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Dining Guide

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Photograph by Wyatt McSpadden

Pitmaster Alan Caldwell prefers to keep his exact smoking method a closely guarded trade secret. Even the woodpile is hidden behind a cinder-block wall and a tarp-covered gate. We’ve spotted some oak back there, and the flavor of the ribs suggests commercial charcoal, but Caldwell refuses to confirm or deny either one. No matter the method, the meats that come out of his mystery pit are spectacular.

The spareribs are hefty (Fargo’s uses a larger than normal rack), and the well-seasoned pork and layers of expertly rendered fat come away from the bone more easily than you’d expect for such a large rib. As for the brisket, well, rarely will you find a deeper smoky flavor or a thicker smoke ring. Beneath a bark that almost crackles is juicy meat with just enough salt to keep you coming back for more.

City: Bryan

Cuisine:

Method: Unknown

Pitmaster: Alan Caldwell

Pro-tip: Always choose ribs over rib tips.

Price: $$

Rating: ★★★★

Address: 1701 S. Texas Ave., Bryan, TX, 77803

Hours: Tue-€“Sat 11-€“7

Phone: 979-778-3662

Year Opened: 2000

Last updated: May 3, 2013

Reviews

  • Anonymous

    Best BBQ in the BCS area. When I saw you were doing a review of BCS BBQ joints, I was hoping you’d find your way to Fargo’s.

  • Anonymous

    Wholeheartedly agree with the review and the commenter above. Best BBQ in the BCS area, made even better with the addition of their spectacular, rich, smoky, spicy sauce (I think it contains meat drippings). They also have pretty good rib tips if you stop by on a Tuesday or Saturday.

  • Anonymous

    Based on your previous 5 star rating I stopped at Fargo’s recently on a drive to Austin from Florida. It was my first experience with real Texas BBQ and I was extremely impressed. While all the meat was top notch as you noted, I was equally impressed with the service. I bought a few pounds of meat and they loaded me up with a full loaf of bread and large containers of sauce, pickles, jalapenos and onions. Truly nice people and great Texas BBQ.

  • Anonymous

    I never venture that far into north Bryan. This gives me a good reason. If you think it’s better than Martin’s, then it’s worth the 20 minute trip from my house.Thanks for stopping by and supporting our community. We need more gems like this.

  • That’s some beautiful meat. I might have to come up with an excuse to go to Bryan…but then again, who needs an excuse to eat good BBQ?

  • Ray

    Great report BBQ Snob. I live in San Antonio but I’m really tempted to drive 3 to 4 hrs to Bryan to try out this place. Three questions, the first of which is inevitable because of the 6 star rating.1. Who’s better: Fargo’s Pit BBQ or Franklin BBQ?2. Who does their sausage compare to? I’m trying to get an idea of what I should expect. Is it like the sausage you find at Smitty’s or City Market in Luling, is it like the sausage at Gonzales Food Market, or is it something different? Just curious.3. Why hasn’t this place gotten the publicity of other newly discovered bbq joints, like Snow’s, J Mueller, and Gatlin’s?

  • Ray – 1. They’re both great in their own way.2. It’s not a hot guts sausage type of place. The fat content is low, but it’s still juicy. It’s like a very good version of Smoky Denmark’s with lots of black pepper.3. All three you mentioned have some advantages that Fargo’s does not. JMueller is in a large city and has a famous pitmaster. Its opening alone was news, so there’s no way it wouldn’t be “discovered”. Snow’s had all the publicity of Texas Monthly behind it when they named them tops in the state. Before then hardly anyone had heard of them. Gatlin’s is serving great BBQ in a large city with few options for elite BBQ. It received great reviews by both of the major newspaper outlets within its first year of opening. Fargo’s has no famous pitmaster (yet), has not been recognized by Texas Monthly (yet), and is not in a large with influential food critics. In fact, most of the Texas A&M grads that I’ve talked to about said they rarely go up to Bryan for anything because it’s considered the rough part of town.On the other hand it’s not like I discovered the place. The local food sites, Urbanspoon and Yelp all have positive reviews from locals who discovered it long ago. I was just lucky enough to eat there a couple of times.

  • The fact that I hate Fargo’s sauce makes its meat all the more impressive… For me it epitomizes the Texas bbq ethos that sauce should not hide mediocre meat. Definitely in my top five along with Franklin’s, Liking and Louis Mueller… And the proprietors are good folks.

  • Anonymous

    Kudos to you Fargo’s you do have wonderful BBQ. I live in Bryan and I’ve heard many people that live right in College Station say that Bryan is too far to drive. OMG you must make the less than 6 mile drive to Bryan to try out this place, it will be worth your time.

  • Anonymous

    This is BBQ porn …

  • Anonymous

    I made the nearly three hour drive to Fargo’s today because of blogs like this one. On my way up I called them about 8am to ask a few questions: Do you accept credit cards (no); should I expect a large crowd and line (yes-turns out there wasn’t one); Is your menu diet friendly (wear elastic waistband). Alan and his wife are super friendly people and they welcome call ahead orders if you are traveling so you do not miss out. The smokey offerings are second to none and I’ve tried all the ones you are thinking of right now, yes even that one. The only negative thing I have to say and it’s not that big of a deal is I asked for the sauce on the side in a container. Well I got a container of it, and I got some slathered over the top of my meat too. Not to worry, their sauce is quite good and it wasn’t that much. I highly recommend everyone who loves good barbecue give them a try. In fact go on a Tuesday or Saturday so you can get a pint of their rib tips to munch on. These little morsels will leave you licking your fingers and the cup when they are all gone, they are THAT good.

  • Mike

    Went out there this weekend, and this was fantastic BBQ. The ribs were great, I think they might be my favorite. The chicken was flavorful, a little dry, but very good anyways. Sausage was great, just as described. The brisket was very good, fat well rendered, good flavor.The rib tips deserve their own paragraph. These were amazing. Smoky bits of meaty goodness. Just fantastic.As for sides, baked beans were good, and the potato salad was above average. It’s a creamy, but good flavor, little bit of boiled egg, some zing.This place has earned their rating, I’d say. Even better, I walked in the door at 12:15 on a Saturday and only waited behind 1 person.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sold – and fortunately I’m in Bryan/College Station once a month for a couple of days. I’ll be at Fargo’s the next time I’m in town.Thanks!Oh BTW driving from one end of CS to the opposite end of Bryan is about 10 mins – its not far people!

  • George

    Very glad to see Bryan representing. There are too many Houston suburb fools in College Station who think Bryan is “rough.” Evidently they’ve never actually been inside the loop in Houston.On the other hand, maybe it’s not so bad. I’d hate for Fargo’s to turn into a Franklin’s style rush for meat every morning.

  • Anonymous

    they just moved into a building after 12 years on the grind. best luck to em!

  • Anonymous

    Bring this to Fargo,ND