Can two guys make a living selling barbecue two days a week from a trailer parked next to a highway gas station? “Absolutely not,” Jordan Rosemeyer said of Rosemeyer Bar-B-Q, which he runs with his business partner and best friend since kindergarten, Ben Maxwell. “We lose money most weeks,” Rosemeyer told me candidly. They’ve saved enough from catering jobs they’ve been lucky enough to land to fund their less-than-profitable Fridays and Saturdays along Grand Parkway in Spring. “We were hoping that the following would find us before the money ran out,” Rosemeyer said. Fortunately for them, when that following arrives, they’ll find some damn fine barbecue.

Rosemeyer’s and Maxwell’s interest in barbecue caught fire during competitions they’d enter in the Huntsville area while attending Sam Houston State University. Rosemeyer admitted, “We didn’t know what we were doing,” and joked he could apply the statement to both barbecue competitions and college. Eventually Rosemeyer got a job selling precast concrete for highway projects, and Maxwell was marooned in Kansas running a grain elevator. In 2018, Rosemeyer hauled his trailer and a tent around to events to sell barbecue. After buying a trailer and finding the empty lot in Spring in 2021, he convinced Maxwell to move back home to help run the trailer on Saturdays. In the beginning, they still needed day jobs to make the rent.

About a year ago, they quit their jobs and opened on Friday and Saturday. “It’s been a slow grind building the following,” Rosemeyer said, but they’ll finally be able to add Thursdays starting in April. Rosemeyer said they remain humble and patient but have been disappointed in the lack of attention from local media. “You’re the first publication we’ve ever talked to,” Rosemeyer said. And I’m here to tell you about this gem that hopefully won’t be hidden for long.

Rosemeyer Bar-B-Q Review
The Rosemeyer Bar-B-Q trailer in Spring.Photograph by Daniel Vaughn

I was growing impatient as I waited on my order last Friday. I’d ordered most of the menu, so it was understandably taking a while, but I knew rain was coming. The trailer seemed set up mostly for takeout orders, but there were a few picnic tables tucked under the tree line about twenty yards away. I asked for my barbecue on a tray to get the pretty photos, and was hoping I could get them before raindrops pooled on the beans. At least the brisket would look moist. A steady sprinkle began but didn’t get much worse, so I hovered over the tray to shield it as best I could and resigned myself to a quick but damp lunch. One bite into the cheesy jalapeño sausage and I could see sunny days ahead.

The two attended a sausage class with Bill Dumas, aka the Sausage Sensei of Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville in January, and said it was just the boost their links needed. “He really helped us fix our mistakes,” Rosemeyer said. Both the original sausage—with mustard seeds, marjoram, and green onion—and the jalapeño cheese varieties are made primarily with beef. The cheese pull from big chunks of Oaxaca cheese was designed for the Instagram age, and the generous cheese cools the heat from both jalapeños and chile pequin. They cold smoke the links first, then hot smoke them for service, so the casing has a great snap and the sausage remains incredibly juicy.

A lean slice of brisket had a perfectly rendered fat cap and a clean smoke flavor. When I eat a fatty slice I usually pull off the back end, where you get a half circle of bark in one bite. This one was a spot-on combination of beef, fat, smoke, and salt. I enjoyed the smoked turkey as well but was more taken with the pork ribs. The sweet glaze of honey and simple syrup is the final touch just before serving, but I wish they’d make it optional. While I appreciated the way the glaze complements the smoky pork beneath, I know it could stand alone (alongside these other excellent savory pork ribs). The meat had a ham-like flavor and tighter texture than most foil-wrapped ribs, but it was by no means tough.

Reminiscing on those barbecue competitions, Rosemeyer said, “Our meats never hit, but our buddy had these awesome beans.” The dish would often get first place, so Rosemeyer used that recipe as the basis for his own pinto beans. They’re made from dry beans, and thankfully rely on fresh onion, tomato, and jalapeño chunks for flavor rather than becoming a repository for leftover barbecue. While the green-bean side starts in a can, I appreciated the butter and bacon Rosemeyer added to replicate his grandmother’s green beans as best he can.

The only dessert is the sweet and sticky Southern bread pudding. It’s made from a combination of challah bread and croissants and tastes like the richest French toast you’ve ever had. They’ll add a weekly flavor of homemade ice cream as the weather warms. First up is a play on Samoas (or Caramel deLites depending on your Girl Scouts geography), and will be sold by the scoop soon. They also serve a smoked meat special every Saturday. Last week’s was pork belly burnt ends, which turned out to be so popular they’ll be on the regular menu starting this week.

Rosemeyer Bar-B-Q represents a certain subset of the barbecue business that’s hard to progress beyond. They’re not beginners, and they know how to produce great barbecue, but their business footing is uncertain. I see so many one- or two-day-a-week operations that close before I have a chance to even visit.

Great barbecue in Texas is anything but rare these days, and not all the willing barbecue entrepreneurs—even some really good ones—get a permanent building. Restaurants are reserved for those who find big investors or those who have cultivated a large enough customer base to financially outgrow their current situation. Some pitmasters neither make it out of the pop-up phase nor get to a point where they can quit their day job, so Rosemeyer is a step ahead of some. It could still become a temporary professional detour for both Rosemeyer and Maxwell if they don’t see a bump in business before midyear. “We’re trying to get people to know who we are,” Rosemeyer said, “so we don’t have to go back to real jobs.”

Rosemeyer Bar-B-Q
2111 Riley Fuzzel Road, Spring
Phone: 281-205-0625
Hours: Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Pitmaster: Jordan Rosemeyer
Method: Oak in an offset smoker
Year opened: 2018