Where's the best place to eat barbeque? Here are a few of the best BBQ restaurants when heading south
Texas and barbeque, two words that go hand in hand. The cultural tradition of cooking meat with fire where the wood, temperature, method and skill make the flavors of the meat unique to the pitmaster's style.
Whether you prefer mesquite wood, pecan or oak, pitmasters are grilling up some tasty bites in the rural communities of South Texas.
Here are some of the most popular spots from Robstown to San Diego that South Texans rave about.
Up in Smoke BBQ
Located close to city hall in the downtown area of Robstown, Owner Mario Hernandez is known around town to barbeque one heck of brisket with the chopped brisket sandwich as a local favorite.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. till 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
Skin N Bones BBQ
Owner Joey Valenzuela opened his barbeque spot in May of 2021 after being on the barbeque competitive circuit for over 17 years.
"I decided to quit the oilfield business and do what I love," Valenzuela said.
He has won trophies throughout the state and what sets his barbeque apart from the rest is his wood blend. He uses a blend of oak, pecan and mesquite.
Hours: 11 a.m. through 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
Butter's BBQ is the local Texas Monthly Magazine honoree after being featured for his barbeque. Butter's BBQ is known for its house-made sausage, brisket and smoked barbacoa.
Hours: On Friday, 11 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., and 9: 30 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays
Gil's Smoking Grille and Catering
Gil's Smoking Grill is known for its ribs, brisket and mollejas. This family-owned and run business is known in the community and has been serving up barbeque in Alice for over 14 years.
"I have a unique style. Homemade rub and a specific hotter temperature is how I like to cook a technique I have not seen anyone else do," said Owner and pit-master Gilbert Saenz. "I use mesquite wood and the main trick is the right temperature."
Hours: 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Fridays from 11 a.m. till 9 p.m.
Rollies BBQ is open one day a week, Thursdays, and specializes in brisket and South Texas cuisine.
"I've been barbequing most of my life, I am retired now and I do it because I love it," said owner Rogelia Cuellar Jr.
Hours: 11 a.m. till 9:30 p.m. or sold out. Open on Thursdays only
Monster's Smokehouse BBQ recently moved from food trailer to brick and mortar this year. Owner Daniel Monsevais is known for his brisket, smoke mollejas, smoked barbacoa on the weekends and don't forget to try the munedo.
Hours: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Friday; 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. on Saturdays; and 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. on Sundays
J&S Pit Stop
J&S Pit Stop in San Diego is also a Texas Monthly honoree. The barbeque spot was featured for its smoked mollejas. Pit-queen Sarah Chapa has a unique style of using mesquite wood and a little charcoal.
Hours: 7 a.m. till 3 p.m. Monday through Friday