Cooper’s Bar-B-Q & Grill
2008: This is one of many locations run by the Cooper family, and the meat is smoked in a similar fashion as the other joints but not displayed in the large smokers outside. Instead, the meat is displayed on the counter at the entry, and it all looked great. We ordered pork ribs, sausage, and both fatty and lean brisket. The sausage links were flecked with black pepper and had a great snap in the casing. They had the right balance of fat and meat with a medium grind. The pork ribs were huge. The rub had black pepper and a generous amount of salt. The ribs were then doused in a thin vinegar sauce that created more flavor profiles than I’m used to in a simple smoked rib. The fatty brisket was loaded with unrendered fat and was sliced with, rather than against, the grain making it tough. The lean brisket was also sliced with the grain and contained about as much fat as I’d expect in a fatty slice. The salt rub was front and center but a good crust and smoky flavor made this brisket more pleasing than the ribs.
Address: 2423 N. Main, Junction, TX
Hours: Open 7 days 10-9
Last updated: May 3, 2013
The sign may claim that they’ve been smoking since 1953, but this joint opened in 1999. Current owner Mark Cooper is a grandson of George Cooper, so they’re sort for taking credit for a few decades of Cooper’s operation in Mason. The woodpiles and pits are just as impressive as the Llano and Mason versions, …