bastrop

Published in the Brenham Weekly Banner on 10/25/1878

The First Barbecue Joint in Texas?

For years, I’ve been on a quest to definitively answer a question that has plagued me since I began researching the history of barbecue: what was the first barbecue joint in Texas? Loyal readers of TMBBQ will remember that in August 2013, I wrote about the post-Civil War wave of butcher shops and the resulting first boom of commercial barbecue. As I noted then: The first mention of commercial smoked meat in [the University of North…

Southside Market sign

Southside Market Expanding to Bastrop

Bastrop, Texas is known as the “Heart of the Lost Pines,” but it will have a little piece of the Sausage Capital of Texas inside the city limits by year’s end. Southside Market owner Bryan Bracewell has announced that he will build a new outpost of their legendary sausage house in Bastrop. This is the first time in their 132 year history that Southside has moved forward with a second location. Once complete, Bracewell will…

Billy's Bastrop 02

Billy’s Pit Bar-B-Q

On his 1994 album Gringo Honeymoon, Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen recorded a song entitled “Barbeque.” It has become the anthem for many of my smoked meat adventures along with most every other REK song. When I had a chance meeting with he and Lyle Lovett at the KUT studios in Austin, I was at first speechless. After some introductions and a few photos our conversation went straight to the subject of barbecue. Lyle, like…

Larries Smokehouse 03

Larrie’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

If you live in Austin, chances are you wouldn’t pass by Larrie’s Smokehouse in Bastrop. Billy’s, Cartwright’s and Fittie’s along busy four-lane Highway 71 may be familiar, but Larrie’s sits on the north side of town along tree-lined Highway 95. Coming south from Elgin the sign is hard to miss. Larrie’s occupies the northern quarter of a larger building, the rest of which seems to be empty. Larrie Washington greeted me from behind the meat…

Waco BBQ Header

Nineteenth Century Texas Barbecue

As is true throughout the South, the public barbecue was commonplace in Texas long before there were any restaurants serving commercial barbecue. As soon as a little town had enough population to consume a whole steer, the fourth of July celebrations at the center of town or the political rallies on the courthouse steps became popular venues for open pit cooking. But we’ll get to those communal gatherings in a future column. Today our focus…