Foodie Spotlight: Tasting is believing with the Texas-inspired fare at Old Gold Barbecue

Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America.  A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks.  This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.

Review by Dustin Heller (@eatindywatchindie on Instagram)

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “everything is bigger in Texas,” but does this statement apply to their barbecue?  Short answer…YES!  For proof, head to Fletcher Place and let your nose be your guide.  Old Gold Barbecue is a food trailer (parked at Metazoa Brewing Co. at 140 S. College Ave.) that's serving up Texas-style slow-smoked meats and sides that are sure to make believers out of us Hoosier foodies.  The Texas barbecue movement is spreading throughout the country, and now Indiana is on board.

Photo by @davepluimer

The idea for Old Gold was conceived when former Purdue and New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller (great name by the way) wanted to bring a piece of Austin, Texas, back to his home state of Indiana.  He met with some friends in the food industry and they decided Texas barbecue was the thing missing from the Indy food scene. They purchased a food trailer and a mobile barbecue pit, set up shop behind a happening brewery--and the rest is history.

They do hope to have a brick and mortar location in the near future, so fingers crossed.

Photo by @davepluimer

When it comes to the food at Old Gold, tasting is believing.  Their meats are prepared Central Texas style, meaning they are typically rubbed with only salt and black pepper and cooked over indirect heat.  All their meats are smoked low (250 degrees) and slow on an all-wood fire barbecue pit for up to 16 hours.  Pitmaster Alex George works around the clock to keep the fire clean and ensure the highest quality possible.

The smoker mostly burns post oak that is brought up from Texas; the sugar content from the wood gives the meat an aromatic sweetness.  I’m a huge sauce guy, but believe me when I say that these meats do not need it.  Texans take pride in their barbecue; it’s not just food to them; it’s a lifestyle. The menu at Old Gold is small, but I didn’t have a hard time finding four “can’t miss” items:

Turkey: I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever recommended turkey on my “can’t miss” list.  Reason being, I typically find turkey to be somewhat boring and blah.  That is definitely not the case with the turkey at Old Gold and it deserves to be at the top of this list.  The turkey breast is lean, juicy and oh-so-tender. The seasoning on the bird is killer.  Why not take the healthy route when you don’t have to sacrifice the taste?  Gobble, gobble it up!

Photo by @davepluimer

Prime Brisket: The phrase “melts in your mouth” is often overused and somewhat cliché, but I have no other choice than to use it here.  The Prime Brisket at Old Gold literally melts in your mouth!  There, I said it, don’t judge.  The brisket is perfectly marbled, giving it a bold beefy flavor and also making it super moist.  The word prime means “of the best possible quality,” which is perfectly fitting when referring to this brisket.

Photo by @davepluimer

Pulled Pork Box Lunch: I could have just listed the pulled pork by itself here, but I’ve always preferred my pulled pork on a sandwich.  It just so happens that Old Gold offers a box lunch that gives you a choice of a chopped beef or pulled pork sandwich and a bag of chips for a great price.  The custom bun is made locally from Amelia’s and is ideal for housing the smoky sweetness of the pork.  I recommend adding some of the mustard sauce.

Photo by @davepluimer

Pork Spare Ribs: The spare ribs come from the rib cage on the belly side of the pig.  These ribs typically have more bone than meat, but they are so delicious.  There is quite a bit of fat on the spare ribs, which is why they are so succulent.  The Old Gold spare ribs are perfectly tender (intentionally not fall-off-the-bone) and the slow-smoking process really brings out the full flavor of the pork.  If you ask me if I can “spare” some of my ribs, the answer is “NO!”

Photo by @davepluimer

Old Gold is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until they’re sold out--so make sure you get there early.

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