Nathan’s BBQ

1309 Prairie Lea St.
Brenham, TX 77833

Phone: (979) 251-9900
Hours: M-Sat 11-9, Sun 11-8

Opened 1994 (as Big Daddy's BBQ)
Pitmaster Nathan Winkleman
Method Direct heat over charcoal and pecan

TMBBQ Rating: 3.25


Comments from our joint finder app.
Finally got to eat here and SO worth the wait! Brisket was amazing. No fancy rubs or magic mops, just perfectly cooked and seasoned beef with incredible texture and flavor! All served by some of the nicest folks I've ever come across in my BBQ travels. Can't wait to come back and do it again!
Adam Murray @ Prause Meat Market, 2015-05-27 18:15:23
Outstanding! Had a light lunch - 1/4 lbs of the brisket, 1/4 lbs of pulled pork. Juicy good. The brisket had a nice pink ring & awesome crust... Oh, don't forget the fried pie. I had the cherry, but you won't go wrong with any flavor.
Joe Ashbaugh @ Baker's Ribs and Fried Pies, 2015-05-27 17:37:29
A little holiday weekend feast..we told ours to go & the brisket uncut to maintain moisture---it was perfect, great bark and pepper taste to the melt in your mouth brisket. But the special surprise today were the pork ribs. Don't miss the potatoe salad, some secret ingredient (blue cheese? Sour cream?) makes it exceptional. & while it doesn't need it, the sauce is perfect--better than Louis Mueller's, which has been my long time favorite. Highly recommend.
blackska @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2015-05-25 05:30:51
Brisket a little tough, but great flavor. Sausage on point today, overall 4.5/5 and delicious. Pro tip: spicy rice and mac and cheese for sides
Sam Thomas @ Leon’s World’s Finest In & Out Bar-B-Que, 2015-05-25 00:50:27
Amazing all the way around ... Missed the beef ribs again! Got to get here extra early for the beef ribs
kyle craven @ Pecan Lodge, 2015-05-24 17:37:05
My first time to Miller's Smokehouse. The sausage is outstanding (4.8/5.0), Chicken (4.5/5.0), Ribs (4.3/5.0) and Brisket (4.3/5.0) are all very good and the desserts are out of this world - we had Hurricane cake, Southern Pecan Praline cake, apple cobbler and home made cookies.
Jeff Overton @ Miller’s Smokehouse, 2015-05-24 03:45:31
Great place! Brisket was solid. Try the slaw and broccoli salad. When you order jalapeño sausage you expect heat, they have it. Definitely a top 50 in my book.
Shea Woodall @ Hashknife on the Chisholm, 2015-05-24 01:57:57
You have to know how it works to order. They will move you along. Good moist brisket. Nice and salty like the beans. Pork rib was good as well. Lacking some smoke.
Hank Mangum @ Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, 2015-05-24 00:32:42
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September 3, 2013

State Highway 290 runs right through the middle of Brenham, Texas, a town know more for ice cream than smoked meats. Its location makes it a perfect mid-point stop for road trips between Houston and Austin. Living in Dallas I don’t travel this route much so I made a point to go to Brenham in a very round-about trip from Bryan to Lexington. I figured this town had more than just ice cream.

Nathans front

I hadn’t heard much about Nathan’s. I’ve gotten exactly one recommendation to go there. It was back in 2010 when they were finishing up renovations on the small convenience store barbecue shop that was then called Big Daddy’s. There was an issue with a competitor using the same name, so Big Daddy Nathan Winkleman renamed the place Nathan’s BBQ when it reopened in late 2010. Since then the word is that Adam Richman from the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food was filming there in June of last year, but nothing featuring the restaurant has aired yet. The renovated building is pretty massive for a convenience store. From the street you’ll see the gas pumps and the Buccaneer Food Store entrance. On the back side of the building is a rustic canopy and a huge wooden door leading into Nathan’s BBQ.

Service is cafeteria style with a pretty standard menu. I was intrigued by “The Chop”, a behemoth pork chop similar to the famous Big Chop at Cooper’s, but I couldn’t get it on a combo plate. It all worked out when they just let me purchase it by weight to go along with my brisket and ribs. Although I could have purchased a bottle of Texas wine from the Buccaneer store and drank it in the restaurant with my meal, I was driving so I opted to get my order to go.

Nathans chop 1

Nathans chop 2

The Chop was certainly massive. It was cut almost an inch thick. The flavor was of grilled meat, much like Cooper’s, but there was more to it. The flavor wasn’t that familiar from my trips through Texas, but the smell reminded me of the many charcoal burning barbecue joints in Memphis. Nathan’s uses oak lump charcoal from B&B along with a few sticks of pecan wood. Other than the now closed Que Shack in Marlin, I hadn’t seen anyone using almost exclusively charcoal in Texas. The resulting flavor was great, but at 4:00 in the afternoon the meat was starting to dry out. My guess is it would give Cooper’s chop a run for its money around the noon hour.

Nathans combo

The brisket didn’t do so well over the direct heat. There wasn’t anything offensive about it, but it wasn’t high on flavor or moisture. It would be better served in a sandwich with some of their thick sauce. Both the beans and potato salad were above average, but it was late in the day and I was running low on stomach space. After a few bites I went straight for the ribs, and what a difference. The charcoal heat did wonders on the bark which was generously seasoned with salt and black pepper. I mentioned that this was mid-afternoon, so finding ribs this moist without being over-tender was a surprise. It all made sense when I found a promotional video on their website. Owner Nathan Winkleman says “When the day is done my ribs are going to be right.” Neither the brisket nor The Chop gets a mention, but as long as the ribs are this good Nathan’s is worth a visit.


1 Comment

  • KinneyandElise Mitchell says:

    This is our favorite bbq place in Texas. The ribs are amazing! I also always get the sliced pork. We will drive 3 hours 1 way to eat at Nathans, it is that good. We have eaten at 1,000’s of bbq places, but this is the best!

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