Review: Black Diamond BarbecueAuthor: indianapoliseater | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: Indianapolis, IN
Black Diamond Barbecue
6404 Rucker Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46220
I’ve driven by this place on Binford Boulevard (it’s on a side street right off Binford) about a thousand times over the years and have never stopped. In all honesty, when it first opened, I figured it would last about three months and then go out of business because it’s not in the greatest location. Three years later, it’s still chugging along and has even expanded to include outdoor seating. Good for them.
Ordinarily, I do all my barbecue smoking by myself, but I was feeling lazy one Sunday and didn’t want to spend my entire day waiting for meats to smoke. So, seeing that this place recently expanded, I figured it must be good and finally gave it a shot (one of the owners was working and gave me a little ribbing by saying, “you know we’ve been here for three years right?”).
What I Got: Hungry Man’s Special (not listed on the online menu), $19.99. This includes three meats (I got ribs, brisket and chicken wings) and two sides (I got cole slaw and macaroni and cheese).
First things first, the name of this combo does not lie…this is a TON of food. Any regular reader of this site knows that I can throw down some food from time to time, but even this was too much for me for one meal. It was actually enough for two meals because they serve you ample portions of all the meats and all the sides. As such, let’s address these individually:
Ribs: I’ve got to say, I was really impressed by these. You often hear the term “fall off the bone” to describe how ribs should be cooked and these ribs fit that description to the letter of the law. They were tender and had a strong smoky flavor. A little greasy, but when you smoke meats as opposed to grilling them, that is to be expected. Honestly, these were the best ribs I’ve had in a while.
Brisket: These were served in a separate container because there was so much of it (LOL) and much like the ribs, this was also tender and had a strong smoky flavor. I prefer my brisket to have juice oozing from it when I cook it and unfortunately, this brisket did not have that. That said, when compared to other barbecue restaurants in the area, the brisket was exceptional. The only reason I can complain at all is because of my ego when it comes to making it myself. Ha!
Chicken Wings: I’ll admit, I don’t know that I’ve ever had smoked chicken wings before and since I am thinking of doing it on my own smoker, I decided to give these a try in order to see what I was in store for. My first impression of the wings was that they were HUGE (a good thing) and there were A LOT of them (a recurring theme). What I found interesting about these wings was that while they were meaty, tender and juicy on the inside, they had a crispy outer skin that provided a nice texture contradiction to the softness of the inside. As with the ribs and brisket, these also had a strong smoky flavor and I liked them quite a bit. So much so that I’m anxious to try this myself.
Sides: Along the lines of the recurring theme, the sides didn’t come in little miniature cups…they came in sizeable containers as you can see in the picture above. The cole slaw was obviously homemade (big positive in my book) and was more vinegar based as opposed to mayonnaise based, which I prefer. It was crunchy and fresh, although it could have used a little something extra to give it some kick. I would rate this as a B/B+ effort.
As for the macaroni and cheese, well, I’ve got some strong thoughts on this one. I will be the first to admit that I’ve never been a huge macaroni and cheese fan because it is so often botched and lazily made (cheeses are too bland, not enough cheese, etc.) in so many different places. Because of that, about the only time I will eat macaroni and cheese is when it is out of the Kraft box and yes, I know that is pathetic. So, in what I thought at the time was an act of stupidity, I decided to give Black Diamond’s macaroni and cheese a try and I am so glad that I did because this was incredible. It was easily the creamiest and richest macaroni and cheese that I have ever had and I loved it. They certainly didn’t skimp on the cheese and unlike most places that I’ve eaten macroni and cheese, they actually used a cheese that had a little kick to it and I LOVED that. Honestly, if you skipped all the meat and just got a huge order of macaroni and cheese, you would be delighted with your order.
Would I Buy It Again? Absolutely and without hesitation. I can see why that despite an odd location, Black Diamond has managed to stay in business and actually expand in the three years that it has been open. This is damn fine barbecue and it will always be my FIRST choice on the days that I decide to not make it on my own. There are not a lot of great barbecue options in this city, so I would strongly advise you to give it a try if you are a barbecue lover.