After hearing about Snow's BBQ and subsequently reading about it in Texas Monthly the EatsBBQ crew decided we were going to put Texas Monthly's claim of Best BBQ in Texas 2009 to the test. That is a pretty lofty claim given the level of BBQ in Texas, much less Central Texas. So we loaded up, gathered a few friends to join us and start on our romp.
Snow's is in Lexington, TX. It's not exactly on your way anywhere and isn't on a major road. It's only open on Saturday's, and it starts selling BBQ at 8am. The stay open until they sell out. From what I've read on several blogs and articles was that you needed to be there before 10am to make sure you got what you drove for. So this little gem has eluded a lot of people for a long time because of the location, quantity, and time. Texas Monthly really put the bright spot light on this little joint. The demand for Snow's BBQ has skyrocketed since the article I've read, but I've also read that they increased their output as well.
Today we got to Lexington around 9:45am. It took us a little over an hour to get there from 183/290 E area (outskirts of Austin). It was a very rainy and cold day, so that works for us and against us. The rain and cold keeps the crowds away, but there's not much seating inside of Snow's. It's only got 6 picnic style tables indoors with the other seating outside. Luckily we got two tables next to one another inside by pure chance.
As we usually do we try to get a sampling of all the fare that is offered. I ordered the Pork and Pork Ribs, Mike ordered the brisket and sausage plate, and Nathan ordered the same as Mike. They had already sold out of the creamed corn by time we got there, but they still had potato salad. They have the typical condiments, BBQ sauce, onions, pickles, and bread available for everyone. They also have free pinto beans. For drinks they had Sweet and Unsweet Tea, Water, and canned soft drinks.
So on to the tasting!
I started with the pork ribs. They were very moist and had a very smokey flavor. They were very tender, but not to the point where you could just pluck the bone out. In hindsight, this was probably my favorite of the meal. Only got 3 ribs and gave the smallest one to Mike of course.
Then I tried the pork butt. It was quite good. It had a great flavor and a good smoke ring. It was however a bit dry. Not to the point of overcooked by any means. Nothing that a little BBQ sauce couldn't cure. I shared a little with friends, but I devoured most of it myself.
I tried some of Mike's brisket, and the same solid flavor and smoke ring was there. But it was a bit dry as well, although Mike claims that it wasn't dry when he started on his plate. Read his review about it. The meat itself was still extremely tender. Later in the meal Nathan let me have some of his since his had a bit more fat on it. It was better, but still drier than I would have wanted. When our friends Andy and Colette showed up the brisket they got looked much more moist than what I had sampled, but unfortunately I was reaching my food intake limit by then. So this may have just been the piece of brisket we were sampling from. It happens and you can't predict it.
The sausage was a homemade sausage. It didn't have a huge amount of fat in it which worked pretty well for it. Because of that the sausage wasn't very greasy. On the other hand it felt like the meats wasn't bound together and solid. I liked it's flavor, but I was a bit annoyed trying to cut it
The BBQ sauce was a sweet and tangy blend. One of the guys commented that it was like a sweet and sour sauce for egg rolls. It definitely had some of those characteristics, but not in a bad way. I found that it grew on me the longer I sat there and ate. You have to have a good BBQ sauce to go with your smoked meat in my opinion. I really think that it complemented the flavor of the meats and allowed the smoke flavor to come through and didn't over power it.
The free pinto beans were quite tasty. Not as peppery as some, but enough you could taste. It was a good contrast to the meats.
All in all I think Snow's is a great BBQ place. All smoked BBQ has fallen to off days in the smoker, and I think that have happened to us today. It's just the nature of the beast for dryness to set in the longer something sits. I think if we came back another day, it would have different moisture in the meats and maybe a totally different opinion. Personally, I don't think it lived up to the Best charcoal BBQ in Texas title, but it's definitely in the conversation. I'm willing to give it another shot on another day.
I would recommend any BBQ lovers to come and try Snow's and take in the experience. Just be prepared to get up early, drive, and stand in a line to get it. You will be rewarded with some top notch BBQ.
516 Main Street
Lexington, TX 78947