I had heard that Brad Johnson acquired a smoker for the shack recently. Hence, I was curious what new items would be on the menu at Cowtown Beef Shack. On a recent Friday, my coworkers and I decided to go and check it out for lunch.
As it turns out, there are two new sandwiches featured at Cowtown – the Traditional Southern Smoked Brisket ($8) and the Old-Fashioned Smoked Pulled Pork ($8). I was hoping to try both so my coworker and I had planned on splitting two sandwiches so we could each taste both. However, due to a slight mess up on the ordering on our part, we ended up with one Old-Fashioned Smoked Pulled Pork and one BBQ Beef ($8) sandwich.
The Old-Fashioned Smoked Pulled Pork consisted of pork smoked for 12 hours, hand-pulled, and tossed in Cowtown’s signature bbq sauce. The sandwich is topped with Cowtown’s signature cranberry slaw. The pulled pork sandwich was tasty. I liked the crunchiness of the cranberry slaw against the soft, tender pieces of pork. I wish I could taste the subtle smokiness or even the delicate flavour of the pork itself but all I could really taste was the bbq sauce. For someone who loves bbq sauce, this may be the sandwich for them but for me, I really like to taste of the flavour of the actual meat so I felt that the bbq sauce drowned out the subtle flavours of the pork. Having said that, this is still a pretty tasty sandwich overall but because there are so many tasty sandwiches to choose from at Cowtown, this is just not my favourite.
The BBQ Beef (which is one of the original Cowtown signature sandwiches) consisted of traditional southern smoked brisket tossed in Cowtown’s signature bbq sauce. I think this sandwich may have changed slightly from the original incarnation as smoked brisket is now used instead of the roasted beef. And that’s also how we kind of got confused with the ordering because there are now two sandwiches that contain the traditional southern smoked brisket, one with the bbq sauce (the BBQ Beef) and one without (the Traditional Southern Smoked Brisket). The BBQ Beef tasted very similar to the pulled pork sandwich except without the slaw. This is because the meat in both the BBQ Beef and the pulled pork is tossed in the same signature bbq sauce. I thought the BBQ Beef sandwich tasted better than the pulled pork because the smoked beef brisket has a stronger flavour and could stand up the bold flavours of the bbq sauce. I could actually taste the smokiness of the beef brisket under the bbq sauce.
Since I didn’t get a chance to try the Traditional Southern Smoked Brisket on my last visit, my curiosity got the better of me today and I decided to drive across town to try it out. I ordered it with horseradish. The Traditional Southern Smoked Brisket sandwich was delish! I could taste the smokiness of the brisket in every bite. The meat was so tender and juicy. I definitely like this version more than the one with the bbq suace. In fact, I like this one so much that I’m not sure which is my favourite now. Up until this point, my favourite has always been the Beef Dip, which I wrote about on my previous post on Cowtown. I think I still like the Beef Dip slightly more because of the flavourful jus that it comes with. I’m always tempted to drink the jus right out of the container because it’s that good. Now that the Traditional Southern Smoked Brisket sandwich is a worthy contender, I guess I’ll be alternating between the two.
There are also a few other new options on Cowtown’s menu. If you’re not very hungry, you now have the option of ordering half sandwiches for $5 instead of the full for $8. Also, you can now get a side order of Cranberry Slaw for $1.50. This is the same slaw as what’s on top of the pulled pork sandwich. And if you’re super hungry, you can add extra meat to your sandwich for $2. For myself, I’ve always found the amount of meat in the sandwiches to be very generous so I don’t think I’d be needing to add extra meat any time soon.
Cowtown Beef Shack
5250 Macleod Trail SW