Hays County BBQ had moved since my last visit. They are now on the access road of IH-35 across another BBQ joint, Fuschak's Pit Bar-B-Q. This should help them get more traffic. Pay attention because you might miss it though. Their new location could be confused as a trailer on a used car lot. That is because a car dealership used to be at this location. Hays CO BBQ also now have a back patio where they will have live music. Amber and I had a busy Saturday planned, but we still had time to get some good barbecue.
The owners' son, Aaron Hernandez, is one of the pitmasters now. He is only 20! When I was his age, I was stupid and partying it up in college. On this visit, we ordered a quarter pound of moist brisket and pork ribs, ring of the regular sausage and of the jalapeño and cheese, and a half chicken. Once we got to the table I realized we had gotten lean brisket. I was so excited and hungry that I did not really think about it when I saw them cutting the slices. It looked like the brisket had been out for a while. The lean pieces were looking dry and tasted dry. They were cutting a fresh brisket when we were sitting down. Doh! The slices of brisket were still good though. The smoke kissed meat had a nice bark. The ribs were tasty. They were tender and meaty. The rub and smoke gave it a good flavor.
Getting served homemade sausage is always the right thing. It shows that specific BBQ joint cares about the quality of their product. The regular sausage was solid. It was meaty and beefier but also a little drier. I wish it had a little bit more fat. The casing did have a good snap. If you get sausage here, go with the jalapeño and cheese. It is the star here. It was rich and had a nice spicy aftertaste. Amber wanted some chicken so I was able to taste some of hers. They balanced the smokiness and moisture of the chicken nicely. The rub and the skin was a delight to eat.
This visit did not change my opinion of Hays County BBQ. They are still a quality barbecue joint. My only beef with them is they charge for pickles and onion. I think 99% of the places I visit give this away for free. I was given a tour of the pits and was intrigued by a new smoker they are working on. I stared at it for a while grasping the idea. They are going to modify it and add two fireboxes and another smoke stack. I am excited to see what happens with it. Grade: B
Until next time, happy smoking...
Address: 1612 S Interstate 35, San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: (512) 392-6000