Smoked in Texas: BBQ Tacos at BBQ on the Brazos
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.
“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.
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