…Half the fun of discovering a new restaurant is sharing it with people you know will enjoy it. As Rachael Ray’s resident restaurant guru, here’s an inside look at what I report back to Rach about some of my favorite restaurant finds and food experiences!…
Sent: Sunday, January 7, 2012 11:45am
Subject: BBQ with Robert Duvall
Well, I didn’t really have BBQ with him, but you have to hear about this insane experience I had. I was in Austin at a friend’s house over New Year’s. I’ve done a lot of the BBQ circuit there…you know, Stubb’s, Iron Works, Salt Lick, Rudy’s, and the rest, but there was one outstanding place I heard about a few years back. It’s called Snow’s BBQ and it’s about 70 miles outside of Austin. But here’s the real kicker…they’re ONLY open on Saturday! And as you know, every time I’m in Austin, it’s for work, so I’m never able to go there.
Finally, this past trip, I had a free Saturday. When Katy says that she’s never seen me get out of bed so quickly on a Saturday morning, she’s not kidding. It was a solo trip for me, since no one was willing to go for the hour trek each way to get BBQ at 9:30am on a Saturday. So there I was, driving through the country roads of Texas until I got to Lexington, TX, population about 1,000. Yes, it’s that town you see in movies. I pulled up to Snow’s BBQ and did a quick walkthrough of the small dining room to get a lay of the land and – of course – headed right to the back to see the smokers. This is when I met owner Kerry Bexley and Pitmaster Ms. Tootsie. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of eight smokers, all loaded with brisket, chicken, sausage, ribs and pork shoulder. In other words? Heaven.
I introduced myself to the crew, snapped some pics and got the tour of the pit. I’m not lying when I say that this was overwhelming for me. There I was chatting with Kerry when he says to me, in his southern drawl, “So, you know Robert Duvall?” “Uh, yeah, I know who he is,” I say. He then tells me that last night as they were firing up the smokers and getting the pits ready, Robert Duvall showed up, “just to hang out.” I guess he has a house in Texas somewhere and drove in and hung out with the crew.
After chit-chatting with them, I finally went inside to talk with the ladies working the counter. “So, you all work here only one day a week, huh?” to which they reply, “Half-days, sometimes…there’ve been times we’ve sold out of everything by 9am or 10am.” Yes, you read that right, and lest you think that I was crazy to arrive at 10:30am on New Year’s Eve morning: They sometimes sell out one or two hours after they open! And in fact, by the time I arrived, the place was filled with people who had driven in from all over Texas – there was even a guy from New York City!
So why only Saturdays? The story goes that Kerry has a full-time job in town. Ms. Tootsie had been a pitmaster for over 45 years and owned restaurants in town. Kerry dragged her out of retirement to open Snow’s eight years ago. Now, while everyone has their favorite BBQ, I’m telling you, this BBQ is special. All they sell is chicken, brisket, ribs, sausage and pork shoulder. The only sides are potato salad and cole slaw, along with an enormous pot of baked beans in the middle of the dining room that are free and you can take as much as you’d like. And the best part? When you order food to-go and they give you BBQ sauce, they fill up a little water bottle or Gatorade bottle! I sat and sampled a couple slices of different meats, then brought a selection back to the house for the others to try.
While they do mail order, you’ve really got to go at least once to appreciate it. What a great way to end the holiday season for me…Let it Snow’s, let it Snow’s, let it Snow’s!
516 Main Street
Lexington, Texas 78947
And that’s what’s on my plate!
Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan loves food. A professionally trained chef, by day he runs Yum-o!, Rachael Ray’s charity focused on kids and cooking, and keeps special projects running smoothly for her. By night he hops course to course, place to place, all across the country. He’s Rach’s own personal dining guide! You can also follow Kappy on Twitter to see what’s On Kappy’s Plate in real-time!