Best Texas Interstate BBQ

Interstate travel usually leads to generic, unmemorable, value-meal food stops. On a recent Texas drive from San Antonio to South Padre Island, I found a BBQ place called Van’s that made me want to write a story about making I-travel a more local experience. Here are three interstate BBQ joints worth an exit in Texas.

Vansbbq_front2

(Photo by Taylor Bruce)

 

Van’s BBQ, Oakville: I was greeted here with the aroma of smoked brisket and a white-haired gentleman at the stand-up piano playing Willie’s “On the Road Again,” a five-minute experience I wish I could bottle and sell. My friend David ordered the breakfast platter, but I went classic with a mesquite-flavored BBQ sandwich and a Dr. Pepper on ice. As we ate, a group of ladies arrived, ages varying from college to golden years. They seemed to be on a wedding road trip, yet they knew Van’s well. I took this 7-person table of lady regulars to be a clear signal that this place rides well in the on-going rodeo that is TX BBQ.

Van’s BBQ: I-37, exit 65; open 7 days a week, 7-7.

Vansbbq_piano

(Photo by Taylor Bruce)

Two other interstate BBQ stops recommended to me, but yet to be tried and tested officially, are below. They are on my list of to-eats. I’ll update this post just as soon as I’m lucky enough to drive nearby.

Willy Ray’s Bar-B-Q and Grill, Beaumont: I-10, exit 852 (A or B). Check out their website for more info.

Hinze’s Barbeque, Sealy: I-10, the Sealy exit. I hear they smoke their meat with pecan wood. How to get there.

 

READERS: If you have any favorite locally-run, stop-worthy restaurants off any interstate in the South, let us know by commenting on this blog post. Thanks for reading.  

COMMENTS

  1. Annette Thompson

    I may not be a Texas gal who grew up on brisket, but last week I bellied up to the counter at Rudy’s Country Store and Barbecue in Waco for the first time. I was hesitating, because it looked for all the world like a Texas version of a Cracker Barrell. Lordy hallelujah! My first impression was wrong. Their beef brisket melted in my mouth. There was too much meat to eat sandwich style, so I simply cut off pieces with the edge of my fork and savored every bite. I’d go there right now again if I could. It’s enough to make me think twice about pork.

    August 12, 2008 at 12:36 pm
  2. Kyra

    I’m glad someone finally recognizes Van’s for what it is. We’ve never made the trip b/w Corpus and San Antonio without stopping in. This place has a wonderful charm and some of the best BarBQue this Texas gal has ever eaten (except for maybe C&Js in Bryan).

    October 25, 2008 at 12:28 pm
  3. Craig Walker

    Stopped on the same route. Had about 10 customers at 4:00 pm on Monday. There is an old jail house converted to a bed and breakfast nearby. A posting on the wall at Van’s said over 40 people were hung in Oaksville.
    In any case the meat was good, a significant layer of fat. The sauce was very mild. A good experience.
    Craig Walker
    Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 26, 2009 at 4:10 pm
  4. Michael

    I know this sounds a little crazy, but I have eaten bbq from coast to coast and there is no better than Snow’s BBQ in lexington Texas.www.snowsbbq.com

    August 27, 2009 at 11:56 am
  5. MARY

    i KNOW THERE ARE GREAT BBQ. BUT I FOUND ONE IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS OFF INTERSTATE 20 AND COOPER ST. THEY ARE ON THE CONER OF GREEN OAK AND COOPER ST. IT NOT A FANCY BBQ PLACE BUT QUITE AND OUT OF THE WAY PLACE. THE BBQ IS TO DIE FOR. IT JUST THAT GOOD. IF YOU EVERY THAT WAY CHECK THEM OUT. TELL THEM TO DIE FOR SEND ME. ENJOY.

    June 15, 2010 at 11:06 pm
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    July 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm
  8. mike

    had the great pleasure to eat here a few days ago. Great food served with great courtesy and warmth. Best BBQ I’ve ever eaten

    July 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm
  9. Helen

    If you’re headed towards Rockport or Corpus, there is a great small BBQ joint called Rustic Foods that sits on the main drag in Sinton. We stop everytime on our way from San Antonio to Rockport. Great food, everything made from scratch and the owners are warm and welcoming!

    August 21, 2010 at 11:58 am
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