Bryan

Interview: Steve Kapchinskie of Martin’s Place

Owner/Pitmaster: Martin’s Place; Opened 1925 (current location 1939) Age: 57 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Oak A Kapchinskie has been cooking barbecue at Martin’s Place in Bryan, Texas since 1925. That makes it older than Black’s BBQ in Lockhart and just as old as Prine’s BBQ in Wichita Falls. Today, it’s still a family affair. Steve Kapchinskie has been manning the pits for forty-five years. He married his wife Betty thirty-seven years ago, and she has worked the front counter…

1940’s Era Menu from Martin’s Place

During an interview with Steve Kapchinskie of Martin’s Place in Bryan (since 1925), he mentioned a copy of an old menu that he had in his records. The menu is from the forties,and he was kind enough to scan it and send it for us to post it here. Martin’s Place started as a barbecue joint and has remained so ever since, but the menu has changed quite a bit. In the forties it was one…

Fargos Pit 02

Fargo’s Pit Unveiled

Alan Caldwell, the pitmaster at Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan, has been making great barbecue for fourteen years. And for all of those fourteen years, he has denied people access to his pit room. When he denied my first request to take a look at his pit, in 2010, he told me no. I didn’t believe him, but he was adamant, which shocked me. Ninety-nine out of a hundred barbecue purveyors that I have spoken…

Interview: Alan Caldwell of Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Fargo’s Pit BBQ, opened 2000 Age: 50 Smoker: Wood-fired offset pit Wood: Oak with a bit more mixed in As we sat at a table inside Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan, I asked owner and pitmaster Alan Caldwell if I could see his pit. He said no. In total I probably asked in varying forms another twenty-eight times, but the answer was always the same. I won’t print the entire exchange for your benefit….

Pitmaster Alan Caldwell

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

A few months back Fargo’s moved out of its original building, a cramped place that lacked indoor seating—or outdoor seating, for that matter. Though the restaurant is now located just a few blocks from the first location, the large dining room, lined with big windows, feels miles away. One thing that hasn’t changed is the friendly but efficient service. A line forms along the large glass case, where the meats are all on display. What…

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Most professional food critics will make at least three visits to a restaurant before completing a review or issuing a star rating. Given the miles that I travel (without a traveling budget) in search of smoked meats around Texas, I don’t get this luxury. I routinely provide a rating based on a single visit, which can be a bit nerve-racking knowing I may have gotten the best or worst version of what any joint can…