Monday, September 22, 2008

Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Q

MASON: Cooper’s Pit Bar-B-Q
502 San Antonio St.
Mason, TX 76856
Open Daily 8-5:30

Update 2008 - I had heard that this joint's quality was suffering, so I stopped by to check things out. Business was slow, and the pits were unattended when I pulled up. Once the carver ambled over, I ordered pork and beef ribs as well as sliced brisket. The brisket was sliced with the grain rather than against it, so the dried out slices were very tough. I ended up slicing them into chewable strips in order the enjoy the salty rub and deep smoky flavor. The large spare ribs were also a bit dry, but still had great flavor. The fat was not well rendered enough, but the level of tenderness was good. The beef ribs were the best item. They were incredibly thick with excellent flavor and well rendered fat throughout. After being one of my favorites in the State on my first visit, this time didn't live up to those standards.

Rating ***

2006 - Mason, Texas isn't near anything but Mason, Texas, but it's worth traveling to if you want some great BBQ. This joint is in what looks like a converted gas station. The giant black pits are siting out front, and ordering is done with your index finger...some of that, a few of those...and it's all placed on a plastic cafeteria tray. No Plate. No butcher paper. You then have the option to have the beautifully smoked morsels of meat dunked into a vat of sauce like so many McNuggets. I opted for sauce on the side. Your order is then weighed, paid for, then taken into the picnic table filled room at the back of the building where it's finally time to chow down.

I tried lamb ribs, pork ribs and brisket. The lamb ribs taste like you'd expect lamb to taste. They were not outstanding, but I don't have much to compare them to. The pork ribs were a bit dry, but the fat was well rendered, the flavor was good, and the smoke flavor was fair. The brisket had an intensely smoky crust that was almost crispy, and a good salt and pepper rub. The meat was moist, tender, and even the fat was good. This was some of the best brisket I've had, and I've drive all the way back to Mason to get some more.

Cooper's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

this is the worst BBQ in TX! Ive eaten here 3-4 times in the past 5 yrs hoping i would eventually get somehting good. Nope. after todays fiasco, i will never eat there agin and will ensure everyone I know never eats there. They wanted to charge me $29.12 for 1/2 lb of horrible brisket and 1/2 link of sausage. Retards.

Anonymous said...

First and foremost this location in Mason, Tx is NOT Cooper's BBQ in New Braunfels or Llano,Tx. Not by a long shot!! Do not be mistaken. They are not associated with the GREAT, Terrific, always awesome ORIGINAL Cooper's of Llano or New Braunfels.
I stopped on my way to Abilene to take some BBQ to my 92 yo Mother, rather than buy some in Abilene !!( She likes Famous Daves')
BaaaaD choice on my part.
The brisket was so dry,tough, dense, and lacking in flavor that even "I" with a full set of natural teeth could not chew it up, much less my Mother with dentures! (Beef Jerky would have been tastier and easier to chew on)
I asked for some lean brisket and after I unwrapped the meat at her apt. to trim it up over half of the 1/2# I paid a high price for was totally to be trashed because of the thick slab of FAT!!. I was so disgusted with the waste of my money,and un-edible brisket that I felt I had to write a comment, and possibly keep other unsuspecting travelers from making the same mistake I did!!
Mother was soo hoping for some delicious BBQ as the food at Assisted living Apt. leave much to be desired! The only thing my mother could eat was the potato salad, and a few bites of the jalapeno sausage, which was in fact all that was edible or had any taste. I brought the few usable slices back home to see if my cats would even eat it..DO NOT stop there & give them your money and expect to get true Hill Country BBQ. You will be disappointed like I was..
OH!. and the guy slicing the meat had ZERO,nada personality or friendliness! "Ya'll come back you hear" was not in his vocabulary !
Not to worry I won't EVER be back to get Mason, Tx BBQ at Cooper's


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.