The barbecue industry is full of kind, passionate folks. But like any profession, there are always going to be things that will annoy a person if they do it long enough.
Tune in as we hear from Russell Roegels, John Brotherton, Nichole and Will Buckman, Jordan Jackson, John Mueller, Brett Jackson, and Esaul Ramos talk about some of their BBQ pet peeves.
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West Texas "Cowboy Style" cooking may not be as known as Central Texas style, but it is an important part of Texas BBQ history. As cattle drives made their way west across Texas, pits would be dug in the ground as the crews would stop along the way and whatever meats were available on the chuck wagons would be cooked quickly over wood that had been burned down to hot coals.
West Texas BBQ today is often mesquite cooked over live fire with signature "show pits" on display for the customer to look at and select their meats. Places like Cooper's and Hard Eight are some of the more known places that provide this experience.
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Before large scale meat packers and fast transport allowed for meat products to be cut offsite and sold by the case, towns were served by local meat markets and butchers who broke down entire animals and large cuts, called primal cuts, into portions that the end customer purchased. Unsold meats and the left over trimmings weren't tossed away, they were utilized in sausage. The art of sausage making came to Texas via Czech and German immigrants and you can still experience these meat markets, homemade sausages, and hot barbecue on the weekends across Texas. Many open early and they are a great first stop on a Texas barbecue road trip.
After deciding the big city life wasn't for him, Lukas Smrkovsky returned to his hometown of Schulenburg, Texas and is carrying on his family's meat market and sausage making legacy into their third generation.
City Market in Schulenburg has been part of the Smrkovsky family legacy since 1944 starting with brothers Rudy and Tony. Rudy bought out his brother in the early 1960s and in the 1970s moved the operation from downtown Schulenburg to where it is now, right on Highway 77 just south of I-10. Rudy's son Roy and his wife Carolyn took over the business in the early 1980s and Roy's son Lukas now oversees the day-to-day operations which includes producing approximately 10,000 pounds of sausage every week.
City Market is a classic style meat market which offers a variety of cuts for retail, over two dozen types of scratch made sausage, and their famous hot dog wieners. Be sure to try their jalapeno sausage, not overly spicy, and Schulenberg City Market may have been the first to develop the variety. On Saturday mornings they serve a BBQ menu out of their over 40 year old brick pits including brisket, ribs, sausage, pork steak, and chicken.
Check out this ad for City Market from 1952:
Schulenburg City Market
109 Kessler Ave.
Schulenburg, TX 78956
Mon-Fri: 8 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 8 am - 2 pm
Smokin’ Z’s BBQ
Smokin’ Z’s BBQ opened in Bayou Vista, TX less than a year ago, but young business owners Zaid and Mallory are already producing a menu of quality barbecue that is a welcome addition to the waterfront community of which they are a part.
Zaid’s passion for barbecue grew from his love of cooking and his family’s background of hospitality. A high school teacher showed an interest in Zaid and offered him her old BBQ pit, and he soon began tinkering with smoking meats.
When Zaid and Mallory met after high school and settled in the communities around Galveston island, they began doing small catering jobs for friends. Zaid’s passion for Texas barbecue grew as he visits places like Truth Barbeque and became more aware of the craft barbecue movement.
The young couple purchased a food trailer and, after a few regulatory hurdles that often arise with new businesses, opened on weekends in Bayou Vista. Serving a menu of the essentials (brisket, ribs, pulled pork) along with embracing the craft of sausage making, Smokin’ Z’s BBQ has been a hit amongst the locals. They’ve also introduced creative menu specials such as tacos using Caramelo duck fat tortillas, brisket grilled cheese, and more. This is a truly family operated business with both Zaid and Mallory working to produce the menu and serve each weekend.
Smokin’ Z’s BBQ
Open Saturdays & Sundays: 11 am - sellout
3115 Hwy 6
Bayou Vista, TX
Also mentioned on this episode:
Caramelo Tortillas: https://www.caramelotortillas.com/
Sausage Kings of Austin: https://www.facebook.com/events/347167755890795/
HouBBQ Fest: https://houbbq.com/
Red Dirt BBQ Fest: http://reddirtbbqfest.com/
Pints in the Park: http://www.pintsintheparkwaco.com/ (Date to be announced soon)
Brett Jackson grew up in Katy, Texas eating at Nonmacher's BBQ, a long time institution in that community. After growing up and trying a few career paths, Brett went to culinary school in Austin and soon after answered a Craigslist ad to be a BBQ apprentice in Taylor, Texas.
Upon walking into the famed Louie Mueller BBQ and interviewing with Wayne Mueller, Brett knew where he wanted to be. He got the job and over the course of the next two years would learn how to make sausage and cook brisket by feel and instinct.
Brett eventually made his way back to the Houston area and after a few barbecue opportunities that ultimately didn't last, began exploring what it would take to open his own place. It was around this time they he had heard Nonmacher's, his childhood BBQ spot, had closed. Brett spoke with the landlord and owner and a deal was struck for him to open his own place in the spot he grew up eating and on the very pit Nonmacher's used for many years.
Brett's BBQ Shop opened in September 2018 and quickly developed a reputation of quality in the Katy area. Serving the BBQ essentials of brisket, pork ribs and housemade sausages as well as creative specials, Brett's BBQ Shop has hit the ground running and is a welcome addition to an area that needed more good barbecue.
Brett's Barbecue Shop
606 Mason Rd, Katy, TX 77450
Wednesday 11:30AM–sell out
Thursday 11:30AM-sell out
Friday 11:30AM–sell out
Saturday 11:30AM–sell out
Sunday 11:30AM–sell out
We recently received some exciting news we wanted to share. We do our best to bring exciting, unique, and wide ranging coverage of the barbecue world and have been so fortunate to have had some incredible experiences. We were just made aware of another fantastic event for which we will be in attendance.
We'll be attending Charleston Wine + Food March 6-10 in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. We'll be bringing you extended coverage of the event with of course a focus on the barbecue and live fire events. This event brings together dozens of acclaimed chefs, pitmasters, culinary talents along with wine and spirits professionals for a myriad of incredible events.
Just a sample of some of the amazing BBQ personnel in attendance: Sam Jones, Fox Bros BBQ, Rodney Scott, John Lewis, ZZQ, LeAnn Mueller, Jess Pryles, Mike and Amy Mills, Laura Loomis, Carey Bringle, and more. Our sincere thanks to Charleston Wine + Food for this unbelievable opportunity.
A few of the other BBQ events we're looking forward to in Texas coming soon:
- Super Beef presented by Saint Arnold and HOUBBQ
- HOUBBQ Festival
- Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival
Please follow us on social media:
Please follow Charleston Wine + Food on social media:
For tickets to all of the Charleston Wine + Food events please go to: www.charlestonwineandfood.com
The road to opening Black Board Bar B Q was a winding one for chefs Jo Irizarry and Jake Gandolfo.
Jo went to culinary school as a passion despite having a successful personal career. This eventually lead to being a personal chef for a professional football player, while Jake's passion for cooking earned him a spot on the popular cooking show MasterChef.
Jake and Jo began dating and through the perfect alignment of circumstances began to consider opening their own restaurant. After successful pop ups with former Sisterdale Smokehouse owners John and Lori Maywald, they were inspired to reopen that location as Black Board Bar B Q.
Black Board showcases the chef's culinary creativity and commitment to high quality ingredients alongside traditional Texas meats. With creative dishes such as Lukenbach Lollipops - mostly deboned flash fried quail - and whimsical plays on dishes such as an acidic Asian themed slaw and a version of corn maque choux featuring poblano peppers and flash fried Brussels sprouts, Black Board offers the customer a tasty and unique menu experience not commonly found in BBQ restaurants.
Blackboard is located not far from Luckenbach Texas on some great roads, get out and explore Texas Barbecue
1123 Sisterdale Road, Boerne, TX 78006, US
Monday - Wednesday : Closed
Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 12 PM - 8 PM
Sunday: 12 PM to 6 PM
Direct heat is one of the oldest forms of cooking known to man. While the offset style of BBQ cooking has taken the world by storm, we have recently seen a resurgence in the old ways of direct heat coal cooking.
Top BBQ cooks like Evan LeRoy and his crew, John Brotherton, Brett Boren and others have begun utilizing direct heat pits to cook different proteins, while places like Cooper's BBQ and Snow's have been utilizing this method for years. Even high end restaurants have begun preparing different items utilizing direct heat and live fire preparations.
In this episode we discuss our recent direct heat-heavy BBQ tour and are joined briefly by Evan LeRoy and Brad Robinson to talk about their direct heat cooking.
2018 was an incredible year for BBQ, and we were fortunate to be able to attend some great events and had many memorable experiences in the world of smoked meat.
We traveled far and wide to help share some amazing barbecue stories in 2018. We ate BBQ in over 60 cities across a dozen states in 2018, and we have big plans for more great BBQ travel in the new year.
A huge thanks goes out to the wonderful people in the barbecue world who were generous with their time in coming on our show and to all of those that took the time to listen to our 2018 episodes.
We begin winding down 2018 with a fun talk with some of our friends in BBQ. Patrick Hernandez, Kristin Collins, and Joseph Quellar from JQ's TexMex BBQ join us to talk about some of their favorite barbecue experiences in 2018.
After posing a list of question to our friends, we also take the time to look back at some of the more memorable moments of the year in BBQ for us and offer some predictions for what's to come in 2019.
Have any plans for BBQ in 2019? Reach out to us on Twitter @BBQPodcast or Instagram TalesFromthePits and let us know! If you are a business and have an event scheduled, tell us the info so we can share it and/or come visit
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