Good Place To Eat In Brenham Texas – Nathan’s BBQ shares the small town of Brenham with some serious barbecue competition. Truth Barbeque to the west made the top ten on our most recent barbecue list, and LJ’s to the east is a new member of the top fifty. Nathan’s has been around longer than either of them, and as pitmaster John Schulze explains, what separates it from the others is that, at Nathan’s, “we do it the old-fashioned Texas way.” By that he means direct heat barbecue.
Schulze mans the steel wells early in the morning and loads them for lunch. He starts by lighting a bag of B&B oak coals in each of the six fireboxes and adding pecan logs on top of the fire. The meat continues directly over the hot coals. He’s been doing it full-time since 2017, while fellow pitmaster Daniel Espino, who covers the afternoon shift to cook dinner, has worked these pits since 1997. That was before this place was called Nathan’s.
Good Place To Eat In Brenham Texas
Nathan’s BBQ is at the back of the Buccaneer Food Store. Nathan Winkelmann opened the convenience store and gas station in 1981, later adding a grill inside, which he ran as Big Daddy’s Barbecue. A 2010 renovation added the current restaurant to the store, and due to a copyright dispute, Big Daddy’s became Nathan’s BBQ. Winkelmann sold the business two years ago, but the same team of cooks and manager Cyndi Murski are operating with as few changes to the menu as possible.
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Today you can enter the restaurant through the Buccaneer Food Store entrance or go around to reach the main entrance. This route will take you past what is labeled a “viewing window” into the pit room. It’s a little dusty, but cup your hands and look inside to see the steel wells giving off that unique smoke smell that perfumes the air around the front door.
Inside is the service line with exposed meat. Browned half chickens (can be quartered for combo dishes) glisten alongside pork ribs. These are the two cuts that do best on the high heat of a direct heat stove, and Nathan’s makes excellent versions of both. The chicken was well seasoned and juicy, while the tender pork ribs had a great rind and took on the flavors of the lemon mop sauce used on all pit room meats.
Schulze said the breasts take about five hours to cook. Unfortunately, the tops of the breasts are scraped of fat and skin before being loaded onto the steam table. Ordered the burnt ends listed on the menu. They were cut along the outer edge, which hardened during high heat cooking. They went for a stuffed potato (Nathan’s serves eighty to ninety of those every day), whose generous spoonfuls of butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese softened the burnt ends a bit, but I’d go for chopped brisket next time. Or better yet, get the potato with an excellent German sausage.
Eckermann’s Meat Market, outside Shelby, has been making German-style sausages since 1961. He delivers fresh, raw sausages to Nathan’s every morning, and they cook in the pits, taking on that charcoal flavor. They’re salty, garlicky, and incredibly juicy, and pair well with Nathan’s special recipe barbecue sauce, which has a strong onion flavor and a slight sweetness. Daily specials like chicken fried steak and fried catfish were introduced by Winkelmann to provide something other than barbecue. Since Winkelmann sold the business, Murski has added a few more specials like fried pork chops and meatloaf.
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Each dish comes with a fresh bagel or cornbread. If you’re a fan of sweetness, get the latter. The coleslaw and German potato salad are classic recipes, but I loved the crispiness of the broccoli salad and the depth of the dirty rice. If you’re looking for dessert, Murski makes the pie and banana pudding in house. I tried a slice of rainbow cake from a local bakery and loved every buttercream filled layer from red to purple.
Nathan’s is one of the few direct heat steakhouses in Texas. This region is known for community barbecues, where the cooks use a similar style, so it’s the flavors the locals crave. As for those passing through Brenham from Austin or Houston, if lines at other newer hot spots aren’t your thing, stop by Nathan’s and fill a tray with old-fashioned Texas barbecue.
By Daniel Vaughn Daniel Vaughn Daniel Vaughn is the nation’s first barbecue editor, and he’s eaten more barbecue than you. View Articles Email Twitter Instagram RSSNestled between Austin and Houston along a quiet stretch of Highway 290, historic downtown Brenham is changing. It’s always bustling with a certain vibe, dating back to 1861 when local attorney J.D. Giddings helped establish the Washington County Railroad as a link between Houston and Texas’ central station at Hempstead. Brenham is home to Blinn College and, of course, Bluebell Creameries. A college town sensibility is evident in elaborate, large-scale murals of armadillos and a pink grizzly bear, among others, spread across the 22 blocks of downtown. Things were sleepy for a while, but now the city of just under 17,000 has an interesting mix of the traditional with an infusion of the new and fresh. There are new retailers such as the highly Instagram-enabled Ballad of the Bird Dog, and restaurant and bar concepts are moving, but there is also strong old-school business such as Hermann Furniture, the oldest furniture store in the world. Texas. There’s 96 West, a contemporary tapas joint with sidewalk cafe tables out front, but the wild Funky Art Cafe still draws a packed house after eighteen years in business. A stroll through these charming streets is a study of old and new as you browse accessible art by local artists, hunt for treasure in vast (and well-stocked) antique shops, and dine in new and classic restaurants with inviting interiors. Here are five must-sees along the way.
Early last year, Shannan and Junior Canales (their family owns BT Longhorn Steakhouse) opened this upscale spot, which showcases Latin American flavors. On the menu: picadillo empanadas, sea bass with Patagonian wine sauce and, for brunch, french toast with churros.
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You could spend hours at the oldest furniture store in the state, run by fourth and fifth generations of Texas Hermanns. It’s a wall-to-wall shopper’s paradise. Don’t miss the attached antique mall.
This combination market and beer garden is the brainchild of farmers Brad and Jenny Stufflebeam. Shop for local foods, enjoy a craft beer, enjoy live music on the weekends or grab a bite to eat at a food truck Thursday through Sunday nights. 307 S. Park
There’s a lot going on at this general store of sorts: Its handcrafted leather goods, jewelry, apparel, and more are handpicked by married owners Jared Anderson and Kathleen Matthews. They recently opened an on-site coffee shop, Mescalito, and are converting the back room into a barbershop.212 W. Alamo
Two days after John Elford sold his Burton farm in 2016, he saw a historic building in Brenham about to be demolished. He bought it and, with investors, turned the space into a concert hall that attracts artists like Bob Schneider and Jack Ingram.209 S. Market
Past And Future Meet In Quaint But Hip Brenham, Texas
By Katy Vine Katy Vine Katy Vine has been a writer since 2002. View Articles Email Twitter RSS
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By José R. Ralat José R. Ralat José R. Ralat is the taco editor for Texas Monthly, writing about tacos and Mexican food. View Articles Email Twitter Instagram Website Texas may be the most perfect place to live. From its charming small towns to its bustling big cities, the state offers plenty to do, see and experience for everyone. When planning your next Texas family getaway, consider heading to the small town of Brenham. The charming small town promises something for everyone in the entire family.
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With a population of just over 17,000, Brenham is right between Austin and Houston, making it a top destination for families in need of a getaway.
You’ll feel right at home in the cozy little town, where you’ll meet some of the friendliest and most welcoming people in the area.
Start your time in Brenham at Fireman’s Park, home to the Flying Horses Carousel. Climb aboard the carousel for an old-fashioned ride, a cherished city tradition.
If your family loves the outdoors, you’ll find plenty to do in Brenham – from visiting a picturesque lavender farm to following a mile-long walking trail through Hohlt Park. If you visit in the summer, spend some time cooling off at the local aquatic center and…
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Treat yourself to an abundance of ice cream. Brenham is the home of Blue Bell Creameries, and you’re in for a delightfully delicious treat when you stop by the ice cream shop.
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