Perry-Style Ribs, BBQ Brisket Win Converts

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2011

NORMAN, OK. — Presidential candidate Rick Perry of Texas compares North Carolina barbecue to “road kill,” so I tried his version of barbecue while visiting my second born at the University of Oklahoma recently.
I found Van’s Pig Stand by the railroad tracks. Nothing but pickup trucks in the parking lot at lunch — a workingman’s place to eat.
Obviously fish out of water, Elizabeth and I puzzled over the menu: Ribs, brisket, chopped beef or pork. The cashier helped us order.
I got ribs and chopped beef. Elizabeth sampled the brisket. Despite my Lexington-style prejudices, Midwestern barbecue is admittedly very good. Especially the brisket. I gnawed the ribs with delight, trying not to drip sauce on my shirt.
Van’s Pig Stand, shown in the photo at left, got its start in 1928 in Wewoka, Okla. There are four locations now.
It’s not on the list of popular college eateries. Neither Robert nor his college friends had ever heard of the place.
I failed him as a parent, not forcing him to eat barbecue as a youth, making him a true son of this soil. His first introduction to barbecue is now Perry-style. He liked it. He’s going to take his friends. I’ll never get him back to Davie County now.
The chopped beef barbecue was very similar to what the Advance Volunteer Fire Department served on Friday. The brisket is carved in view of the patrons, like many barbecue stands here use to do. That chop, chop noise and the flying pork always delighted me.
• • •
Unlike Iowa corn farmers, oil-producing Oklahomans don’t think much of ethanol. Gas stations boast “No Ethanol 100% Real Gas” signs like the one shown at left. Even better for them, Oklahoma gas was about 25 cents cheaper than in North Carolina.
• • •
For breakfast, we ate at a place called Jimmy’s Egg. The fellow at the bar beside me ordered something called “Garbage Breakfast,” hash browns, onions, peppers and sausage chopped finely together and served with …