Today I found out that it’s never too early for BBQ. 6:00AM wake-up, on the road by 6:30, and in line by 7:15. This is the proper sequence of events for obtaining the sought after fare of Snow’s in Lexington, TX. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to ignore my alarm this morning, but my overwhelming love for BBQ, and motivation for this particular trip easily won my will this morning. The line was quiet, probably due to the odd hours that owner Kerry Bexley keeps, (doors open at 8:00AM). There was, however, no shortage of excitement from the 50, or so people that had already gathered to get a bite of this classic Texas establishment.
As we arrived onsite, we were greeted with what one would think of a quintessential Texas BBQ restaurant. Everything was open air, under a metal covering, and the indoor area was smaller that the housing for the four large smokers that occupied the outdoor area. Even the aural senses were stimulated as you could hear cattle faintly from down the street. There was no shortage of experience for this place, they even had it down to the Patsy Cline playing on the radio. Everyone at the restaurant seemed very friendly, and it wasn’t long after 8:00 before we were able to get our hands on a half pound of brisket, a link of sausage, four slices, of pork steak, and two pork spare ribs.
The food was good. Better than most anything you can get in Oklahoma, but unfortunately my high praise stops there.
Good brisket is a thing of beauty. I would equate what we had this morning to being halfway through cosmetology school. We got both lean, and fatty cuts of brisket which come from different sides of a whole brisket. By all common reasoning, a fatty cut should be more moist than a lean cut which was not the case. Both cuts were fairly dry, and were very salty, even by Texas standards. I think the lean brisket had a better flavor though, and was not quite as dry as the pieces that were cut off of the point for us.
The pork ribs. These were probably the best thing that we had at Snow’s. The flavor of the rib was quite good, and the meat was not falling off the bone, but would come off easily. I would say that there was no shortage of flavor from the rub either. The rub was peppery, but also contained a few other flavors, and colors from some ingredients that I can’t quite recall (it was early).
The sausage. There was no shortage of flavor, texture, or experience in eating the sausage that we were served. For good smoked sausage, there is an unique snap that should occur when one bites through the casing, and into the contents of said sausage. This had it. There was a distinct snap that was quickly followed by juice that ran down my chin, and probably into my chest hair. We got a jalapeno sausage which was bursting with flavor, and had distinct texture instead of a meat mush inside the well cooked casing.
Pork Steak. I must admit that the pork steak was a BBQ first for me. The pork steak is a cross section of a Boston butt with the bone in, seasoned, and cooked over wood fire coals. I’m a fan! I think the the meat was cooked well, and it had, perhaps, the strongest pork flavor I’ve ever experienced in BBQ. The only thing that I was not a huge fan of on this was that the fat in the pork slices was not rendered all the way from the cooking process. As their claim to fame, the pork steak was certainly unique, but I don’t know if it was a show stopper in the world of BBQ.
I had really high hopes for Snow’s, and I think that is one of the reasons it let me down as much as it did. I can’t say I was disappointed, but I don’t think I would have driven an hour out of Austin for it, had I known what I was getting into. Perhaps on another day, or in another life I would have been more taken with Snow’s. I was definitely enamored with this place before I ate there, but alas, it was never meant to be.
This will be the first in a series of BBQ experiences that will be had over the course of a few days. There may be incoherent text speech, or general silliness due to massive intake of smoked meats. I hope you enjoy what I have to say!