Robert Wilhite is both mayor and resident pitmaster in Creedmoor. He runs one of the few restaurants in town, and I’d guess this is the best one. Don’t let the adjoining Valero station fool you into thinking this is some fly-by-night barbecue stand. Robert’s dad started this place back in 1962, and it’s been smoking ever since. These days the meat is smoked in one of two custom-designed cylindrical smokers that function like a lazy susan for meat. They are fed with all post-oak wood, and there’s not a gas line in sight. The smell of smoke was strong as soon as we got out of the car and only increased once we were inside. Ordering is done at the counter, and a cutting board isn’t too far away. This allows for a few special requests while the meat is being sliced. We were just here for meat, and soon a pile of sausage, ribs, and sliced brisket were piled high on butcher paper.
(I’ve included both of these photos so you can take notice, as I often do, how much better Nick’s photos are than mine.)
When I saw the jet-black brisket on the cutting block, I knew it was gonna be good. The smokiness permeated the silky fat-cap that remained, and a rub heavier in salt than pepper woke up the meat. Each slice was superbly moist and cooked to that perfect point of tenderness, which allows one to pick up a full slice but then tear it down the middle with only a modicum of effort. A couple of folks at the table were skeptical of the generous brisket fat that remained on each slice, but after just one bite, they saw the light. Sometimes “melt-in-your-mouth” is the only way to say it. Pork ribs weren’t as dark but just as smoky. Meat came off the bone nicely without falling off, and every bit of the nicely rendered fat was edible. These ribs were epitome of beautiful simplicity on a bone. An all-beef sausage comes from Meyer’s, in Elgin, and I laughed with Robert about how much better it was than what we got at Meyer’s the day before. He noted that the Meyer’s delivery driver preferred the Wilhite’s version too. This is what can happen when a barbecue joint bothers to order good quality raw sausage and do the smoking themselves instead of buying the pre-cooked stuff. Across the board, this was outstanding barbecue, and Robert had done right by the Texas trinity.
We were about to jump back in our caravan of vehicles when a stiff and sudden wind blew in and took our friend Steve Dean’s cowboy hat straight off his head and deposited it directly on the roof. We found a rickety ladder out back, and Steve went up to retrieve it. He brushed up next to the exhaust from the smoker, so we got the pleasure of smelling him for the rest of the day. Once he was safely down off the ladder, we set our sights on the next barbecue destination with the knowledge that we’d probably just had the best meal of the day.
(This review originally appeared on Full Custom Gospel BBQ.)