Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tony DeMaria's Bar-B-Q

WACO: Tony DeMaria’s Bar-B-Que 1000 Elm Waco, TX 76704 254-755-8888 Open M-F 9-2, Sat 9-1 http://www.tonysbarbque.com/

On my way down to the BBQ Crash Course in Austin, I decided to stop in Waco for an early lunch (9:15), and try one of Texas Monthly's top 50 BBQ joints. On a previous Waco stop-over, Tony had already ran out of brisket by 12:30, so I thought coming in early would guarantee me the pick of the protein litter. Wrong... ribs are only served on Wednesdays, so I just can't seem to win at this joint. I sampled a small plate of brisket and bologna instead. Plates here are available in small, medium and large, and if you just want a snack (small plate) this place is CHEAP! I paid just $5.50 for two meats, potato salad, beans and a drink. Unfortunately, I got just about what I paid for. Mind you, the bologna and sides were good. Bologna links that resemble sausage are spiced and smoked to perfection, and the mustard based potato salad tastes homemade with black pepper and celery salt. The beans were a bit bland, and the dipping sauce (or gravy) had better kick than the similar gravy just up the street at Jasper's. The big disappointment was the brisket. When I ordered, the man wielding the knife seemed rushed to fill my order, so he grabbed a few left-over scraps from what was once probably a regal brisket, and sliced this stepchild of a chunk into a few fatty slices for my plate. Picking through the fat only left me with meat lacking crust, smoke, or much flavor at all. Next time I'll offer to pay a couple dollars more for a decent sampling of brisket.

Rating **
Tony DE Maria Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon


JJC said...

Hi, Daniel. Just read the CNN article about your quest. You're a good man.

I see that you've already visited Waco, but if you get the chance, you should stop by Vitek's BBQ. Being a Baylor grad, I have cheerfully experienced Vitek's line of hungry customers out the door before every Baylor home football game. When you visit, be sure to get their famous "Gut Pack". Think about a high-performance Frito pie with their own chopped brisket and homemade sausage on top. It weighs about 3 pounds and costs $6.00. Enjoy!

Jeremiah said...

I second the offering of "gut-pack". I currently live in Waco and if you want good Que this is where you go. Also don't forget to stop by Mom and Pop B's.

Anonymous said...

I frequent Tony DeMaria's, and I can vouch for the fact that the brisket that you tried was a poor representation of the quality of the restaurant. I've never tasted better. You also ought to have tried the sausage - it's great.

Vitek's is severely overrated.

Anonymous said...

I have tried every joint in Waco but I agree with the above comment that you must have pissed him off or something cuz I have never been disappointed at DeMaria's, except when they run out of food. You would be wise to get a X-large plate with beef and sausage and you can't go wrong. Vitek's is ok, Mom and Pop B's is ok, Jaspers is decent.

Anonymous said...

As previous comments have stated, I have never (ever) gone wrong with Tony's. I don't like fat on my brisket so I always ask for my brisket to be lean. I'll agree that Mom and Pops is ok and that Vteks is overrated. Vteks smoke turkey is great but the brisket is dry.


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.