Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bill's Bar-B-Que

KERRVILLE: Bill's Bar-B-Que
1909 Junction Highway
Kerrville, TX 78028
Open Tues-Sat 11-7

Joe Marino has been running this joint on the outskirts of Kerrville since 2005. It's been around a lot longer with the business starting some thirty years ago. Their set up is not your usual one. They opt for indirect smoking for briskets, but direct heat over coals for ribs, chicken and sausage. No matter the equipment they're using, it's live oak wood that supplies the smoke or the coals.

Ordering is done in the U-shaped line. After you've made your way around to the register, you can find a spot inside or take a seat at a couple of picnic tables outside. I like the smell of oak smoke in the morning, so we immersed ourselves into the pit area.

The ribs had a great flavor from the coals and a rub heavy in black pepper. The meat had been cooked quickly and the fat had a seared flavor. Nick described the rib bark as being reminiscent of fried chicken skin. I wasn't complaining. While the brisket had too much of the fat trimmed away, what remained was a deeply smoky and very moist cut of beef. The bark was a nice black color and the fat that still clung to the ends of each slice was quite tasty. The pork shoulder was more chunked than pulled. The moist meat had a great crust and good smoke. After a very good meal I was bit surprised that I'd never heard much about the joint. The owner came out to see how we liked it and mentioned that some folks had been around recently taking photos. Maybe word's about to get out.

Rating ****

1 comment:

tbirdjohn said...

My wife and I had lunch here in April, and I was very disappointed. There was very little flavor in the ribs or the brisket. The ribs were overcooked, falling off the bone. I love BBQ, live in the Hill Country, and eat it regularly. It amazes me that your experience at Bill's was that much better than ours. I would not go back.


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.