Hwy 29 BBQ

110 W State Hwy 29
Bertram, TX 78605

Phone: (512) 277-7020
Hours: W-Sat 11-7:30, Sun 11-3
Website: www.hwy29bbq.com
Twitter: @Hwy29BBQ
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Hwy-29-BBQ/165948360257038

Opened 2013
Pitmaster Corey Thibodeaux and Morgan Scott
Method oak in an indirect heat pit

TMBBQ Rating: 4

TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
Stanley's - Tyler Ribs - beautiful, perfectly pink. Soft, almost oddly mushy, but with a tasty sweetness that I enjoyed. Brisket - well cooked, tender, but a bit dry and not much smoke flavor at all. The bark was thin, as was the smoke ring. Overall good, but nothing to really make it stand out. Gets a 'meh' B from me.
Scott Jarvis @ Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q, 2014-09-18 18:14:00
Had the brisket ribs and sausage all very good. Sides are over the top good. Smoked jalapeño app is amazing.
Roman @ Two Bros. BBQ Market, 2014-09-18 16:53:37
Went for "My Ribs" and "Your Ribs". Both good but latter wins out. Brisket definitely dry; was hard for me to get into. Sausage was okay. Definitely try key lime pie. Enjoyed the decor. Overall a good, not great Q place.
Rahul Yaratha @ Big Boys Barbecue, 2014-09-17 23:24:47
Brisket sandwich was good. And that's all she wrote as there is nothing else (chicken, sausage, turkey, potato salad, etc). Not even my friends who all went to Tech even heard of this place. Scratching my head on such a high TM ranking.
Rahul Yaratha @ Tom and Bingo’s Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que, 2014-09-17 23:21:48
We had Friday night dinner here. Brisket was tender and delicious. A little too much fat for my husband, but my daughter and I thought it was PERFECT. Good seasoning and good bark. No sauce needed. Homemade creamed corn is the best I have ever had. Coleslaw is delicious and not overdressed. We finished the meal with the homemade fried strawberry pies - one of the tastiest desserts I have ever put in my mouth. Live music. Dishes served family style. <$40 for 3 people including soft drinks and several beers. Definitely will go back!
Marcy Newman @ Two Bros. BBQ Market, 2014-09-17 22:16:13
Just average
David Monasmith @ Crossroads Smokehouse, 2014-09-17 17:42:33
Brisket was good, pulled pork over sauced. Over all it was ok at best. Prob won't be back here. I was surprised it made the TM list, I think they missed it on this list.
epp @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2014-09-15 17:43:26
Amazing! Every time!
John Brotherton @ Snow’s BBQ, 2014-09-13 13:22:59
More Buzz →

Review

HWY 29 BBQ 01

March 11, 2014

This stone covered building along Highway 29 in Bertram was once home to barbecue royalty. Bertram Smokehouse had a place in Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ joints in 2008. Then they moved into a bigger building across the tracks and soon folded. Tin Star BBQ also came and went a couple years back. Now Corey Thibodeaux and Morgan Scott have the pits fired up again since opening the doors here last August.

HWY 29 BBQ 04

Hwy 29 BBQ interior and menu

Painted wood ceilings tower above after walking through the front door. The floor is a simple polished concrete and the walls are mostly undecorated white plaster. A few simple wooden tables and larger picnic tables made for communal seating fill the interior. A small ordering counter is in the back of the space with a bold yet scant menu. Brisket, ribs, sausage and chicken are the meat options. Beans, slaw and potato salad are the only sides. It’s a classic Texas barbecue menu within a classic barbecue setting.

Meat is sliced at the front counter as you order. The option for fatty or lean brisket is given. I liked the direction thus far as I watched a blackened behemoth of beef quiver under the knife’s faint pressure. This brisket was gonna be good. The ribs have what looked like a cherry lacquered finish with a generous smattering of black pepper. A link of sausage was sliced and placed on the tray, but chicken would have to wait for another time. It was gone for the day. As Scott explained “nothing carries over to the next day.” That means they have to be conservative when loading the pits, especially on a weekday where the regulars might feel more like eating at the Tex-Mex place down the street.

HWY 29 BBQ 05

Texas Trinity at Hwy 29 BBQ

The spare ribs had a great smokiness to accompany the hammy flavor from a good amount of salt. Those ribs were big, and required some serious gnawing to separate meat from bone, and the black pepper bit back. The brisket was superb from the first bite to the last. It had a muted pepper flavor compared to the ribs and a sweet vanilla overtone from the post oak. At 2:00pm the beef was still plenty moist with a crisp exterior from the well formed bark. Links of garlicy sausage come from Miiller’s Smokehouse in Llano. The casings had great snap and the filling was juicy.

Scott helped developed the blend for this particular sausage that is now carried at the Miiller’s storefront in Llano. Scott grew up on barbecue in Lockhart, so he wanted to try an 85%-15% beef-to-pork ratio with a coarse grind, but was warned away from it. It seems Hill Country folks prefer a finer grind and more pork, so they acquiesced to the sausage maker and went with a 60%-40% beef-to-pork mix. It seems to have worked out because this was a good one with plenty of spice.

The sides come from all over Texas. Corey’s wife makes the banana pudding, the potato salad is from Morgan’s mom, and the beans are from Texas author Frank Dobie’s recipe. They were all good, but the only one I finished was the creamy pudding. It had plenty of banana chunks and on top were crumbled Nilla wafers mixed with cinnamon and sugar. This is what most banana puddings aspire to be. If you like mustard in your potato salad, then you’ll like this hearty mixture, and the simple beans were well seasoned and satisfying. Nothing was overdone, overwrought, or overthought. It was well executed food that tasted like some old-timers made it, not a gaggle of twenty-somethings.

HWY 29 BBQ 02

Banana pudding, potato salad, pinto beans

Hwy 29 BBQ is in an old building, but the smoker is brand new. They built it before the place reopened. There’s one smokestack with two big steel smoker chambers lined with stone coming off either side. They use all post oak to smoke and keep things low and slow.

HWY 29 BBQ 03

New custom smoker

These folks are putting out some great Central Texas barbecue here on the edge of the Hill Country in Bertram. Just don’t come on a Monday or Tuesday. As Morgan Scott explained “you’ve gotta be closed for two days to get one day off in the barbecue business.” So for five days a week, just forty-five minutes outside of Austin, you’ll find classic Texas smoked meats and sides in a classic Texas barbecue joint in a classic Texas small town. That sounds like the makings of a road trip.

Comments

  • Sherry Woodard

    Great BBQ, always have them vacuum pack some to bring home to Southeast Texas.

  • Katie Green

    I’m so glad you gave the banana pudding a try – it’s impossible to not fall in love with Molly’s puddin. :) It’s the perfect finish to their delicious brisket!

  • Helivet

    I ordered the puddin’ because that the real stuff that goes with BBQ.

  • Silvia Vandenberg

    Best BBQ in the area. Must try!

  • Jenny Swinton

    The ribs are unbelievable and the cole slaw is among the best I’ve ever had. Great atmosphere too.

  • Traces_of_Texas

    Glad to know that this place is legit as I’ve passed by several times wondering whether or not it was worth a try.

  • jimwashburn

    Just drove by. It was open, but I didn’t stop because I’m full of huevos rancheros. I’ll plan to be empty next time I go that way.