Aaron and I moved to Colorado Springs before the city had a Rudy's Bar-B-Q, so we were forced to find another restaurant that could satisfy our "meat tooth." One of the first restaurants we tried was Bird Dog BBQ, which had won The Gazette's coveted "Best BBQ" designation for two years straight (2007 and 2008). The restaurant describes its barbecue as "Oklahoma-style," which apparently means oak-smoked meats, sauce made fresh daily and served on the side, counter-side service, and value. At the time, Bird Dog's only location was at Powers and Stetson Hills, which was clear across town for us. Since we'll do just about anything for good barbecue, we made the drive.
We arrived at Bird Dog BBQ's strip-mall location (beside a liquor store) to find a long line, which moved quickly, and a bustling atmosphere with full tables and pleasant smells in the air. We found the prices to be reasonable, with meals ranging from about $5 to $14, a pound of barbecue meat running $11, and a whole rack of ribs priced at $19. We also noticed that Bird Dog offered cheap lunch specials Monday through Friday.
We sampled the sliced brisket, pulled pork, chicken, hot links, polish sausage, and ribs. We did not order any sides, as none appealed to us at the time. Almost everything lacked the smoky flavor that's indicative of good barbecue. While the brisket, for example, was tender, it reminded me of meat that's been stewed all day in a slow cooker, not smoked. The ribs, however, were Bird Dog BBQ's saving grace. Their tenderness and smoky flavor impressed me. I'd go so far as to say that they were the best ribs I'd ever had.
We were prepared to drive all the way back to the northeast side of the Springs to eat Bird Dog BBQ's ribs again when we learned that they'd opened a second location, which was closer to us. Although the quick-service, value-oriented BBQ joint seemed a bit out of place in the high-end Promenade Shops at Briargate, we weren't its only patrons. Our ribs were just as delicious as those we'd had at the Powers location, and this time we also tried the steak fries, which were made fresh and complemented our main dish well. Since then, we've returned to the Briargate location several times. We've given the other meats, like the brisket, another try, and they're still not worth ordering. However, the ribs... Oh, those ribs... The ribs are consistently delicious and keep us returning for more.
IF YOU GO: Ask for the "extra hot" sauce; they don't keep it out, but it's available (and quite tasty!). The wasabi sauce isn't bad, either.