BBQ, KOLACHES & GIANT SQUIRRELS
A couple of Saturdays ago we made our way to the Hill Country to visit The Mother-n-Law and The Captin….just outside Austin is a little community known as Spicewood, Tx….and in Spicewood is a BBQ joint called Opie’s….
We’ve passed Opie’s every time we go to visit and I always make the statement that “The next trip we gotta stop…..”…..and then the next trip comes and goes and still no Opie’s….here have been many reasons…..but mostly it has been because we never time the drive-by at mealtime….
This trip would be different….we were going to leave home so that when we got to Spicewood we would be ready for lunch….
We were meeting The-n-Laws and finally I’d get to try some of Opie’s Q….whether or not Opie-Cunningham-Taylor would have anything to do with what we ate was yet to be seen….
When we arrived the line was already working it’s way out the front door…we walked in to check things out before joining those waiting to order….I made my way to the T-Shirt rack and with The Wife’s help picked out another badge to wear showing another joint I’ve eaten at….after finding one that would become a part of my Fashions Of Food, we got in line and began the trek back inside to chow down….
As you get inside the first thing you’ll notice is that there is one heck of a big smoker just inside the front door….it’s open and there you can see all Opie’s meats from which to choose….it is filled with chicken, sausage, brisket, pork loin and turkey….each and every piece looks smok-eeee-licious….and it smells like heaven on earth…..
A guys stands at the smoker and asks you what you want….we decided to get enough to share between all of us…..brisket, sausage (mild and spicy) and turkey….he cuts pieces for you and puts them on a tray….you then make your way to a cafeteria styled steam table to order sides and desserts….
Besides BBQ, Opie’s is famous for their beans and tater-tot casserole….I limited myself to the beans but The Wife got some TTC….we also ordered some cherry cobbler…
We made our way to a table, put our trays down and then headed to the fixens’ table….the usual things were there plus two huge pots of beans….(Opie’s also has famous white beans….but on this particular Saturday they were out)….we loaded up and finally sat down to eat….
I hit the brisket first and on first bite…was…..not overwhelmed…..it was good…..had a decent smoke and was pretty moist…..but unless you got a piece with fat it wasn’t…..great….and there wasn’t enough fat to make every bite…..great….
The beans were next and they were as advertised…..very very good….as was the TTC…..
I then cut off some of the spicy sausage (stuffed with jalapeño and cheese) and found it really good…the casing had a great snap and the spice was just right….the regular sausage was like the brisket….good but not great….
I tried some of the turkey and while I’m not a big turkey guy (at least in a Q-sense) this stuff was really good (it was The Wife’s fave)…..it was moist and had a nice smoke to it…
The sauces they offer are “Hot” and “Regular”….the “Hot” was good but more like a hot sauce (tabasco-like) more than like a spicy bbq sauce….and the “Regular”. again was good…..but only good…
Mother-n-Law had gotten a chopped beef sandmich…and she said it was very good….
The cherry cobbler was very tasty…..and was a nice way to top off the meal….
All-n-All…..I’d say Opie’s was pretty good……they had some strong stuff…..the turkey, the spicy sausage, the beans and TTC were all really really good…..however, the brisket, regular sausage, and sauces were just kinda good….
I will stop again at Opie’s….and maybe this was a case of having built something up in my mind that it couldn’t live up to the expectations….whatever it may be….I doubt I’d get brisket again…..maybe try the ribs or porkloin…..but there is a reason to go back….
In La Grange, Tx there is a Shell gas station (imagine that) that has a bakery in it that bakes and serves some of the best Kolaches, Sweet Rolls, Cookies and Pigs-na-Blankets known to man….it’s called Weikle’s…..and it’s worth a stop if you’re ever within a couple hundred miles of it….now, my friend, Bubba, would tell you that a Kolache is not what many serve…..sausage or ham stuffed inside a roll (a pig-na-blanket)…..but, a square with fruit in the middle….this place covers both deliciously…(your lesson for the day)….
While we were at The-n-Laws they treated us to a Double Stuffed Burger….two patties stuffed with cheese, brisket (from Opie’s) and jalapenos……The Mother-n-Law and The Wife made the burgers and The Captain grilled ’em…and they were fantastic….anytime you can double your meat intake and also stuff some stuff inside…. you’ve got something extr-eee special….
And finally…..the giant squirrel….
Just outside Bastrop (on the Austin side) is a pecan store….they sell all things pecan-ish…..and as we passed it on the way to the Hill Country we noticed their 25 food squirrel standing in front of the building….we both looked at each other and said…..in unison, “We’re stopping there on the way back…..” and stop we did….it’s not everyday you can have your picture taken beside such a landmark as the Giant Squirrel…..but now I can scratch that off the ol’ Bucket List….
It was a great weekend….we enjoyed the company and another BBQ joint can be added to the list of spots I’ve gotten to try….and when you throw in The Best Little Bakery In Texas (see what La Grange is famous for….you non-Texans) and the Giant Squirrel…..FatJoe’s life is pretty dang sweet…..