Cele Store

18726 Cameron Rd
Manor, TX 78653

Phone: (512) 869-9340
Hours: Thur 5-11, F 11-2pm & 5-12am (reservations required), Sat 11-2
Website: www.celestore.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CeleStore/

Opened 1953
Pitmaster Mike Randig
Method Oak in an offset smoker

TMBBQ Rating: 3.5

TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
Decided to go 10min out of my way t get to this place. Only open Friday!!! Made mistake of coming out a while a go on a Tuesday-nobody home. Anyway brisket was decent with peppery and smoky flavor. It comes out cubed with a mix of moist and lean so texture wise my mouth was confused as got some tender and slightly tough meat at the same time. Next time maybe I will see if can just do moist. Sauce is very light-watery and flavorful so didn't take away from meat flavor. Worth a try.
Terry r @ Cele Store, 2016-06-10 17:34:15
Brisket and sausage were good. Rib were great!
Kevin_Taylor @ Cele Store, 2014-05-11 01:32:53
The brisket is cubed which is a little odd, but it was very nice and moist. Got enough of the crust as well. The sausage had a good snap, was not greasy, excellent really. The Ribs were my favourite, deep smoke and oh so tender. The place is very cool, old world charm with a sloping floor, nothing quite fits. Great place close to Austin.
Christopher Agius Ferrante @ Cele Store, 2013-09-07 12:40:26
The brisket was tasty. It could've been a little more tender, but it was far from tough. And I liked their thin sauce - and I often don't like homemade sauces. I recommend it highly. Quaint. A throw back. Only wish they were open more hours.
Shannon Phillips @ Cele Store, 2013-08-24 13:30:40
Stopped by twice and can't seem to catch em open
paul_umlove @ Cele Store, 2013-06-28 15:04:10
Stopped by twice and can't seem to catch em open
paul_umlove @ Cele Store, 2013-06-28 15:04:08
So glad we finally came here.
lynnbakerhack @ Cele Store, 2012-06-30 12:17:11
Good flavor on the ribs; brisket and Elgin sausage just alright. Definitely come here for the atmosphere and history. Filming location for Secondhand Lions and Perfect World.
bearkat90 @ Cele Store, 2012-04-14 13:47:34
More Buzz →

Review

January 30, 2017

The Cele Store was built in 1891, originally opened as the Richland Saloon, and it looks like it got its last coat of fresh paint about a decade later. Without all the trucks parked in the grass outside of the Manor joint, you wouldn’t expect that the barbecue joint inside was open for business, but they’ve been smoking meat here since 1953 when Marilyn Weiss and her husband, Marvin, bought the place. Since then it has become the setting for more than one Hollywood film while continuing to provide a solid barbecue option that’s off the beaten path.

The Cele Store started out as a general store. Leslie Hamann, who has worked at the restaurant for sixty years, said they found a spark plug for a Model A Ford a couple years back hidden on a shelf. Hamann remembers when the barbecue, which was originally a side business, was shoulder clod and pork shoulders cooked over a trench they dug beside the building. In 1964, August Mills built the brick pit they still use today, where pitmaster Mike Randig cooks brisket, baby back ribs, sausage, and, on Thursday evening, pork loin instead of the brisket.

A mixed plate is the standard order, and for $14 (cash only) it comes with all three of the smoked meats plus Colby cheese, white bread, pickle spears, and sliced onion. Marilyn retired in 2007, but chances are her daughter, Janice Fuchs, will be the one waiting on you. It’s not so crowded at lunch on a Friday, but she warns that without reservations on Friday night, you might not find a seat. Every other Friday, the barbecue comes with a side of live music.

Every plate comes with a cup of the excellent homemade sauce. It’s a thin mix of ketchup, vinegar, and water with plenty of onions, lemon juice, and probably butter. Randig wasn’t about to share the recipe that Marilyn developed when Cele Store first opened, but he did note, “A lot of people will get a cup and drink it.” I liked it poured overtop of a pile of brisket on a piece of white bread. You can ask for the brisket to be sliced, but it’s normally served in chunks because Marilyn did it that way. They’ve continued the tradition, which Hamann said was a mistake. “It’s a lot of work. Slicing it would be a whole lot quicker,” he joked. Either way, it’s a tad dry, and benefits immensely from the sauce.

A link of beef sausage, from Meyer’s in Elgin, was juicy and smoky. I liked the simple baby back ribs best. They required only a slight tug to get them off the bone. They’re seasoned simply, allowing the smokiness to come through. As for the sides like beans and slaw, there are none. This is a spot where you fill up on the meat.

I’ve eaten here for lunch and dinner, and can attest to the conviviality of the Friday night crowd. With the communal seating and family style dining, it’s also the kind of place where you can show a slice of rural Texas to out-of-towners. And just thirty minutes from downtown Austin, the Cele Store is a great spot for a long lunch. The service is quick, the barbecue is good, and the price is right. Just don’t forget your cash.

Comments

3 Comments

    rl reevesjr says:

    They don’t mind if you bring your own sides. On our last visit we brought a pot of pinto beans and shared them with other patrons.

    Clever_eater says:

    Can’t wait to try the baby back ribs! And I’m getting my brisket sliced.

    Ken says:

    It’s no wonder why many of these BBQ joints have fires. Their BBQ may be good, but the place is disaster waiting to happen judging by the photo. As much as I and others hate over-regulating businesses, sometimes it just needs to be done.

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