Monday, February 23, 2015

San Marcos BBQ


The barbecue scene in San Marcos is starting to get crowded. About a year ago, San Marcos BBQ took over the spot that Hays County BBQ vacated. Owner/pitmaster Justin Pearson has some BBQ experience working with his grandfather at Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que in Lockhart. He is using the same pits that Hays County BBQ left behind. The location is tucked away a couple of miles off of IH-35.


The first thing I noticed was the prices. They were comparatively lower than some of the places I go to. I have now done back-to-back posts where brisket is 13 bucks a pound. That is a heck of a deal. I ordered a quarter pound of moist brisket, one pork rib, half link of the regular and of the jalapeño and cheese sausage. I had a coupon for a free side so I got the braised cabbage. That is healthy, right? The brisket was solid. The rub consists just of salt, black pepper, and a little red pepper. It had a good flavor but was a little chewy. The post oak gave the meat the right amount of smoke without overpowering it. The brown sugar with a touch of barbecue sauce gave the rib a nice sweetness. It played well with the smoke. The rib meat was tender towards the middle but dry and hard around the edges. Homemade sausages are always an added bonus in my book. The sausages had a great coarse grit with a good snap from the casing. They both had a good amount of fat. The regular was a little bland. Salt can go a long way in sausage making. I prefer the jalapeño and cheese because it had more of a taste plus a spicy kick to it. The braised cabbage was an excellent change of pace and had bits of sausage in it. I felt my blood pressure drop while I was eating it...


Thinking of all the options in San Marcos, I would still come back to San Marcos BBQ. You get more for your money, and the 'cue was above average. I only spent $10 on my lunch. Next time I will take Amber so we can try the turkey, chicken, and pork chop. Grade: B-


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 2601 Hunter Rd, San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: (512) 938-1019
Website: http://www.sanmarcosbbq.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanmarcosbbq
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sanmarcosbbq

Monday, February 16, 2015

City Market (Luling)


My wife and I were planning our Valentine's Day, when she suggested going to Luling for lunch. She must really love me because eating barbecue is a way to my heart. Luling is only 30 miles from our home so the drive is not bad at all. We have been to City Market once a few summers ago. I just remember that the BBQ being above average, and it was hot and smoky in the pit room. We left disappointed because they were one of the top five on the 2008 Texas Monthly BBQ list, and we were expecting nothing short of amazing.


I thought no one would be in line for barbecue on Valentine's Day. Boy, I was wrong. When we arrived there, the line was about 60 people long. I thought the line was a safety hazard as it snaked throughout the dining area. The line should have gone out the front door. With two cashiers, the line moved briskly. You order the meats in an enclosed room. It was dark, smoky, and warm in there. The menu is real simple. Brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. Brisket was only 13 bucks a pound! That is unheard of nowadays. We went with a half-pound of moist brisket, three pork ribs, and two rings of sausage.


The brisket was cooked well. It was smoky and tender. It had a meaty flavor but that was it. I wanted something more from the brisket. The ribs tasted solid and looked great with the red hue. The sweet hint from the rub played well with the post oak smoke. The ribs were mostly tender and coming off the bone. Closer to the edge of the ribs, the meat was chewier though. The beef sausage had the ideal pop from casing with a heavy grit. The fat content was on point, but the flavor was not. It was under seasoned. I wanted more salt and pepper. It would have been an excellent sausage otherwise. The BBQ sauce on the table was really good. It reminded me of a mustardy Salt Lick sauce that is not as sweet.


Do not forget the cash at home because City Market does not take credit cards. There is an ATM on-site just in case you forget. The 'cue this time was better than our first visit. All the meats were cooked pretty well, but a little seasoning could go a long way. I do wonder if City Market is past their prime. We drive through Luling every time we go to Houston. I did not realize they open so early. We should stop by more often as long as the barbecue is just as good . Afterwards, we tried to stop by Luling Bar-B-Q next door, but they were out of ribs so we went home. Grade: B-

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648
Phone: (830) 875-9019

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The County Line BBQ (On The Lake)


I wanted to try The County Line BBQ for the longest time. I heard about it in college, but I did not have a car back then. When we lived in Lubbock, there was one, but it ended up closing. There was even a location in Albuquerque, New Mexico where we would visit frequently to gamble. I finally ate there at the Hill location about four years ago and thought it was just okay. It was not great, but it was not bad. The only take away from the experience was that the homemade bread was the bomb. On this day, I met a friend at the On The Lake location after work.


Although it was not nestled on a true lake, the view is still scenic. During the warmer months, you can find turtles swimming in the area. Sean and I sat outside and started the meal out with the homemade bread. We got a half loaf of the white and a half loaf of the wheat. I love the bread. It is dense and moist. Almost cake like. For dinner, I ordered the two meat plate with marbled 2nd cut brisket (moist) and sausage. It came with sides of beans, coleslaw, and potato salad. I then added pork ribs as a third meat for an extra cost. The prices are higher here, but you do get a lot of food. My plate came covered with a sweet barbecue sauce. The brisket needed it though. It was sliced really thin and was dry. It was like eating smoky roast beef. The ribs were decent. They were tender and could barely stay on the bone. It had nice smoke, but I wanted more flavor. The sauce helped with that. I thought the homemade sausage was good. It had a nice snap from the casing. The texture and the fat ratio were good. It was tasty and had a peppery finish. I have nothing to add about the sides. They were pretty boring and bland. I did get a ton of beans though.


If you and your family want to grab some barbecue for dinner, I am not going to stop you from eating at The County Line BBQ. There is a lot of seating, and the views are not bad. They have smoked prime rib after 4 PM. There is even an all you can eat family style option. If I did that, I would still be in a meat coma. As I write this, all I can think about is the homemade bread. Grade: Other


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 5204 Ranch Road 2222, Austin, TX 78731
Phone: (512) 346-3664
Website: http://www.countyline.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CountyLineLake
Twitter: https://twitter.com/countylinelake

Monday, February 2, 2015

Delaney Barbecue (BrisketTown)


JetBlue recently had a sale on airfare flying in and out of their main hub of New York City. We ended up booking another visit because the fares were 32 bucks each way! The last time I was in NYC, I visited Hometown Bar-B-Que in Brooklyn. It was a toss-up between Hometown and Delaney Barbecue last time so this time we were heading to Delaney. It is also known as BrisketTown. Owner/pitmaster Daniel Delaney learned his craft from one of Texas' best Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue.


When we got to the address of the restaurant, I was like where is it? You would have not guess a barbecue joint was there. They smoke the meats off-site. Amber, my sister, and a friend of college, and I were going to do the Meatfest, but they were out of the hot links. Instead, we got two pounds of moist brisket, a pound of pork ribs, and a half pound of pulled pork to share. We also order sides of collard greens and macaroni and cheese.


The brisket had a simple rub of salt and pepper that you often see in Central Texas. Phenomenal. That is my description of it. It rivals some of the best in Texas. The smoky meat was so tender. The flavor and texture were on point. The pork ribs were solid. You can taste the sweetness from the molasses coming through from the rub. It had a nice clean smoke taste but was a little chewy. The pulled pork was outstanding. It was smoky and juicy. It also had a sweet undertone. I ate most of it because I could not stop. The macaroni and cheese was the best I ever had. It was rich and creamy. The choice of pasta and cheese with the jalapeño kick made it out of this world. You cannot order this dish to-go. I could see why. They would never have enough of it available. I did not try the collard greens. The house-made pickles and potato bread were a nice added touch.


I give Daniel Delaney a lot of credit. He came to Texas to learn from the best. He made Delaney Barbecue into something legit. I eat bad and average BBQ often so when I come across a place like this, I am delighted. During warmer weather, Delaney serves up 'cue on the High Line at the location known as the SmokeLine. So far my barbecue experiences in the NYC have been great. Grade: N/A

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 359 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 701-8909
Website: http://www.delaneybbq.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DelaneyBBQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/delaneybbq