Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak

616 Highway 29 W
Burnet, TX 78611

Phone: (512) 756-8227
Hours: Tues-Thur 11-2:30, F 11-7:30, Sat 11-2:30

Opened 2011
Pitmaster Robert Payne
Method Oak and mesquite; indirect-heat pit

TMBBQ Rating: 4

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Comments from our joint finder app.
Tasty but just slightly above average. Brisket flavorful but no bark or visible smoke ring. Chopped pork moist but a little bland. Out of baked potatoes at 6pm on a Tuesday? Huh. Glad we stopped but won't be planning return expeditions.
Ed Dravecky @ Big Jake’s Bar-B-Que, 2014-09-02 23:43:12
Beef so tender it's difficult to keep in the fork
Bill coons @ Mumphord’s Place, 2014-09-02 18:09:44
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
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Review

Paynes BBQ Shack 03

April 8, 2014

Robert Payne has worked as a butcher in the past, and more recently for the Butter Krust bread bakery. His wife, Penny, was also in food service at a local school cafeteria. Three years ago, they both decided to retire and open up a barbecue joint in Burnet. They chose a building on the west side of town that has seen number of barbecue joints come and go. One of those was Burnet County Barbeque which in 2003 was named one of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ joints.

Now, the Payne’s are looking to revive the barbecue glory once housed here, and they’re off to a good start. I stopped in not knowing what to expect, so I ordered sparingly. Brisket and ribs were my only request. Robert was slicing and asked immediately “lean or moist” as he pulled a jet-black brisket from a steam table tray. He had just scraped the last few scraps from the previous brisket off the cutting board, so I got the first few slices from a fresh one. The knife glided throughout the meat, and each slice was more promising. The ribs looked nearly as good. Sides were self-service, so I took only a small serving of potato salad and slaw.

Paynes BBQ Shack 02

Ribs and Brisket

Out on the trunk of my car I took the first superb bite of brisket. It was smoky, peppery, and a little bit sweet. The outside slice had a pleasant crunch to the crust, while the meat beneath was moist and tender. This was brisket worth seeking out. The ribs were nearly as good. The meat came easily off the bone, the bark held plenty of smokiness, but they could have eased up a bit on the salt.

The first taste was impressive enough that I had to go right back in and try more of the menu. Robert laughed at how quickly I had come back for seconds, and told me that he learned to make sausage while he worked at the butcher shop. I ordered up a couple links. He also added some smoked pork steak, and I was ready for the second course.

Paynes BBQ Shack 01

Sausage and Pork Steak

I like my sausage links juicy, so I thought this relatively dry sausage could have used a bit more fat in the mix. It was nice to see the coarse grind and the smoke flavor and seasoning were both bold. The pork steaks could have really used some of that extra oomph. Smoked pork steak is a cut I generally like, but this one had an unwelcome chewy texture. Despite that thick smoke ring and blanket of rub, there wasn’t much flavor either.

A few years back I took a long trip down Highway 281 from Hico to Blanco, and there wasn’t any great barbecue to crow about along the route, Burnet included. Today, between Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak and Post Mountain BBQ (review forthcoming), Burnet is a new barbecue destination. Whether you arrive via Highway 281 or Highway 29, it’s now worth making a barbecue stop in Burnet.

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