My family and I were heading back to Dallas from San Antonio this weekend, and got a late start. We were planning on hitting one of the Texas Top 50 spots in Austin, but wanted to avoid the Austin traffic by taking the bypass. I grabbed the BBQ Finder App from Texas Monthly Magazine. This is a really helpful tool to find great BBQ almost anywhere in Texas.
I picked Hays County Barbeque Restaurant because it is on Interstate 35 and just before I needed to exit for the bypass heading North.
I’ll start out with the details:
Hays County Barbeque Restaurant
1612 South IH-35
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Open 7 days a week
When I was looking at the review from Texas Monthly, the write up about the pork chops sounded too good to pass on. So, my family and I swung in the parking lot about [4:00] PM on a Monday, and had a wonderful experience. I was a little worried at first. The outside looked like I had just pulled into a new restaurant. I just felt like I was in a tourist trap. Most BBQ joints don’t look this new. It was because they just finished a new building. Don’t worry, it is not a mass production!
The pork chop was absolutely fantastic as promised, the brisket was great and the sides were tasty! Here are some pictures and then individual comments below!
- Brisket: Just the right amount of smoke and seasoning. Even the lean slices had really nice tenderness and juiciness.
- Pork chop: The pork chop was done very nicely. I liked the balance of smoke, and the seasoning was on point. Very juicy which can be hard for a smoked chop. It is not pictured above, because we ate it too fast.
- Pork Belly: OK, they had pork belly as the special for the day. It was really good. The fat was almost liquefied it had been cooked so well.
- Smoked turkey: I like it when there is a little less seasoning on turkey. It’s a meat that smoke and seasoning can ruin in my opinion. This was perfectly seasoned and cooked for me. I love it when the turkey breast is still juicy when sliced.
- Half smoked chicken: The chicken had a heavy smoke ring even through the skin. It was well seasoned and tasted good.
- Pork ribs: These were good. Not really the cut I prefer. They served spare ribs and I am more of a back rib fan.
- Baked potato casserole: This was a really good side dish. It was very well made and seasoned. It was like eating a fresh (fully loaded) baked potato.
- Jalapeno cream corn: Just get it. It was really good.
- Cole slaw: I am not much a fan of creamy cole slaw. I like more of a vinegar base. It was okay.
- Beans: The beans were excellent. They had little chunks of meat (brisket I presume) in it. These were very well done.
- They give you plenty of sliced bread, pickles, onions, and peppers with your order. This is key for me, because my boys and I like to make brisket sandwiches!
- They only have Pepsi products in the fountain. This is a non-starter for me (and most of my Texas friends). They had some other products in the refrigerator, but not Diet Coke. No Diet Coke is a no go for Jennifer 😉
- They had a large selection of beer in bottles and cans. That’s nice because I like to have a Lone Star with my BBQ
- I was wearing a USMC T-Shirt, and the guy at the counter gave me a discount. That was nice. It always tells you a lot about the ownership in my opinion.
I normally don’t tell you everything was great, but it really was here. If I had to get ride of something, it would be the chicken and slaw. If I could only order one items, it would be the brisket.
I’ll be back, for sure.
My rating: 4.25 out of 5
My Score: 85
Learn more about my rating system on my BBQ page.