Potential Barbecue Power Grab

By Derik Strelsky

Texas Barbecue

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Driving through Burnet, Texas late last year I saw what seemed like just another barbecue joint popping up to capitalize on the craze sweeping the world known as Texas barbecue.  It was a place called Warehouse BBQ and this Spring as I drove into Burnet again, it was still open.  So, I decided to stop and I have to tell you, it was definitely the right decision. 

What I encountered was some great “smoke” flavored brisket, sausage, pork ribs and turkey, and truthfully, it was better than most.  As to why it had great smoke flavor, well that actually had me puzzled at first.  It was a stronger but yet, not bitter or overpowering taste and I knew it wasn’t post oak.  I kept going on and on in my mind as to what a great flavor it was and I just couldn’t get over how it tasted and that something was so very much different.  It couldn’t be mesquite I thought, even though it was everywhere.  Or maybe it was mesquite but they were smoking it on an old lazy Susan style pit but somehow the smoke was being dispersed and it wasn’t hitting the meat directly.  The flavor had me so curious that after the meal I spoke with Joe Vann who was slicing the meat as it was ordered.  He looked at me and smiled and said, “come with me.”  So, I followed him to the back to find a big offset smoker and the owner, Danny Lester getting things ready for the next day.  I told him that I loved the smoke flavor and knew that it wasn’t post oak but wondered what it was?  To my surprise, he was using live oak and with proper fire management, it’s not dirty smoke but for a lack of a better description, it was more of a “thicker smoke”.

However, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just the smoke flavor.  Everything was seasoned perfectly.  The brisket had great texture, with beautiful bark and bend.  The pork ribs had a dry rub as opposed to being glazed.  They had a wonderful taste and with a single bite, came right off the bone.  And yes, absolutely, the sausage had a great snap to each link and was just loaded with juice.   Finally the turkey breast with the live oak smoke was moist and very flavorful.  Just add in a few sides, and this fat boy was very happy.  It was all so good, this could possibly be a potential barbecue power grab in the making.

If you haven’t tried Warehouse BBQ yet, I suggest getting there as soon as possible.  Stop by and see Danny, Joe Vann and all the crew.  Maybe if you are as nice as me, they’ll take you in the back to see 75 year old Pit Master, Jr. Morris, he’s still smokin strong in the pit room everyday they are open.  They’re located at 305 N. Water St. in Burnet, Texas with hours of operation being Friday & Saturday 11am – 6pm and then Sunday 11am – 2pm.  For call in orders, give them a ring at 512.888.6068.

However, if you forget when they are open and you’re driving by, they have an old tractor out front converted into a smoker.  So remember their saying,

We’re Open If The Tractor’s is Smokin