Jambo’s BBQ Shack

5460 E. FM 1187
Rendon, Texas 76028

Phone: (817) 478-2277
Hours: Tues-Sat 11-sold out
Website: jambosbbqshack.com
Twitter: @JambosBBQShack

Opened 2013
Pitmaster Jamie Geer
Method Gas-fired Rotisserie

TMBBQ Rating: 3.75

TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
Brisket is really good and tender! Has great smoky flavor. This place also has a butcher!
Nathaniel Cox @ Vincek’s Smokehouse, 2014-08-31 18:30:40
The hunt for the best barbecue continues with the second joint today. This is a small victory as I have always wanted to hit more than one restaurant on the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ establishments in a single day. Billy's Old Fashion Barbecue happens to be number 9. I have a hair less than four years to visit the other 41 before the list is updated. I have my work cut out for me as these places are as far at 500 miles from home. I wasn't hungry when we rolled into Jasper, but I was here to eat barbecue. I knew I wanted brisket and when we found the dilapidated restaurant, I knew we were going to experience some magic. I chose the sliced brisket sandwich. I wasn't expecting this monstrosity as it was quite large. Topped with pickles and onions, this sauce soaked sandwich was perfect. I only wish I had ordered the sauce on the side. The sauce was decent, but I came for the meat. The sliced brisket was very nice. It was juicy and the fat was rendered beautifully. It was a bit toothsome, but it certainly wasn't tough. I had forgotten to ask for untrimmed meat, so I was pleased when I saw that the crusty bark was intact. The meat had a mild flavor. Not too much smoke, and it wasn't overpowered with seasoning. It was a simple, beefy masterpiece. At only 2 1/2 hours from home, I can see myself loading up the family for a nice meaty adventure. This is easily a 4.0/5.0. Well done, Texas Monthly. This BBQ doesn't disappoint.
Theodore Luoma @ Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ, 2014-08-31 01:12:51
It has been a few months since I was able to hunt for some good Texas BBQ. It is a bit of a tradition that my oldest daughter, Alli, and I enjoy. I'm not a hunter, so we aren't likely to go kill deer as we spend time together, but we have our own game we like to track down. We decided to have lunch at the Hitch-N-Post in Livingston, TX. It's 3 1/2 hours from home so we had time to work up an appetite. We both ordered untrimmed fatty brisket which in my estimation, is the best tasting meat. I usually try the sausage as well, but we are planning an early supper at another BBQ place and I don't want to gorge myself. The brisket, though cooked, could probably have used another four hours in the smoker to completely render the fat and make the meat fork tender. I actually had to use a knife to cut the meat. There was a beautiful smoke ring and a decent crust, but I was hoping for a denser crust. Then again, this ain't Lockhart. The beans were good, but they were punched up canned beans. The potato salad probably came from Brookshire Brothers, but I came for the meat. The sides are just a bonus. Apparently, the proprietor has a policy to give free cake to first time customers. He was a really nice BBQ enthusiast as he asked if I had tried Snow's in Lexington. Then he started showing me pictures of BBQ joints on his phone. The ambience was a schlockfest with old tricycles dangling from the ceiling and tiki umbrellas reminiscent of Gilligan's Island. It was enjoyable soaking it in while I soaked up sauce with my bread. The food was good. I would rate it a 3.0/5.0, but with the outstanding service and friendly atmosphere, I rate it a solid 3.5. Hitch-N-Post is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Theodore Luoma @ Hitch-N-Post BBQ, 2014-08-30 18:24:06
It has been a few months since I was able to hunt for some good Texas BBQ. It is a bit of a tradition that my oldest daughter, Alli, and I enjoy. I'm not a hunter, so we aren't likely to go kill deer as we spend time together, but we have our own game we like to track down. We decided to have lunch at the Hitch-N-Post in Livingston, TX. It's 3 1/2 hours from home so we had time to work up an appetite. We both ordered untrimmed fatty brisket which in my estimation, is the best tasting meat. I usually try the sausage as well, but we are planning an early supper at another BBQ place and I don't want to gorge myself. The brisket, though cooked, could probably have used another four hours in the smoker to completely render the fat and make the meat fork tender. I actually had to use a knife to cut the meat. There was a beautiful smoke ring and a decent crust, but I was hoping for a denser crust. Then again, this ain't Lockhart. The beans were good, but they were punched up canned beans. The potato salad probably came from Brookshire Brothers, but I came for the meat. The sides are just a bonus. Apparently, the proprietor has a policy to give free cake to first time customers. He was a really nice BBQ enthusiast as he asked if I had tried Snow's in Lexington. Then he started showing me pictures of BBQ joints on his phone. The ambience was a schlockfest with old tricycles dangling from the ceiling and tiki umbrellas reminiscent of Gilligan's Island. It was enjoyable soaking it in while I soaked up sauce with my bread. The food was good. I would rate it a 3.0/5.0, but with the outstanding service and friendly atmosphere, I rate it a solid 3.5. Hitch-N-Post is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Theodore Luoma @ Hitch-N-Post BBQ, 2014-08-30 18:24:05
Third in line pound of lean got two ends and a sausage PERFECTION worth the drive ft worth good food good folks
doug_wallace @ Louie Mueller Barbecue, 2014-08-30 15:38:00
Loved that there was no wait unlike that other place on East 6th. Fatty brisket was as advertised. Pepper on crust was perfect. Jalapeño sausage was okay. Loved the cheesy squash - my new favorite side. No beef ribs today sadly. Drank the BBQ sauce too; very good stuff.
Rahul Yaratha @ John Mueller Meat Co., 2014-08-29 16:44:19
Brisket was moist, but tough. Needed more smoke. Spare ribs were ok.
mrb @ Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, 2014-08-27 02:53:29
Stopped at Rudy's at Leon Springs. Not good. Brisket was moist but tough. Ribs were fair.
mrb @ , 2014-08-27 02:47:40
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Review

August 6, 2013

Jambos BBQ Shack 01

Since 1989 Jamie Geer has been manufacturing barbecue pits for his company Jambo Pits. These days, many of the smokers that come out of his welding shop in Burleson are destined for the competition circuit. You can find the shiny custom paint jobs of famous barbecue competitors like Johnny Trigg and Tuffy Stone. Both of those names will be familiar if you’re a fan of the show BBQ Pitmasters. Johnny Trigg has competed in past seasons and Tuffy has been a member of the judging panel for many seasons.

In this current season Jamie was eliminated from BBQ Pitmasters in Episode 7. His smoked wings were too spicy in New York. Of course he smoked everything on his own shiny Jambo pit, but you won’t find one at his new restaurant. He uses a gas-fired Ole Hickory rotisserie. When I asked Jamie about his choice in smokers he said a Jambo pit just didn’t have the capacity he needed. He’s been pretty well slammed since he’s been open. There are only a few tables inside and they were all full just after 1:00 on a Thursday. Every customer that came in the place stopped at my table to say hello. None of them cared who I was, they wanted to thank my dining partner Bud Kennedy for helping find this out of the way joint south of Fort Worth. About a month earlier he wrote in the Star Telegram that Jambo’s was making Rendon a barbecue destination, and people listened. They’ve been selling out every day since.

Jambos BBQ Shack 02

The Jambo Texan Sandwich

In a brilliant flash of marketing genius Jamie created a spectacle of a sandwich that just aches to be photographed. The “Jambo Texan” is a stack of sliced and chopped brisket, pulled pork, smoked bologna, sausage and ribs all layered between two thick slices of Texas toast. With a couple of sides it should be able to feed a family of four, and it’s only $12. As a sandwich it’s completely impractical, but it has worked wonders to spread the word about this place via social media. It makes a statement, but if you try to get your face around the thing you’re left pretty much hopeless. I tried. But when it’s disassembled the parts can stand on their own.

Jamie is a competition cook, so it’s no wonder his ribs are on the sweet side. They are also of superb texture that any competition judge would score well. Thankfully he doesn’t candy-coat them so you still get some of the smoke. These would be at the top of my list on a return trip. Pulled pork was moist and flavorful as was the sausage that was cut in half lengthwise in order to rest on the sandwich. The thick slice of bologna was great. It was had a flavoful rub and a genuine smoky taste. This might be the first time I’ve had smoked bologna and didn’t think it just tasted like regular old bologna. The chopped brisket from the point end of the brisket was also great. It was the smokiest of the meats and was thoroughly juicy – much better than the sliced beef.

Jambos BBQ Shack 03

Competition brisket and good fatty slices of moist, well-cooked, tender brisket are diametrically opposed. Most judges in a competition would look down their noses at a speck of fat on their brisket slices. That’s probably because what would be left on their would be white undercooked fat. It’s more common to cook briskets faster in competition, only serve the flat, and not cook the meat as long. This allows for nice even slices that will stay together well. Injections are there to keep the meat juicy since a hotter cooking temperature will dry it out without the added moisture. What’s being served at Jambo’s is plenty smoky and flavorful, but it’s just not done. The slices from the flat are thick and not very tender. They were not only hard to pull apart, but the meat was dry too, and any moisture the fat could have provided was scraped and trimmed away before it got to the plate. The slices from the point had plenty of fat left on, but like the flat it was all undercooked. That meant tough meat and white fat that was too chewy to be enjoyable.

For now Jambo’s is a great barbecue joint in the Fort Worth area with an impressive sandwich and great ribs. I’d drive there again from Dallas. With a little more patience on the brisket it could be worth the trip from a lot further than Dallas.

Comments

  • Steve Myers

    I’m a big fan of the chopped beef. From San Diego to East Texas and the midwest to the Gulf, Jambo’s with Phillip on the crew features the best BBQ sandwich in the country. And Rendon out in the country on 1187 is just far enough away from the city to be close and at the same time far enough away to feel like the peace away from the storm. Its worth the drive for us and don’t forget the home made pickles. What a treat!

  • MarkCrouse

    Stopped in on 8/7 and got two two-meat combos. One ribs/brisket, other bologna/pulled pork for the wife. Ribs were divine and absolutely fantastic. Was bummed when I ate the third one and realized I was out already. I’m not usually a brisket guy, but based on Jamie’s past, had to give it a go. The slices were THICK, talking 1/2″ thick or larger. I did think it was a little dry, but the supplied sauce fixed that right up. Wife liked the bologna and I had the pulled the next day reheated and it was tasty as well. Cole slaw was not my style (I like really creamy or vinegary), his was more slaw than wet, if that makes sense. Thinking back, I heard the front counter lady say to someone that “we hardly had anyone yesterday, they all came today”. Made me wonder, did I get day-old brisket and that’s why it seemed dry? Regardless, I would go back in a heartbeat and kill it with the ribs. Peach cobbler was a tasty end to the meal. A must-try if you are in the area. Note they close at 7:00pm, or when they run out, so get there early.