My Texas BBQ Experience


This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting San Antonio, Texas. A very last minute trip (like most of my travels), I didn’t have much time to plan out every detail in advance. But, since it would be my first ever trip to Texas, I knew I would have to make time for some Texas-style barbecue (especially after just having Kansas City-style barbecue last month!)


In the few days notice I did have, I tried to figure out where we could get the best barbecue in San Antonio. Many people recommended places on the outskirts of downtown San Antonio, places less accessible for tourists without cars, unfortunately. So instead I succumbed to the supposed tourist trap that was County Line BBQ on the Riverwalk. But you know what? I am a tourist and I don’t regret going there because the food was incredible.


I ordered the beef brisket platter pictured at the top of this post and David ordered a combo of ribs, sausage and beef brisket pictured above. I’m no barbecue expert but the beef brisket was some of the most tender and tasty beef I’ve had in a long time. You could see the red smoke lines in the meat and to top it off, they doused it in their delicious barbecue sauce. I’m told Texas barbecue is infamous for the amount of sauce they use – and that’s just the way I like it.

Actually, we liked it so much, we went back the next day. We were still craving a barbecue fix and with limited options and a good experience the night before, we decided to have County Line one more time (I know, I’m sure you native San Antonians are scoffing at me right now for falling for the tourist trap twice). . I ordered the beef brisket platter again and it was EVEN better this time! I didn’t think it was possible. In fact, on this second time, David wound up ordering a plate of sausage since it was his favorite from the night before but after tasting my brisket, he converted. Too bad we didn’t have two plates of brisket :)

In comparing my experience of Texas Style BBQ to Kansas City BBQ, I’d say the sauce is much more tangy than spicy and they focus more on beef and pork. Overall, I’m just glad I’ve gotten to experience two of America’s most popular  styles of barbecue (see a whole list of barbecue styles here). Now, I just have to try the rest :)

I only wish Chicago had places like County Line or Gates. Texas style barbecue  goes to show how a little smoking and slow cooking can go a long way with flavor and we just don’t get that here in Chicago anywhere. An NPR article puts it perfectly:

“Like many Americans, I thought “barbecue” meant throwing a few hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Then I moved to Texas…. In Texas, barbecue is not just a food — it is an icon, an ideal, a way of life. If you’re not a Texan, the assumption is that you just don’t get it.”

Texas-Inspired Barbecue Recipes:
Texas Barbecued Beef and Beans
Texas Beef on Texas Toast
Texas Barbecue Potatoes
Busy Day Barbecue Brisket
Beef Brisket Bar-B-Q Sandwich

More on San Antonio to come!

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  • Melissa

    Tourist trap…ehhh, whatever. If the food was really that awesome (mmm sausage plate), then who cares, right? Steve and I have a place like that in Dallas and he’s FROM there. We still think it rocks, judgment be damned.

    Glad you got to try it in Texas. I really think it’s some of the best there is. Alabama and Mississippi ain’t bad either.

  • Jason

    Hmm.. Real BBQ! I havetohit Texas sometime to see how my brisket holds up.

  • http://agoodappetite.blogspot,com kat

    We heard good things about County Lone when we went to Austin last year but just ran out of time to try it.

  • Dofollow Blogs

    If you’re ever in Eastern Oklahoma along I44, (just north of Sallisaw on hwy 59) stop by Wild Horse Mountain BarBQue. I think it’s the best I’ve ever tasted. And many people agree with me.

    By the way,I have listed this blog as a dofollow blog and send a few readers your way. I’ve linked to the page above.

    I’m in the process of updating the rankings and providing a bit of information about each site. Updates should be up by Wednesday. Let me know if you’d like to change yours.


    Linda P. Morton

  • Bill

    Having moved to Dublin from Austin, Texas over a year ago, I can vouch for the centrality of BBQ in the Texan diet. I wouldn’t consider the County Line a tourist trap in general–the two in Austin are very, very good. The beef ribs are legendary. Our favorite all-purpose BBQ place, though, is Rudy’s. It was started in San Antonio, but there are several stores in Austin. The extra-moist brisket is unbelievably tasty. Cooper’s, in Llano, is another favorite. The pits are in front of the store and you order directly from the cook, pointing at the meat you want. I don’t agree, however, that Texas BBQ places are infamous for dousing the food in sauce. At least around Austin, many stores won’t add sauce unless you ask for it, and some have no sauce at all!

  • Danie K.

    I will be in San Antonio visiting relatives the last two weeks of March. I really am sick of the River Walk. Every time I visit they all think the River Walk is the place to go. I love BBQ and I usually try to hit Bill Millers once in my trip. I will try The County Line and maybe the mandatory trip to the River Walk will be a pleasant one. Thank you!

  • Recipe Collector

    I live in the UK and am visiting relatives in San Antonio next month – I’ll be sure to check this out. I love brisket and the barbecue sauce sounds great.


  • Elle Wood

    My mouth is watering just looking at those pictures. It’s not even lunch time yet and I feel that little grumble in the pit of my belly thinking about it.

  • Kailua Ocean

    I spent about a year in Texas. I absolutely loved it there. It’s a beautiful state with amazing food.

  • Weber Q100 Gas Grill

    Just goes to show you…
    I always thought Chicago was the Best for barbecue – especially the rib joints on Chicago’s southside.

  • Coleman RoadTrip Grill

    We just came from visiting relatives in San Antonio, and you’re right – The County Line Barbecue is the best!

    The whole atmosphere was just great…

  • alexandra morin


  • custom bbq smoker

    Yes sir when it comes to BBQ Texas has the hook up. great people, great food. they take pride in what they do.

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