Monday, March 30, 2009

Schoepf's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

BELTON: Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que
702 E. Central Avenue (Hwy 253)
Belton, TX 76513


Open M-Thur 10-8, F-Sat 10-9, Sun 11-3

Update 2009: A few months ago Schoepf's added on a new room in the back, and a new entry where you can now order your food inside rather than in the out-of-doors. I ordered brisket, ribs, and a pork chop.

The brisket had the same roast-beefiness as it did on my last visit, but this time the slices had no crust, and therefore, no real smoky flavor. The ribs had plenty of flavor from the heavy salt and pepper rub, but the meat had dried out and was a bit tough. The black pepper was also evident on the pork chop. This meat was juicy and tender with so much smokiness throughout the meat, it made me wonder if they were smoked alongside the brisket at all. I would return again if only for these excellent chops.

Rating ***

2008: Off of I-35, there's an exit into the middle of Belton, TX just south of Waco that's really worth investigating. This joint was bustling on a Friday evening, and for good reason. Meat is ordered straight from the pit. I knew I was getting some ribs and brisket, but the pit man also suggested the house-made jalapeno sausage. I then got into a long line to have the meat weighed and sliced and to gather my sides. The slice the meat here with an electric knife, so there is a never-ending purr and sputter as all of the orders were sliced.

Jalapeno sausage had lots of black pepper and a good smoky flavor. The texture was the perfect balance of coarse and fine. It wasn't mushy, nor was it too coarse. It also had a nice snap with little fat. The ribs were thick baby back ribs with about an inch of meat above the bone. This rub had little crust and was monochromatic gray, so I didn't have much hope that all that meat would be adequately tender or flavored. The first bite rocked my taste buds. Flavor bursted from the black pepper rub. This was the most perfectly tender rib I've tasted, and the fat was very well rendered for such a thick rib. The meat needed just a little tug to come off the bone, and I couldn't stop until they were done. The only flavor lacking was smoke. They obviously cooked this protein low and slow, but not much smoke was used. The same went for the brisket. There was no smoke line beneath the slight crust, but it was lean, tender, and perfectly rendered. This was the most excellent slice of roast beef that I've tasted, but it was lacking some of the keys of Texas 'cue. Even with these technicalities, I'll be back, and I'll be sure to order more.

Schoepf's Old Time Pit Bar-B Que on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

as far as a place that cook other things,there is one place that is a must that has some of the best ribs and slaw there is,and your can have a catfish chaser,is called the hashknife bbq,he will prove your theory is wrong,oh yea,your such an expert at judging everyone,how is your cooking? said...

I have to agree with the review. They do have some good - but not great 'cue. It is nothing to write home about.
One of the problems with their brisket is they have a minimum wage guy hacking away at the fat and smokey layer on the brisket and throwing it in the trash. They have also are hurting themselve by offering anything you can cook on a pit. They should pick some of the things they are good at and stick to it. The atmosphere is good but the food is just so-so. If you are passing through Belton it is a decent place to eat. I live here but only eat there about every 2-3 months.
I am a Texas native and know good Bar-b-que when I eat it.

Anonymous said...

The reality is that the best "meat" at this place is the chicken. I have had the brisket, pork chops, and sausage. The bird is where it's at.

Anonymous said...

Belton, TX is SOUTH of Waco, TX, in case anyone goes looking...

Anonymous said...

I found this place on accident one day when I got a flat tire, and what a treat it was! This was some of the best slaw I have eaten, a definite must order. I have not had the chicken, so I can't account for that, and I don't remember much about the beef, but the pork chop was super fantastic. I would stop in again for the slaw and chops.

PM Summer said...

Ribs good. Brisket awful, REALLY awful. Side good. Jalapeno Sausage good.

Did I mention that the brisket was awful? Gray domino-cut tiles of roast beef.

ckey said...

After a three hour meeting in Killeen on automatic temperture controls I was looking for a late lunch, DQ right now or wait thirty for Schoepf's. It was not worth the wait. The brikset had no smoke. Stringy roast beef and sauce didn't help it. Venision sausage was overdone, proably from holding over since morning. Cole Slaw was good but a Country Basket would have been better overall.

Anonymous said...

I live up the road, have been here multiple times. Brisket's okay - I get some to make into sandwiches occasionally. It's juicy, but not that flavorful.

The thing I love about this place is their smoked turkey breast and their venison sausage. I load up on these when I go. That and the cheesy potatoes. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

love it.... will always come here and would recommend friends also


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.