Where Was Texas’ First Barbecue Joint?

The history behind the state’s smoked meat economy.

By Hady MawajdehApril 28, 2016 10:22 am,

Cowboys, longhorns, barbecue – all part of the state’s identity. But before barbecue became part of the legend, there was the original. But where was the original, exactly?

Where there’s smoke there’s Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor for Texas Monthly. His research revealed what could conceivably be the first barbecue joint in Texas was born not too far from Lockhart, the town largely considered to be a barbecue mecca in the state.

“I found at least what’s the oldest documented one – it was actually in Bastrop, Texas,” Vaughn says.

It wasn’t what immediately comes mind when you think of today’s modern “barbecue joint.” This establishment was a butcher’s shop that also provided barbecue for sale.

“It actually goes back to an advertisement that I had found a few years ago, it was published in the Brenham Weekly Manor,” Vaughn says. “It was about a butcher in Bastrop. The advertisement actually says that he keeps on hand a stock of readied barbecued meats and cooked sausages.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.