Wholly smokes

Q’s selection of meat ranges from burgers to ribs, and the restaurant has a quality salad bar.

Q’s selection of meat ranges from burgers to ribs, and the restaurant has a quality salad bar.


Q’s is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit qsbbq.com.

Although Q’s has been around for years, I only recently made its acquaintance. It’s a decent-sized joint with plenty of booth seating, daily lunch specials, and a heavenly reek of woodsmoke that permeated my clothes and stayed with me the rest of the day.

My group started with the Frisco giant burger ($10.79), featuring a half pound patty on grilled sourdough, with Swiss cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and choice of side. The thick-sliced sourdough remained crispy on the plate. The cheese was melted, and the beef was done right to medium—they seemed reluctant to go medium rare. The seasoning was a bit understated, but an ample amount of ripe avocado made up for it. A side of housemade baked beans had a good, non-mushy texture and not-too-sweet flavor. A spicy garlic pickle spear was a welcome accent.

Moving to more upscale beef, we ordered a pair of steaks, including the Sierra flat-iron ($21.99) and a Cajun garlic rib-eye ($22.99). The former was 10 ounces of thick cut, medium rare tenderness accompanied by steamed veggies, a couple of onion rings, and a baked potato with butter and sour cream. Everything on this plate was done right, and the steak was straight-forward beefy goodness. Huge squares of cornbread and a trip through the salad bar completed the meals.

The 12-ounce, half-inch rib-eye was also done to a tender medium rare, seasoned with Cajun spices and garlic butter and served with sides of steamed veggies and fries. I hadn’t seen mention of “seasoned fries” on the menu, nor did our server use that phrase; I really wish he had. The fries were served crispy, fluffy and piping hot—but were seasoned with the flavor of barbecue potato chips. They were essentially inedible to me. But if you love the chips, you’ll go wild for those fries. I can only hope they skip that seasoning on their fish and chips. The steak suffered a bit from its seasonings—a really nice cut of meat blunted by flavors that made my tongue a little sad. Since the steak was grilled so well, I’d order this again with a request for the meat and spuds to be left au naturel.

From the hardwood-smoked barbecue menu, we sampled the Texas Triple ($20.99) with pulled pork, brisket and smoked turkey breast, as well as a full rack of St. Louis style spareribs ($23.99). Both came with a trip through the salad bar, cornbread and a choice of sides. Speaking of sides, the mashed potatoes were peel-in with a standard brown gravy—pure comfort food. The turkey wasn’t as dry as I usually anticipate, and the brisket was sliced thin and lean. Both were easily cut with a fork and quite good. The condiment doused on these was a good, basic example of barbecue sauce, not spicy, not sweet, just a solid enhancement to the meat. The same was mixed into the pork, which had very good texture, though not much bark. The smoky ribs had a good bit of bite, though the rub was a bit bland. A dose of sauce did the trick.

The salad bar is maybe my favorite aspect of the place. Once common on the American foodscape, I miss its former prominence. Q’s has a decent selection of goodies and mixed greens, though I found some of the dressings to be a bit too sweet and/or tangy. Still, the daily tortilla soup, salad and cornbread combo ($7.79) is a satisfying way to spend a lunch break.