Friday, November 18, 2011

The Weekend Gourmet Hits the Road: Texas Pride BBQ

Texas is known for its BBQ...especially the Central Texas area between Austin and San Antonio. Some of the best BBQ in the country comes from my area of the state. But, don't just take my word for it as a bragging Texan. Numerous TV shows I've seen have confirmed this fact. We go on several BBQ road trips each year, and I try to share some of our favorite finds with you. This year, we've been to Black's BBQ in Lockhart, Luling City Market in Luling, and The Salt Lick in Driftwood. All of them are wonderful for different reasons...but all are wonderful! However, we recently added a new BBQ joint to the mix, this one right in our backyard: Texas Pride BBQ...located just outside San Antonio in Adkins, Texas.

You may wonder...what makes Texas BBQ different from BBQ around the country? For one thing, BBQ sauce is optional...and the meat is seasoned simply and smoked low and slow, until the meat is fall-apart tender. Texas BBQ sauce tends to be on the thin side, with lots of pepper and vinegar. And it's always served on the side to be added at the table. Texas BBQ purists shun sauce, but I like it...especially on brisket. Texas Pride was an easy drive from Casa Garcia, and their food and service is excellent! They recently were featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. We received a fantastic Groupon offer that we couldn't pass up to try their Hungry Texan special for two. The name cracks me up, and it was a really great off we headed over to have some BBQ and sides with our good friend Bekah.

We arrived at dusk, and the smell of smoky goodness met us in the parking lot. That's always a good sign when you arrive at a BBQ joint! We stepped inside, got in line, and placed our order. The Hungry Texan came with brisket, house-made sausage, ribs, and a fourth meat. We opted to go with the pulled pork. Our two sides were potato salad and macaroni and cheese. Many of the old-school Texas BBQ joints only offer bread, crackers, onions, and pickles to accompany the meat. Our generous portion of smoked meat was piled high on butcher paper, another Texas tradition...some places don't even offer knives and forks, so you have to eat with your hands. We stopped by the condiment bar to pick up the requisite bread, pickles, onions, and jalapenos to make sandwiches. Bottles of sauce -- regular and spicy -- were waiting at the table. The standard beverage of choice with Texas BBQ is Big Red, so that's what Michael opted for. I, being a rebel, went with Diet Dr. Pepper instead.

The Hungry Texan sampler was a perfect way for us to try all of their smoked meats. The pork ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender, the brisket was smoky and juicy, and the sausage was perfectly spiced and not the least bit greasy. I'm glad we decided to try the pulled pork for our other meat option. It was tender, juicy, and well seasoned. Take a look at this gorgeous BBQ!!

The sides were really yummy, but the meat was the true star of the show! We tried all of the meats, but the portions were so large that we ended up taking enough home for our dinner the next night. Of course, that was also partly because we were saving room for dessert. Texas Pride's well known in San Antonio for its award-winner peach cobbler, but Michael isn't a fan of peaches. Luckily, they also serve a unique pecan's like the love child of pecan pie and cobbler, served a la mode. We decided to share, was it ever good! Like spoon fights for the last bite good...

We left for home full and happy...with enough BBQ left to make sandwiches for dinner the next night. The staff at Texas Pride was very friendly and helpful, which made our first visit very enjoyable. I guarantee it won't be our last visit, either. If you find yourself visiting San Antonio, make sure to put Texas Pride on your list of "must visit" places to eat. I promise you won't be disappointed!

You may have noticed that my last couple of posts haven't include recipes. That's because my work schedule this week continued to be hectic, and Michael was out of town for a couple of days. That kept me out of the kitchen, but I'm going to be doing a lot of cooking this weekend. Be looking for at least three posts with all-new recipes next week. I'm cooking my Secret Recipe Club dish tonight...and homemade jamabalaya tomorrow night. We have cousins spending the night with us, so I'm going to cook up a little feast.

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