waco

Honky Tonk Kid BBQ

After a culinary education at Texas State Technical College and several years working at Uncle Dan’s, a barbecue joint in Waco, David Gorham was ready to branch out on his own. Gorham and his father, John, partnered up in 2015 to open Honky Tonk Kid BBQ, a food trailer in Waco the two planned to run as a team. But a month after opening, David’s father passed away. “It was a lot for me to take on,” Gorham said, so…

I Say DeMaria, You Say DiMaria

In 1891, the S.S. Utopia departed Italy, headed for America. The ship, carrying 880 passengers, many of them Italian immigrants who boarded the Utopia in Naples or Palermo, was sailing through the port of Gibraltar when it struck another vessel. The hole created by the collision sunk the Utopia in just twenty minutes, and 562 passengers died. It was a tragedy chronicled by the New York Times, which reported that people aiding in the recovery effort found the passengers, who had been crammed below-deck…

Smoked in Texas: Gut Pak at Vitek’s

The Gut Pak is to Waco what rings of smoked sausage are to Lockhart. It’s part of the city’s barbecue identity. A Gut Pak is smoked sausage, barbecue, beans, and cheese, and a few other items piled high atop a mess of Fritos, making this the huskier cousin of a Frito pie. Sometime in the eighties, third-generation owner Bill Vitek (his daughter, Julie, is the current owner) added the iconic item to the menu. Construction workers from a…

Red Wagon BBQ

Just north of Waco, out on Gholson Road, you’ll find the Red Wagon BBQ trailer. It sits at the back of a gravel lot in between Brazos Valley Cheese and the Homestead General Store at the entrance of Homestead Heritage. Homestead Heritage describes itself as “an agrarian and craft-based intentional Christian community.” As a member of the group, Joe Slack lives on the property and serves as the pitmaster to Red Wagon BBQ. Slack sat down with me…

Coach’s Bar-B-Que

It was one of those rare times I wasn’t looking just for brisket. The possibility of a well-smoked burger on Coach’s menu was the draw. It reminded me that I’d never had a good one, and this joint just west of Waco might be the breakthrough. Certainly, a patty of smoky ground beef had been achieved by a few joints around the state, but none had managed to serve it with more juiciness than a crouton….

Interview: J. D. Bost of Jasper’s Bar-B-Q

Pitmaster: Jasper’s Bar-B-Q, opened 1915 (or 1918) Age: 52 Smoker: Gas-fired rotisserie smoker Wood: Pecan and Oak About six weeks ago I sat down with J. D. Bost at Jasper’s Bar-B-Q in Waco. He’s the general manager of this nearly century-old barbecue restaurant on Elm Street started by an Italian immigrant. Since the DiMaria family sold the business it has gone through multiple hands. Now a trio of local investors own it, and J. D. Bost is…