Burnt Bean Co.

Bright slashes of lightning etched across the Seguin horizon as Chet Garner pulled up at Burnt Bean Co. BBQ. Deep peals of thunder rolled through the sky. Luckily for the BBQ lovers, there was also smoke rolling off the enormous offsets behind the Top 50 BBQ joint. It was early on a Sunday morning, and at Burnt Bean Co., that means BBQ brunch.

Despite the weather, there were so many BBQ fans at brunch that certain coveted items began to sell out. As the rain subsided, an even longer line began to form. Crowd favorites were the huevos rancheros with brisket and barbacoa. Every component of the dish is made from scratch, from the tostada to the beans to the ranchero sauce. Also popular were pitmaster Ernest Servantes’s BBQ interpretations of tacos and breakfast sandwiches. 

Servantes, known as the Pope of BBQ, told Chet, “I always wanted to pay homage to growing up on Sundays when we would have these great meals as a family after church.”

It certainly was a religious experience for the BBQ devotees who made the pilgrimage down to Seguin. They journeyed from all around Texas and beyond to enjoy the Sunday experience Servantes and his crew have created.

We’ve traveled all across the great state of Texas to visit some of the best BBQ joints in the world. We’ve had mindblowing BBQ, but we’ve also had great fellowship with BBQ fanatics from near and far. Join us as we continue to travel and enjoy the gift of Texas BBQ. 

Snow’s BBQ

On an early Saturday morning, Garner made the pilgrimage to a BBQ joint on every BBQ fanatic’s bucket list. In the Holy Land of BBQ, Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s only open on Saturday mornings, and the pits are run by one of the most famous pitmasters in all of BBQ.

When the food is served around eight in the morning, the BBQ faithful start lining up early. The first folks showed up at midnight,and were joined by others soon after.

Garner’s latest visit occurred during a most happy occasion for the joint—Snow’s was celebrating their 20th anniversary. In line, Garner met people from as far away as Colombia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, and from all over the United States. Though the 20th anniversary was a special gathering, owner Kerry Bexley said they have guests from all over the world most every weekend.

“That’s when it’s so personally rewarding,” Bexley said. There’s no doubt folks come for the food, but Bexley was quick to say it’s also the hospitality Snow’s is famous for. “We make it a fun day,” he said.

Everyone is there for the great BBQ, but they all also want to meet Ms. Tootsie Tomanetz. She oversees the pits at Snow’s, judging the temperature with her hands. She’s been at Snow’s these past 20 years, but her BBQ career tracks back a little further “When I started back in 1966 I never realized BBQ would blow into this big of an occupation,” she said.

We’re blessed to be in the golden age of Texas BBQ. Join us as we check out joints all across Texas.

Interstellar BBQ

It was a chilly Friday in Austin, but that didn’t keep the BBQ fanatics from lining up outside Interstellar BBQ, currently the Texas Monthly #2-rated BBQ joint in all of Texas.

Chet had a bit of a hard time finding the joint—it’s tucked back in an unassuming strip mall—though the congregation of smokers in a median in
the parking lot were a pretty great clue. After Chet got his bearings he joined the line to find out what makes Interstellar so out of this world.

He found that you can’t judge BBQ joints by their cover. The Interstellar line remained steady all afternoon, even as they began to sell out of ’cue. Travelers came from all around. Some remembered the line was a fair bit shorter before Interstellar made the Top 50 list. One visitor had eaten
lunch there earlier in the week and was back for more. Visitors from as far away as California and as close as down the street were there for lunch.

“The exposure has been a real blessing for my team,” Pitmaster John Bates told Chet. “I can’t put it into words, what it means to us.”

He wasn’t alone there—many of the BBQ Freaks couldn’t articulate how great the ’cue tasted. The evidence was in the picked-clean bones upon the signature pink butcher paper. By the end of the day, Interstellar was full of satisfied BBQ seekers, with many vowing to return for more soon.

All across this state, in the unlikeliest of locales, there is galactically great BBQ. More than just a quest for meat, we’ll explore the community surrounding BBQ joints and BBQ fanatics. Join us as we continue this series and visit the greatest BBQ joints in the solar system.

Check out the first season of Cooler Talks here.