ADDRESS: 411 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32935
Around the middle of last week, my friend Shyam and I were looking to grab some dinner one night before he was headed out on his trip to Colorado. Both of us were in the mood for some BBQ, so Shyam recommended that we head over to check out Dustin’s Bar-B-Q. I drive right by the place every day on the way to work and have been curious to stop in and give it a try at some point.
We showed up on the relatively early side of dinnertime on Wednesday night, when there was probably only two or three other tables that were occupied in the entire restaurant. A lot of the tables were set up in a four-person arrangement, and the entire dining area could probably accommodate almost 100 people. But with so few diners at the restaurant, that stark contrast in numbers contributed to an almost “ghost-town” atmosphere. Business seemed slow that night, and people talked in hushed whispers. Kind of made me feel a little weirded out, to be honest.
Our waitress stopped by with menus and took our drink orders not too long after we sat down. The different types of meats featured on the menu spanned from pulled pork to beef brisket to St. Louis-style ribs to smoked BBQ chicken. Since I was looking to sample different types of their barbecued meats, I thought that the dinner plate would be the best option (which also comes with two side items and garlic bread). I went with the brisket and pulled pork coupled with French fries and mac & cheese, while Shyam went all-in on the St. Louis-style ribs.
The interior of the restaurant itself reminded me of a barn, with the wooden crossbeams all exposed in the ceiling. Finished wood was pretty much the predominant theme for everything else as well: tables, chairs, walls, you name it. But because a majority of the décor appeared to utilize one type of wood, there were certain times where things seemed to blend together when looking around.
It didn’t take too long before our food arrived out of the kitchen. After my dinner plate was set down in front of me, I think the first thing that I noticed was that the brisket was sliced a little bit on the thin side. Many of the other BBQ places I have been to usually had a nice 1/4″ thick cut of brisket meat, but mine were probably around 1/8″ thick at most. The St. Louis-style ribs that Shyam had ordered definitely looked a little on the lean side as well, with only a thin layer of meat around the bones from what I could see.
Despite the thin cut of the brisket, I thought that the meat itself had some nice sweet & smoky flavor and was kept relatively moist. The pulled pork, on the other hand, was a bit on the dry side and rather bland. I had to load that up with the BBQ sauce the restaurant had bottled up table-side while I was working my way through the pulled pork. The fries and mac & cheese weren’t too bad either, and made for a nice compliment to the BBQ meats.
Finding a good BBQ place is sometimes a tough task to accomplish and, to be honest, I’m not sure if Dustin’s Bar-B-Q makes my list. Overall, the food itself was pretty average; while portion-wise there was a good amount of food, when it came to the BBQ meats, I got the impression they skimped out. If the food isn’t enough to make me come back and the dining atmosphere felt a little awkward, I think this might be a one-and-done visit for me.
Let’s now take a look at the Dustin’s Bar-B-Q Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
Pulled Pork & Brisket Dinner Plate
Slow smoked beef brisket with pulled BBQ pork. Served with sides of French fries, mac & cheese, and garlic bread.
And finally, here are my rankings for Dustin’s Bar-B-Q:
Food: 3 / 5
Flavor-wise, the food was relatively average, with the side items outshining the barbecue meats, in my opinion. My only issue was still with the thin cuts of brisket that I got. I probably would have been okay with either a thicker cut of meat or more pieces on the plate.
Atmosphere: 2.5 / 5
Maybe it was just the small dining crowd to large dining room ratio, or perhaps the all-wood décor, or a combination of both. Either way, it just provided a rather weird dining atmosphere for me.
Service: 3.75 / 5
The staff were pretty friendly to us during our visit, with the food arriving out of the kitchen relatively quickly.
Price: 3.75 / 5
For $13 total, I thought all together it wasn’t a bad quantity of food. Outside of the ribs and steak, I don’t think any other dishes were more expensive than what I got.
13 / 20
Categories: Florida, Restaurants
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