As far as marketing slogans go, “It looks like prison food but tastes great” is probably never going to get past the first round of brainstorming, but that’s our first thought on our maiden venture into Dickey’s.
The casual pit barbecue restaurant first launched in Texas in 1941. Now, 77 years and hundreds of branches later, it’s made its way to Yas Mall.
It certainly looks the part, with a distinctly Americana vibe and a cheery Texan-style welcome.
Being based in a mall, it’s (probably) not going to be somewhere to propose to your true love, but if you’re shopping or have been to any of the nearby attractions it’s a good shout.
As you might imagine, it specialises in slow-cooked meats, the brisket and ribs being the biggest selling points. There are also chicken breast, roast chicken and sausages available, as well as sides such as fries, creamed spinach and barbecue beans.
You can choose from having the food served directly on your plate, in bread or on a baked potato. A meal with sides and a drink will set you back somewhere between Dhs60 and Dhs90, and while the portions aren’t like you’d find in the States, they’re enough to fill you up.
After ordering at the counter our food arrives fairly swiftly. One meat plate with a pile of chopped brisket, onion rings and a pot of mac ’n’ cheese, and one with half brisket, half chicken breast, steamed vegetables and barbecue beans. It’s the metal trays that prompt the prison food comment, but we are in a casual, mall spot so we can’t complain too much about it.
The brisket is by far the highlight. It’s juicy and seasoned well, and really comes alive with a slathering of spicy barbecue sauce.
The onion rings are average and the mac ’n’ cheese is merely fine. Across the other side of the table, the chicken is suffering in comparison to the beef and the steamed vegetables are at least nutritious.
We wish there were a few more pickles to go with the meat, as the couple of slices we get vanish instantly, and after glancing across to someone else’s ribs, the decision to get chicken seems even more foolish.
Dickey’s won’t blow you away, but it’s good to know that the venue’s big hitters are done very well at least.