Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jasper's Bar-B-Q

WACO: Jasper’s Bar-B-Que
105 Clifton St

Waco, TX 76704


Open M-Sat 9-2

Jasper's is a tiny joint housed in a building that stands next to the remains of an old railroad track. It was opened by Jasper DeMaria, whose son later opened Tony DeMaria's (I have since learned that this is incorrect. See this post for clarification) just a few blocks down the street. This joint has changed hands a few times, but it has retained the family owned feel. While standing in line I was asked to step aside by the pit boss so he could pelt the guy behind me with a balled up piece of bread. Everyone was amused, including the victim.

All items are ordered at the counter. One guy cuts the meat, another assembles everything on a tray, then a third guy follows you to a table with your order. I ordered a rib sandwich and a sliced brisket sandwich. I was given a sausage sandwich by mistake, but the guys quickly whipped up the right order and let me keep all three sandwiches. I got the sauce, which they call gravy, on the side. The brisket had no crust, no smokeline, or much flavor beyond roast beef. The fat was well rendered, but it was too tender leading me to believe it had been steamed to doneness. The ribs were better. Smokiness filled the air when I unwrapped the sandwich, and the flavor did not disappoint. The crust was delicious as well as the meat beneath it. The sausage was average with little smokiness but decent flavor. The major disappointment was the "gravy". It was thin and nearly flavorless, and didn't help to revive any of the missing flavor from the gray brisket. Hopefully Tony has something better to offer down the street.

Rating **
Jasper's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

jaspers son did not start tonys down the street jasper and tony were cousins. jasper and tony did and do not like each other the family has been split since tony tried to steal jaspers idea. the meat is not steamed it is smoked in a very old pit its how its cooked.

Anonymous said...

Having had the best of Lockhart, Luling, Taylor and even Lexington, I still put Jasper's ribs up against any in the state. I'm with you on the brisket - it's nothing to write home about. But the ribs.... oh, the ribs! Many a time I wished I could bottle that aroma as I walked up to the front door.

On the down side, they appear to currently be on hiatus as they claim to be temporarily closed "for remodeling." I've got a bad feeling they're switching hands and/or closing down.

Sashanicole said...

WOW, I love how y'all got my family history ALL WRONG!!! Jasper was Tony DeMaria Jr's Uncle. Tony DeMaria Sr. had started a grocery store from which Tony DeMaria Jr. started selling BBQ from when he came back from the war. There was no family splitting or disputes that I know of. Tony Jr. did not try to "steal" Jaspers idea. Quite the contrary! Jasper asked Tony Jr. to help him learn to make good bbq, so he did, then he got called to the war. And the rest is history!

So please get your facts straight before you go mouthing on message boards.


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.