On the first day that I drove by Auto's Plus (112 N. Highway) in Smithville, I saw the smoke rising from the parking lot of the used-car lot and I did nothing. Heading back south, I learned that the smoke was coming from a black smoker in the right corner of the lot. And I saw a vinyl banner advertising Bonedogs BBQ stretched across the front of the building. It was then that I rolled down my window, inhaled deeply and pledged my fealty. I would return the next day. Barbecue being served out of a used-car lot is not a choice; it's a calling.
I arrived as a Wizard might arrive, which is to say late. And as a result, I was left with a choice of ribs or ribs. I can tell you that I was not shortchanged by this choice. After some mild guidance in the front office of Auto's Plus, I opted for beans over potato salad to accompany my double foil-wrapped ribs. The beans, while generously laden with tender shredded pork, were more agreeable than exemplary. Not too spicy. Not too sweet. More there than anything else. Although considering a forkful passed between the lips of nearly a dozen eaters with none dismissing them outright, perhaps the center is where more pitmasters should be aiming.
The straightforward beans also meant the ribs had a chance to shine. And like the clean picked bones that were left, they did. The ribs were well-trimmed with nice bark and a finish of sweet heat that had you thinking about your next bite before you were done chewing. It's easy to think pitmaster Scott Lamb has a food truck or barbecue shack in his future. Hopefully, he'll keep a picture of where he started to remind barbecue fans to always follow the smoke.
A rack of ribs will run you $20 and a pound of beans $5. If you want to throw on a 2003 Ford Ranger, it's another $8,950. Bonedogs also serves pork loin, brisket, pulled pork and potato salad. You can call in an order to 816-401-6558. It's cash only.