Bo Moreno grew up loving barbecue, but it wasn’t until he tried the famous Franklin Barbecue brisket that his love turned into a full-blown obsession. He quit a stable job to pursue his passion and opened the Moreno Barbecue truck in South Austin in 2019. Daniel Vaughn was quick to deem his spot a “worthy contender” in the crowded Austin market.
Tell me about the first person who taught you about barbecue.
I’d have to say my grandfather, Osvaldo Senior, would have been the person who showed me the most as a young kid. I spent most of my summers with my grandparents in Odem, Texas—right outside of Corpus Christi. He didn’t cook the way I do today, but I remember the early mornings—putting on the brisket, cooking with a mix of mesquite and oak, and using foil to wrap.
Do you remember a backyard or a barbecue joint that started your barbecue obsession?
I remember both! The backyard it started in was my grandfather’s. He was the glue that held most of our family together by gathering us over meals. Whether it was a brisket, fajitas, chicken, tripas, or a wild hog—entertaining and bringing family together to create memories the way he did was what started my obsession.
What sealed the deal was going to Franklin Barbecue. I’d been around a lot of backyard barbecue, but was kind of limited in my knowledge at that time. One bite of Franklin’s brisket changed that. I set out to hone my skills and try my best to give my family that same experience I’d had. I’m still working to get better every day.
What message are you trying to share to your customers through your food?
Food is about family. When you eat our food, we want you to know the passion and love we put into our food. We want you to be able to share that experience with a family member, friend, or make new friends when you eat with us.
As a professional pitmaster, are you a BBQ Freak just like the rest of us?
Absolute BBQ Freak.
When is the last time you ate someone else’s barbecue besides your own?
I have a tremendous amount of respect for the barbecue community—and the list of spots to hit is only growing! Unfortunately, trying to expand during a pandemic has taken a toll and I haven’t been free to visit as many new spots as I’d like. Before we open, we plan on shutting down for at least a week to check some off the list. The last spot I visited was Roegels Barbecue Co., right before we opened in 2019. Absolutely fantastic barbecue.
What’s the most surprising BBQ dish you’ve eaten?
It’s been a while and—just like the list of barbecue joints to visit—there is always something new or different from each one of them that I want to try. Before I opened, I’d say the brisket pastrami from Roegels Barbecue Co. Didn’t know it could be so good.
What’s the best beverage to wash down BBQ?
Big Red or ice-cold beer.
What’s a tool you use in cooking that might not seem like an obvious barbecue tool?
My watch. I’d be lost without it. Timing is everything.
What recommendations do you have for someone new to Texas ’cue?
Keeping it simple and execution.
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