Oklahoma > Oklahoma City: Maples Barbecue

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Maples Barbecue
1800 NW 16th Street
Oklahoma City

http://www.maplesbarbecue.com/

Mrs Dollar and I went barbecue joint' in today .......... Maples is one of the many central Texas barbecue knock off joints that are popping up all over the country. They started in 2017 with a trailer and some picnic tables in a lot near downtown OKC. That lasted about six months till they went brick and mortar. I suspect the weather made it imperative that they provide inside dining. In early 2018 they announced plans and just opened last month.

They have two large smokers made from propane tanks and of course, brisket is the star of the show. Salt and pepper rubbed, smoked with oak. And its good. Very good, plenty moist better brisket than I can smoke. They also serve pork ribs, pulled pork, and sausage.

I got a 1/2 pound of fatty, Mrs Dollar got a 1/2 pound of lean ( I'm sure there's Jack Spratt reference in that somewhere, but hey ........ ) anyway, I got ribs and she got sausage so we could try most everything. I did not try the pulled pork, I don't expect good pulled pork from central Texas barbecue.

As I said, the brisket was great, I will going back for more. The ribs were nice, heavily peppered, had some heat to them. I enjoyed the ribs. The sausage was very hot, like a hot link, also looked to contain a bit of cheese and jalapeno, and it was good but it sent me looking for something to drink to put out the fire.

The sides were average, beans they called burnt end beans were good as was the mac and cheese. Potato salad and cole slaw were average. But I don't go to a barbecue joint for the sides.

Overall, was a good experience. Maples had a good atmosphere, a fairly busy lunchtime crowd. I will be going back and glad its somewhat close.









 
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Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Couple of things I forgot ......

The brisket is prime, supposedly Creekstone Farms.

The pitmaster is from central Texas, and I can't find his name.

There was sauce available, but I never went for it, did not find the need.

The crowd looks sparse in that pic, but that pic was taken on the way out, after 1 pm and the lunch crowd had left. When we got there, we got the last empty seats. I hope they do well. I know I will be back soon.

Now that I've tried this version of central Texas barbecue, I'm gonna have to travel to Austin.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Changing up the menu after 18 months in brick and mortar, makes me wonder if Oklahoma City is ready for central Texas barbecue. Just my opinion, but I would not have located in that trendy downtown district. They say the " neighborhood " is asking for a diff menu. I think I'd try to figure out a location where barbecue fans could easily find me and not try to be in the " cool " districts.





OKLAHOMA CITY (August 9, 2019) – Maples Barbecue, the central Texas style BBQ joint known for their prime-grade smoked brisket and eclectic bourbon collection, announced an expanded new menu today. Following the success of their opening in late 2018, Maples will now offer combination dishes designed for groups of friends and families, and a lineup of entrees featuring their premium meats.

Brisket Enchiladas, Smoked Chicken Wings, Maples Coney (stadium style with polish frank, brisket chili, mustard, onion), Loaded Waffle Fries and Sheet Pan Nachos are a few of the new additions. Maples’ classic menu of brisket, pork & beef ribs, pulled pork, sausage and chicken available to order by weight, along with an array of delicious sides and desserts will remain.

“We try to keep our technique simple and celebrate the basic elements of salt, pepper and smoke. All of our pits are in full view of our guests, we’re proud to show off our process and invite the community to come by and see what we’re cooking,” says Pit Master Zach Edge, “The neighborhood wanted a more diverse offering on the menu, so we listened! We’re excited to roll out the new dishes this week.”

Maples started with a 1,000-gallon, smoker trailer, and a vision to bring central Texas-style BBQ to OKC in Spring 2017. Now stationed in a brick & mortar in the Plaza District, the team executed a low and slow, mild smoke flavor from off-set pits, 14+ hr. cook times and Post Oak, a variety native to Texas but also found in Oklahoma. They source high quality meats from Creekstone Farm in Kansas and fresh sausage from Stilwell’s Mountain View Meat Company. The sides and desserts are all created in-house, and feature crowd favorites such as Custard Mac & Cheese, Burnt End Beans and Banana Pudding.

Maples also boasts one of the finest selections of whiskeys and bourbons in Oklahoma, and serves local microbrews from producers such as award-winning Stonecloud Brewing Company. With a stocked bar, live music and family-style picnic table seating, Maples is the perfect meeting place for great food, service and hospitality.

Maples Barbecue is a Day One Concepts restaurant, owned by Oklahoma native Todd Woodruff. Day One Concepts restaurants also include Nonesuch - Bon Appétit’s 2018 Best New Restaurant in America - Waffle Champion, and Buttermilk Paseo.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
I've seen nothing official, just an autopsy by speculation on social media.

I'm sure it was multiple reasons but the common one I hear is location. They were located in a hipster district in an older part of the city. My daughter lives in the district but I never felt comfortable there. They had no parking. Difficult for a lot of people to reach. And maybe hipsters in OKC don't eat barbecue like they do in Austin :)

They spent a lot of money renovating an older building, so they had some over head. They had a whiskey bar and me, I would've left that out. They tried to serve lunch and dinner. This location has some night spots around it so there's probably a lot of traffic in the evening, but I would not have done that.

Me, I would've started very small and only serve lunch until the public here developed a taste for central Texas barbecue. Its different from what they're used to here. Which these people did do that, they had a trailer parked near downtown, only smoked a small amount of meats and sold out most days. They did that for about a year, then went brick and mortar. I figure somebody with money came along and offered to finance them.

I made a post above here about their menu changes, which made me think they were trying to broaden their customer base.

And the opening of Travis Clark's " Clarks Crew " restaurant was probably the coup de grace. Clarks place is big and I hear they're packing them in, its more of the type of restaurant people here are accustomed to as opposed to a barbecue joint. And it has a great location.

People here are also are used to KC style barbecue. And many don't see barbecue as a higher end meal, they want it cheap. They don't understand that they're getting prime brisket. They really just want a slab of ribs with a sweet sauce that has a tang, and brisket is a secondary menu item.
 

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