Thursday, March 1, 2012

Billy Bob's Backyard Bar-B-Que

HONDO: Billy Bob's Backyard Bar-B-Que
1905 19th St
Hondo, TX 78861
Open Sun-Thur 10-7, F-Sat 10-8

Update: This joint is CLOSED. Well, it might still be technically open, but after a recent trip to Hondo I was saddened to see that the smokehouse closed out back. With it went any semblance of decent BBQ. What they have now is sorry baked meat. Here's a photo example.

To anyone that visited here based on my review since the smokehouse trailer left, I truly apologize. Consider it closed because what they're doing ain't BBQ.

- BBQ Snob

2011: While the trailer out back is gone, a call to the restaurant confirmed that their BBQ operation has been moved into Billy Bob's Hamburgers, which sits along the highway just in front of the former trailer location.

2008: I pulled up to this little shack near closing time. The small take-out only building behind a hamburger joint was unimpressive, but I stepped up onto the small porch and placed my order through the sliding window. I ordered a two-meat plate, but I told the clerk that I didn't need any sides. He offered to give me just the meat for 1/2 the price, and I gladly accepted. A short while later a styrofoam container was passed through the window, and I was back in the driver's seat to try the meat. What a pleasant surprise awaited me below the lid. The tender brisket was a nearly perfect example of smoked meat. The smoke flavor was deep into each well rendered slice. The well formed smoke line was covered with a slight crust that added another depth of flavor. The ribs also had incredible smoke flavor beneath the beautiful deep red crust. The fat had been rendered thoroughly to create a perfectly tender rib with just the right amount of tooth required to release it from the bone. It should also be noted that just after I began to eat, the lights in the little shack went out. They were closed, and I had gotten the last order. The last meat of the day would be sub-par at most joints, but not here. This was quite a find for a little shack behind a burger joint in a tiny west Texas town.

Rating *****

Billy Bob's Backyard Bar Bq on Urbanspoon


zannejude said...

My new husband and I stumbled upon this place after driving for about an hour in search of BBQ while on our honeymoon. Was it ever worth the drive! We ate it in the portable metal building set up with air conditioners in it. He's a Texan and I'm a Kansan, and we both agreed it's some of the best we've ever tasted. Check out Gates if you're ever in Kansas City!

Anonymous said...

I ate there last weekend. I had brisket and ribs. The ribs were tasty, but the brisket was outstanding. It was juicy, smoky, and quite tender. I would return just for another taste of the brisket.

Anonymous said...


OMG. I swear, you haven't had peach cobbler until you've had Billy Bob's peach cobbler.

Even if we're not hungry on our way back to Del Rio, we'll stop here and get several peach cobblers - to eat then and to have some to take home with us.

I order cobbler at other places all the time and this is the best!

David Stanaway said...

The backyard BBQ part of the establishment closed up and has for sale signs on it. There is a sign "Now serving BBQ up front" which is the Hamburger joint, Billy Bobs Hamburgers. This is no longer a 5 star BBQ experience, although they do serve real BBQ and the ribs had a nice smoky flavor but I think had been left too long (No signs of BBQ smoke, and all the patrons were eating hamburgers, but the do have Q by the pound, plate or family size on a separate menu). The brisket was nice and moist but lacking in smokiness, crust, smokering. I think the bbqsnob should suspend this establishments 5* rating for now.

Anonymous said...

David Stanaway is correct, except that as of last weekend the "backyard bbq" shack that was out back is completely GONE! Maybe someone bought it and moved it away or something. In any case I stopped in the hamburger/bbq place in front just to get some cobbler (we ate dinner in San Antonio) and it seems our favorite peach cobbler is still the same, although the portion size seemed a tiny bit smaller.

Harleyman said...

We swung South through Hondo to fuel up before our drive around the Three Sisters of Texas Hill Country.

If you want good bbq, move on. We inquired about the bbq before ordering, and were told that even though the vacant smokers in the back weren't running, that the bbq was still good. Boy were they wrong. The sausage was ho hum, and the brisket looked like it never heard of a smoker. It was dry, overcooked, tough, and had zero flavor.

The burgers the rest of our group had, lived up to the grease soaked air you feel upon entering the establishment. They were given a two thumbs up.

Looking for bbq.......keep on trucking.

Jacob said...

I went to Hondo for a hunting trip this week and couldn't wait to stop here after reading your review. I wish I read the comments first. To back it up, the bbq is now cooked in an oven, and taste overcooked and under flavored. Also I could not believe what a small serving I got for the $10 2 meat plate. Shame, I hear the catfish and burgers at this place are great however.

All is not lost, one block to the east on the same street is Heavy's BBQ. It won't blow you away, but it had great smoke flavor and decent seasoning. Problem was all three meats we had were overcooked and a bit dry.

David said...

That's a true shame! They were REALLY good at one time. If they were going to stop smoking meat, they should have just done away with the "BBQ" part of their operation.


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.