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Smoked in Texas: BBQ Tacos at BBQ on the Brazos

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Combining barbecue and tacos is a damn-near perfect culinary Texas creation. In fact, it is the barbecue tacos at Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ in Austin that has made this one of my favorite joints in the state. I’ve often wished that more tortillas were stuffed with smoked meat, so I was happy to find another joint that gives even Valentina’s a run for their money: BBQ on the Brazos, in Cresson. The smoked meat does its part to make the tacos at BBQ on the Brazos incredible, but they’d be nothing without great tortillas.

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Roas Barrientos with a freshly rolled tortilla

“She makes them every morning,” pitmaster John Sanford says of Rosa Barrientos. She is the kitchen manager and tortilla queen at BBQ on the Brazos. With a length of PVC pipe, she rolls out a few hundred tortillas (she uses a worn broomstick at home) on a butcher block. Both corn and flour are available. The bigger flour ones are saved for breakfast tacos (served only until 9:30 a.m.), and verge on a burrito’s girth. Sanford said his goal was to make sure his son, John Sanford Jr. (who also helps run the pits), would be full after just one.

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Brisket and egg breakfast taco

If you miss breakfast, they make one heck of a lunch taco too. I got one with chopped brisket and one with pulled pork (pictured above), both of which were juicy and smoky. The small flour tortillas are a little more fluffy than the larger breakfast version. The tacos are topped with fresh pico de gallo, and a green sauce Sanford concocts using sour cream, jalapeños, lime juice, and cilantro. I think the sauce would improve just about anything.

It wasn’t until I’d finished lunch that Sanford said they also had fresh corn tortillas. I didn’t try another taco, but I took a few bites from a hot, buttered corn tortilla. It’s going to be hard to choose next time. Also, as someone who prefers large trays full of unadorned smoked meat, I might have to make an exception at BBQ on the Brazos. These tacos are too good to skip.

BBQ on the Brazos
9001 E Hwy 377
Cresson, TX 76035

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  • Brandon

    This is my darkhorse for top tier when the new rankings come out.