Here’s a place for your Bar B Q advice.

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A letter to my Bar B Q friends,

I recently forgot some reader advice. It was information I could have used prior to visiting San Antonio’s Granary Que and Brew. One of our Oil Field related friends figured I would be going there since it was on Texas Monthly’s top 50. And he was right. I should have listened.

Jim was kind enough to send me a note telling me of his poor, yet expensive, experience. My memory is not so good, so naturally I forgot all about it. Weeks later, I wanted to take my wife to a nice place on a Saturday and the Granary was described that way in Texas Monthly. I would get a review in and we would get to have a Saturday lunch together. Good deal all the way around.

Thank goodness my wife is as much a bar b q person as I am. Her reaction to the Granary was one of disgust. Mine was almost violent. Jim was absolutely dead on with his assessment. You can bet I will listen to him and others in the future. I might still go and make my own judgement call but at least I will be forewarned. However, if enough of my trusted readers warn me about a place I won’t even bother with it. I needed a place to store the advise I am receiving. Again, it’s a memory thing.

The comment sections below this post are now dedicated to advisor’s notes on good places or bad ones. The comment section of this article belongs to you the readers. I sincerely want to hear what you have to say. I normally write these article a two or three weeks in advance and work in general geographic regions of the state to save on expense money. It’s south central Texas for the next month and then move on to North Texas.

I am posting Jim’s warning as the first. I hope you will add your own opinions. I intend to work on this project for many moons and I have a short memory so your comments are needed.

Thank you ,

John Boykin

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7 thoughts on “Here’s a place for your Bar B Q advice.

  1. admin Post author

    John,
    I sat next to you at an SPE meeting about 5 or 6 months ago at the Petroleum Club and have enjoyed reading your articles. I had to respond back to you on this one because the Texas Monthly article hit me the same way it did you. While I am sure that some folks wouldn’t consider me a worthy “judge” of good BBQ, I have 55 years of eating experience in Texas that might carry me past the “Keep Austin Weird” folks at TM. Lockhart and Luling are the BBQ Meccas in my opinion (and yours too it sounds like). I have to admit that mesquite rather than oak is my preferred smoke (because I grew up in South Texas where oak wasn’t very available) but those folks know how to make oak work and their sausage can’t be beat—I don’t care what the others have in their pits. One of the San Antonio BBQ (so called but not in my opinion) places that made the TM list was the The Granary. What an over-priced disappointment this place is—but it’s in the “cool” part of SA, so I am sure that is why TM put in on their list. I heard others rant about how good this place was—guess I should have known better or considered the source. A group of us went there for lunch last week and I can honestly say that was the worst $15 I have spent in a long time. We got there at straight up noon, so not at the tail end of lunch by any means. You order your drinks first and they are pushing their $3.50 home-made root beer or $6.00 home-brewed beer. I can’t stomach the idea of paying $3.50 for a root beer in a BBQ place no matter how good it is supposed to be. I was working that day so a $6.00 beer wasn’t going to be happening either. Brisket, pulled pork, and turkey were the meats available at the time and were $8.55 per half pound and nothing to write home about in my opinion after trying the brisket and pork. Just as I was placing my order with the girl at the register, it was suddenly announced that they had just sold their last link of $6.75 sausage—both of these are unthinkable in my mind—running out and $6.75 for a link of sausage. Out of a main-stay meat by noon? How many links did they cook–five? Then came the sides. Burnt end beans sounded appealing until I got them—cold and more like baked beans with a few kidney beans thrown in—not Texas beans by any means and I don’t know if I saw a burnt end among them. My other side was corn, which was a skinny ear served on the cob with the shucks pulled back for that “rustic look” I guess. It was dried out and no butter or even margarine to help try to resuscitate it was served along-side. Needless to say that is the last time I will spend my money at this over-priced and over-rated establishment—let all the “pretty people” keep them in business. I would have been happier at Bill Millers than this place.

    While we’re on the subject of over-rated, I made a special trip a couple of years ago to Snow’s BBQ in Lexington based on TM’s raving reviews and that was another over-rated place. Food was ok but I wouldn’t drive out of my way again to get any of that food either.

    Looking forward to your next round of BBQ reviews.

    Jim

    Reply
  2. admin Post author

    John,
    Glad to see that your opinion of The Granary was right in line with mine. Like I mentioned to you several weeks ago after my first trip there, my $15 lunch was the worst money I had spent in a long time. I agree with you, the bread and the sauce are about all I really consider worthwhile and that makes for some pretty expensive bread and sauce. I can’t even go with the pickles, since I think dill pickles are built for BBQ and not whatever those pickles are. I got drug back one other time (with someone else picking up the tab) and it was equally bad that time as well. Very marginal meats and nasty sides seem to be all these folks can do. I guess I just don’t have any “culinary culture” when it comes to BBQ, I just know what makes a good BBQ joint and this ain’t it. I decided afterwards that I won’t be going back there again even if someone else is buying. I think that was pretty much the same opinion with all of us at that lunch gathering. The guy picking up the check said, “This place has some expensive ass BBQ—we could have all eaten steak for what it cost to buy lunch here.” It was not a fun experience and they don’t have good food. The “pretty people crowd” that hang out there can keep this place open because I’m not going to help them out again.

    Jim

    Reply
  3. admin Post author

    Have a look at the BBQ Station on Loop 410 near Harry Wurzbach, Bolner’s Meat Marker somewhere near Probandt and Highway 90 on the South Side, Augie’s Barbed Wire near the San Antonio Zoo and Hinze’s in Sealy.

    Another Jim

    I have been to and enjoyed them all and would recommend to others. All are decidedly different. Have not been to Lockhart or Luling in many years and want to go back some day. Totally agree with you on the Granary. Been there one time and will never go back. You can add my comments.

    Nuther Jim, nuther time.

    Reply
  4. admin Post author

    Hey John
    Did you ever eat at Sonny Bryan’s back in the “old days” when Sonny was alive.
    Kip

    No which one was the original ? Was it in Dallas ?

    JBB

    Reply
  5. admin Post author

    When you get settled go to one of my favorite BBQ places in the area —
    Railhead Barbecue in Fort Worth. It’s right on I-30 and Montgomery, west
    of downtown. I know you’ll want to buy one of their “Life’s Too Short to
    Live It in Dallas” T-shirts.

    Paul

    Reply
  6. admin Post author

    John,

    We met at the BBQ Restaurant in Luling. There’s a small BBQ restaurant on St. Mary’s near Josephine you might want to check out. It’s called The Hot Spot. It’s a walk-up window and picnic tables at an old filling station.

    Take care,
    Glenn

    Reply

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