No, I don’t know what the three R’s stand for, if anything, but I do know a good-looking plate of barbecue when I see it, and I saw it at the Triple R. The restaurant, on U.S. Highway 69 just north of Whitewright, is a good place to go if you are really hungry.
I took the ride down the old Cotton Belt right-of-way (State Highway 11) on Memorial Day along with a couple of friends, and we met another friend at the Triple R at about 2 p.m. Everyone had been there before, and so all came hungry. The restaurant has a cafeteria line service where you order your meats — brisket, ham, sausage and ribs — sandwiches and plates — and then slide down the line to add the extras.
I had the two-meat plate with brisket and ribs, and the rest of the party (four of us all together) added two plates with brisket and ham, and a sausage plate. The extra choices are numerous with several kinds of beans — baked, pinto and green beans, and several salads — potato, pasta, cucumber and cole slaw. A couple of sides come with the plates, and one with the sandwiches. They also offer excellent hot rolls. I suspect they are frozen and ready to bake, but they are as good as homemade, and come out of the oven hot regularly.
The woman with the butcher knife slicing the meat is generous, and she does not skimp on the portions. The brisket slices are tender and have a nice flavor although not a lot of smoke comes through. The sauce goes well with all of the meats and adds to the taste. The three ribs on my plate were tender, but not very meaty. I have had the ribs at the Triple R before that were better than these, but I suppose that depends on the personality of the pig. Still, ribs are ribs, and they always satisfy some primordial urge to gnaw on a bone. The potato salad was quite good, and the green beans were green beans, nothing special.
Often, on special days and holidays, Triple R offers ribs at $1 a piece. You will have to check their web page to see whether the special is available on a specific day, but if it is, it is a bonus worth the trip.
From previous experience, I can vouch for the ham, and the sausage is good too. As for my companions, when they finished, there was nothing left on their plates. As a rule, I am too full of barbecue for dessert, but this time I decided to bite the bullet, so to speak, for the cause, and picked up a cup of peach cobbler.
Frankly, it had been too long at the fair. It was on the gummy side. The obligatory banana pudding, which is pretty good at Triple R, would have been a better choice. (Is there a law that requires banana pudding on all buffet lines in Texas? Seems like it. Of course, in most places it is vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers and artificial flavoring, with actual bananas being only a rumor.)
Before we left, one of my friends asked if they had any scraps he could take home to his dog. The waitress left and came back with a big cup filled with trimmings making for one happy diner and one happy pooch when we got home.
Sometimes, barbecue can be as much about the experience as the food. A ride down Highway 11, past the stone barns, through Tom Bean to Whitewright, a big plate of barbecue and fixin’s at Triple R and a leisurely drive back to Sherman over the beautiful winding road, rolling hills, and long vistas of Old Ida Road (FM 697) can be just that sort of experience.
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