Joel’s Bar-B-Q

1200 Slaughterhouse Rd.
Flatonia, TX 78941

Phone: (361) 865-2454
Hours: Sun-Thur 8-10, F 8-11
Website: joelsbarbq.com

Opened 1978
Method Gas-fired Rotisserie with Mesquite

TMBBQ Rating: 2

TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
Plenty of food!! Ribs are great, brisket was a little on the dry side. Sausage had a heavy pork flavor that I liked but may not be for everyone!
Caleb Barnett @ Loco Coyote Café, 2014-09-02 12:19:49
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
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Review

September 17, 2013

Back in 1978 Joycelyn and her then-husband Joel Kubesch were smoking meat at area parking lots on the weekends. They then moved into this current building around 1980. Joycelyn runs the place now, but the building looks like it came from another century. A tin roof over a clapboard exterior houses the main part of the building. Stacks of misshapen stones held together by thick mortar make up the walls of what looks like an addition where logs act as window frames. The screen doors don’t do much to keep the heat out, but it doesn’t really matter since there’s no air conditioning. The big steel warming pit just behind the counter doesn’t do anything to cool things down. On a hot day it’s best to get your order to go, which is what I did.

Joels 01

The brisket was as dry as it looked. It was also lean and over-trimmed, but the flavor was good and there was plenty of smokiness from the mesquite. It would probably make a good chopped beef sandwich. Ribs were just mushy meat and a couple of clean bones. The rub was mainly sugar with a little salt for flavor. Given the lack of smoke, they must have been wrapped for a considerable portion of their cooking time. That would also explain how they got so overdone.

Joels 02

A beef and pork mix is used for their homemade sausage. It had plenty of black pepper and garlic, but it had barely a whiff of smoke. More time on the smoker would have given the casing a better snap too. Sides included simple baked beans and a serviceable potato salad. Luckily the homemade jerky was a good ending.

Joel’s convenient location along the interstate makes it a tempting stop. You can get a fine snack of jerky, a good link of sausage and probably a decent chopped beef sandwich too. I just wouldn’t travel too far if it’s ribs and sliced brisket that you’re after.

Comments

  • Redeemed

    The chopped beef sandwich is pretty tasty. That’s about it. Getting the top cut/wet/fatty (depends on what part of Texas you’re from) is FAR better than the lean; moist and tender, for the most part. However, still missing the good smoked taste. Usually some good bark, but it’s just missing that deep smoked flavor that most Texans love to love. The sides are all nondescript, but nothing’s “bad.” Counter manners are about as unpredictable as the meat, with some folks who work the counter somewhat friendly, while others appear to wish they were anywhere else but work. I’ve stopped at Joel’s 6 or 7 times over the past several years, traveling to and from Houston. I’d say that 3 of those times the brisket’s been good enough to have me make the short stop off of I-10 when the hunger light comes on … the other times, I wish I had walked over to the mexican food place adjacent to Joel’s. Roll the dice next time you’re driving by Flatonia, you might get some fairly decent BBQ .. .something to hold you over until you get home.