Where there’s smoke, there’s good eats

A lot of new barbecue options have popped up around the metro recently, two at opposite ends of Oklahoma City’s metropolitan area and two at opposite ends of the Plaza District.

Maples Barbecue, property of Day One Concepts (Waffle ChampionButtermilknonesuch), made its move from the great outdoors to a permanent home on the western edge of the Plaza late last year. Maples now resides in the former Chiltepes Cantina.

Shortly before that opening, Krow’s Nest BBQ and Catering took over the kitchen space inside Saints Pub on the other end of the stretch of NW 16 Street that makes up The NW 16th Street Plaza District.

Cajun potato salad, macaroni and cheese, pulled pork and smoked turkey from Krow's Nest Barbecue inside Saints Pub. [Dave Cathey/The Oklahoman]
Cajun potato salad, macaroni and cheese, pulled pork and smoked turkey from Krow’s Nest Barbecue inside Saints Pub. [Dave Cathey/The Oklahoman]

Maples serves straight-forward Texas Hill Country barbecue, where thick prime-grade brisket is king. Krow’s Nest serves classic Oklahoma barbecue plus brawny barbecue-affected burgers, sandwiches and appetizers.

Sliced brisket plus smoked sausage with onions and peppers, potato salad and barbecue baked beans from Cornish Smokehouse. [Dave Cathey/The Oklahoman]
Sliced brisket plus smoked sausage with onions and peppers, potato salad and barbecue baked beans from Cornish Smokehouse. [Dave Cathey/The Oklahoman]
Smoked turkey from Cornish Smokehouse. [Dave Cathey/The Oklahoman]
Smoked turkey from Cornish Smokehouse. [Dave Cathey/The Oklahoman]

Long-time truck operators Cornish Smokehouse and Big O’s Pork and Dreams now have permanent home. Nicole and Chris Cornish opened their first store at 801 SW 119 St. last fall. Owen Wilson Jr. operates Big O’s Pork and Dreams at 285 S Santa Fe Ave., taking over the former Mutt’s Amazing Hot Dogs location in Edmond.

Maples excels at sliced brisket and pork ribs. The Krow’s Nest has some serious sandwich combinations in need of further inspection. Big O’s serves a mean chopped brisket sandwich and tasty ribs in a spotless, inviting dining room. Cornish Smokehouse wowed me with smoked sausage served with grilled onions and peppers, plus a moist, delicious smoked turkey. Brisket and ribs were exemplary.

I’ve made only one visit each to the four, but left each anxious to return. Unfortunately, 51-year-old me can’t consume smoked meats with the same reckless abandon as 41-year-old me.

So, it might take a little time to collect all the data I need to form a well-rounded opinion. In the meantime, let me know what you think about our new barbecue options.