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Dining Guide

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que

Photograph by Daniel Vaughn

We’re not an authority on barbacoa, but we’ve eaten enough of it to know that what we ate at Vera’s was something special. The funny part is, the best place to get barbacoa in Texas doesn’t have a single Yelp or Urbanspoon review. Take that however you like, but a visit to Vera’s isn’t exactly adventurous.

It might not be the kind of Texas barbecue that you’re used to, but this sort of smoked meat has been around far longer than the smoked brisket that we love so much. It is Texas’s real native barbecue, and Vera’s is a Texas historical treasure. It’s worth a pilgrimage.

City: Brownsville


Method: Mesquite and ebony; indirect-heat pit

Pitmaster: Mando Vera

Price: $$

Rating: ★★★★★

Address: 2404 Southmost Rd., Brownsville, TX, 78521

Hours: Fri 6 a.m.-2 p.m., Sat-Sun 5 a.m.-2 p.m.

Phone: 956-546-4159

Year Opened: 1955

Last updated: May 16, 2013


  • Anonymous

    Very nice review! I’ve always wanted to try traditional cows head barbacoa. I’ve had some excellent lengua tacos that were a lot like a falling apart pot roast. I’ve even had very good tripas, in this case piggy small inestines. I can’t say I’ve ever had ojos (eyes) and it sounds like pretty deep end of the pool stuff but I’d give them a shot after a couple of pre-beers. The Homesick Texan has a really great post on cows head barbacoa..http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2009/07/cow-head-barbacoa.htmlIt's sad to think that Vera’s is the last restaurant in Texas to carry on this BBQ tradition.