Friday, September 21, 2012

Wilhite's Barbeque

CREEDMOOR: Wilhite's Barbeque
4903 D FM 1327
Creedmoor, TX 78610
Open W-Thu 10:30-3:30, F 10:30-9, Sat 10:30-3:30

Robert Wilhite is both mayor and resident pitmaster in Creedmoor, Texas. He runs one of the few restaurants in town, and I'd guess this is the best one. Don't let the adjoining Valero station fool you into thinking this is some fly-by-night barbecue stand. Robert's dad started this place back in 1962 and it's been smoking ever since. These days the meat is smoked in one of two custom designed cylindrical smokers that function like a lazy susan for meat. They are fed with all post oak wood, and there's not a gas line in sight. The smell of smoke was strong as soon as we got out of the car and only increased once we were inside. Ordering is done at the counter and a cutting board isn't too far away. This allows a few for a few special requests while the meat is being sliced. We were just here for meat and soon a pile of sausage, ribs and sliced brisket were piled high on butcher paper.

My photo

(I've included both of these photos so you can take notice, as I often do, how much better Nick's photos are than mine.)

Photo by Nicholas McWhirter
When I saw the jet-black brisket on the cutting block, I knew it was gonna be good. The smokiness permeated the silky fat-cap that remained and a rub heavier in salt than pepper woke up the meat. Each slice was superbly moist and cooked to that perfect point of tenderness that allows one to pick up a full slice, but then tear it down the middle with only a modicum of effort. A couple of folks at the table were skeptical of the generous brisket fat that remained on each slice, but after just a bite they saw the light. Sometimes "melt-in-your-mouth" is the only way to say it. Pork ribs weren’t as dark but just as smoky. Meat came off the bone nicely without falling off, and every bit of the nicely rendered fat was edible. These ribs were epitome of beautiful simplicity on a bone. An all-beef sausage comes from Meyer’s in Elgin, and I laughed with Robert about how much better it was than what we got at Meyer's the day before. He noted that the Meyer’s delivery driver preferred the Wilhite's version too. This is what can happen when a barbecue joint bothers to order good quality raw sausage and do the smoking themselves instead of buying the pre-cooked stuff. Across the board, this was outstanding barbecue, and Robert had done right by the Texas trinity.

Steve Dean on the Roof by Nicholas McWhirter
We were about to jump back in our caravan of vehicles when a stiff and sudden wind blew in and took our friend Steve Dean's cowboy hat straight off of his head and deposited it directly on the roof. We found a rickety ladder out back and Steve went up to retrieve it. He brushed up next to the exhaust from the smoker, so we got the pleasure of smelling him for the rest of the day. Once he was safely down off the ladder we set our sights on the next barbecue destination with the knowledge that we'd probably just had the best meal of the day.

Rating *****


Jacob said...

I had know idea anything existed in Creedmore other than some houses and the Texas Disposal Facility. Thanks for pointing this out. I'm upset I missed something so close to Austin. I now have plans for lunch next week.

Don O. said...

Thanks for the tip. Look forward to checking them out.

gutscheine zum ausdrucken said...

very good post

TXC said...

Thanks for the tip! I stopped there a few years ago and wasn't impressed. I went back yesterday on your recommendation, and it was FANTASTIC. Honestly, the 3rd best brisket I've ever had (behind Franklin and Snows). There a few bites that were as good as any brisket I've ever tasted.

Anonymous said...

I stand by my comment above, but I will never go back. I went today and the "brisket" I was served was totally disgusting. There was no smoke ring, no bark, a freakish color, and no flavor. And it was tough. There were 3 bites that had a small amount of bark..the rest was inedible.

No respectable pitmaster should serve brisket that looked like that.

I had a sinking feeling when I walked in and they were advertising Catfish dinners and Hamburger plates.

The sausage was fine. I threw the brisket away.

I can't figure out how to post a picture here, but here's a link to the pictures I posted on Yelp. (No, the camera didn't change the color. The meat really did look like that).

Unknown said...

I went there today and it was god awful. It takes a lot for me to toss out a 3 meat plate after sampling everything, but I had to do it. The brisket was completely dried out and roast beefy, the pork rib tasted like it was under a heat lamp at the Valero station next door, and the sausage was downright scary.

Unknown said...

I'm really hoping these last two reviews are an aberration. I stopped at Wilhite's sometime early this year, and it was pretty good. Worthy of 5 stars? No. But good.

The brisket, IMO, was pretty darn good. Deep red smoke ring, pulled apart with a little effort, and had a delicious piece of fat running across the top. It hasn't been rendered as much as Franklin's or JMMC's brisket, but that was fine by me. It was like a little marshmallow of sweet fat sat on top of each bite like a pillow. The sausage was very good, nice seasoning and some bite to it. Pork ribs, for some reason, weren't my favorite. They were okay, but suffered from being too mushy and dry and the same time, if that makes any sense. I chalk it up to it being almost 3:00 when I showed up.

This is a good joint. Just looks like their consistency is off.


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.