a way of life, especially in the panhandle where, "back in the day" there were many "cattle" towns. The cattle haven't gone away, but the towns have evolved into the 21st century, but Texas barbecue lives on! While visiting Amarillo, I had the pleasure to enjoy a great Texas barbecue dinner at Spicy Mike's Bar-B-Q Haven, where great barbecue happens every day.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's just before 6 in the evening on Saturday, September 08, 2018, and I've arrived at Spicy Mike's Bar-B-Q Haven, with my mouth watering for Texas-style barbecue. Most of this article, I'll simply refer to the restaurant as "Spicy Mike's." Mike has been in this location for the last three or so years, due to an unfortunate fire at this previous location.
Photo: Spicy Mike's now decommissioned smoker is parked in front of the restaurant, and now mostly serves as an advertisement for his fine barbecue. Amarillo is cattle country, and barbecue is very popular in the Texas panhandle.
Photo: Like most barbecue restaurants in Texas, you make your selection from the menu, order and pay for your meal at the counter, receive a number, take a seat, and when your order is ready, it will be delivered to you by one of the staff members. On this early Saturday evening in Amarillo, the restaurant is lightly seated, but by the time I left, the large dining room was packed with citizens enjoying fine Texas barbecue.
Each table is set with condiments which include two varieties of Tabasco sauce, a spicy hot sauce sauce, and two varieties of in-house made barbecue sauce: Medium and spicy. I chose spicy...
Photo: You're in the Texas panhandle, where many law-abiding citizens freely carry firearms, and at Spicy Mike's your gun is welcome. In the State of Texas, concealed carry firearms are relatively easy to obtain, and any honest citizen is allowed to carry a holstered firearm in plain sight.
Photo: The restaurant is decorated in Texas legacy, including lots of longhorn cattle miniatures.
Photo: Here's a portion of the menu, featuring the "Plates" portion that really caught my eye. All "Plates" include three sides and Texas toast, and you can mix and match your sides from the menu. I chose the "Two Meat Plate," as it seemed just about right for me.
Photo: You make your selection at the counter, pay for it, and you'll receive a number so the staff will know where to bring your order. If you look beyond the counter gal, you'll get a peek into the kitchen. If you feel so inclined, there is a "TIPS" jar on the counter, so you can reward the friendly staff.
Photo: Spicy Mike's Bar-B-Q Haven features a help-yourself condiment bar, which includes pickled jalapeņo peppers, dill pickle slices, diced white onion along with dill relish. You choose your condiments, put them in little plastic containers, and take them to your table.
Photo: The dining room decor is very "Texas" theme, and sports numerous signs, cattle tools and other tools of cattle ranching. If you look closely, there's even a tool used to create "Rocky Mountain Oysters," which aren't on Spicy Mike's menu. The order counter is in the rear, center of the photo, and the condiment bar is to the right. The dining room is spacious, comfortable, and very "Texas."
Photo: My order was ready in about 15 minutes, and was brought to me by this gentleman.
Photo: I smile, as I have my photo taken, with my wonderful barbecue dinner. I'll describe my photo in the next dinner, but I went "whole hog" from the condiment bar, as I chose pickled jalapeņo peppers, dill pickle slices, and diced white onion. Yes, that's a small container of in-house made spicy barbecue sauce that I chose to eat on the side, Texas style.
Photo: I chose the "Two Meat Plate" for my dinner tonight. Each dinner includes three sides - your choice from the menu - and an order of Texas toast. My choice in meat was sliced brisket - how could you not choose brisket in Texas? - and jalapeņo pepper sausage. My sides were pinto beans, potato salad and coleslaw, which are my favorites.
Let's just say the sides and the toast were delicious, and just about what you'd expect at a quality barbecue restaurant, such as Spicy Mike's. But the meat...
The brisket was smoked, flavorful, juicy, cut across the grain, and so tender that a knife wasn't needed. You just needed a fork, and every time you'd cut a piece off, there would be more juice. Don't get me wrong, as the meat thouroughly cooked. The jalapeņo pepper sausage was a couple of slices from a very large sausage - a little web work told me the sausage is locally made for Mike's - and simply delicious and tasty, and not hot at all, like you'd expect with a name like "Jalapeņo Pepper Sausage."
This dinner was delicious, as it represents the best in Texas barbecue!
There is nothing better than perfectly barbecued brisket and jalapeņo pepper sausage, and Spicy Mike's Bar-B-Q Haven has all of the barbecue bases covered. The food is delicious, the staff is friendly, and the dining room is very clean and comfortable. During your Amarillo visit, when you've got the craving for authentic Texas barbecue, pay a visit to Spicy Mike's Bar-B-Q Haven to satisfy your authentic Texas barbecue urge.
Spicy Mike's Bar-B-Q Haven
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