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Dining Guide

Guess Family Barbecue

Photograph by Daniel Vaughn

Reid Guess touts his old-school barbecue for good reason—the simply seasoned spareribs are hulking and tender, and the brisket is dazzlingly juicy. But you’d be missing out if you didn’t also stray from the classics. Guess, a former pitmaster at upscale Austin joint Lamberts, had our attention from the moment he opened his Waco food truck, in 2017. He upgraded to a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2019; the renovated space has allowed him to branch out into a variety of specials. Highlights include a brisket melt with cheddar, caramelized onion, and house aioli on Texas toast; fried baby back ribs; and a fresh broccoli salad that might help you justify ordering a few extra menu items. Don’t skip the desserts; all are made in-house, including a heavenly single-serving coconut cream pie.

City: Waco


Method: Post oak; offset smoker

Pitmaster: Kyle Arwine, 45; Reid Guess, 39; Chuy Ortiz, 28

Pro-tip: Wednesdays bring Tex-Mex, Thursdays chicken-fried steak, Fridays baby back ribs and pork spareribs, and Saturdays steak.

Rating: ★★★★

Address: 2803 Franklin Ave, Waco, TX

Hours: M-Thur 11-3, F 11–8, Sat 10–8, Sun 10–4

Phone: 254-313-3436

Website: www.guessfamilybbq.com

Year Opened: 2017

Last updated: April 30, 2017