Central Texas BBQ
Okay, time to plug The Central Texas Barbecue. As its motto says: "Best BBQ West of Austin". If you're ever driving to Monterey or Carmel, do yourself a favor and stop in Castroville for some mighty good Q if you like it Texas style. Randy the Ranger looks like Willie Nelson who's been stuck in a smoker too long. His brisket is unbeatable, the pork ribs are sensational and the pork shoulder -- well it's my favorite. Get a Lone Star or Shiner beer and your favorite cut of meat with some of Randy's beans and you'll start thinking about settling in Castroville. They oughta have a 12-step program....
The Central Texas Barbecue
Tues: 4 - 9 p.m. Wed-Sun 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
10500 Merrit Street
We spent $107 on four kids and four adults. Two of the plates were triple meat combos.
The meal was A+. I had heard a rumor that there was real BBQ in California not far from where we live. After 11 years we found it. There are no frills here, and that's the point of a traditional Texas BBQ outfit and to-go order selection. I grew up in Austin Texas and my parents had one of the largest BBQ pits in the state. Many of the local favorites in Central Texas include a more "family service restaurant" atmosphere, EX: Salt Lick, County Line, many others. But the majority are buffet style or order at the counter and get brown Kraft paper loaded with your favorite per/Lb meats. Side items are usually very simple + cobbler desert. Typically, there is a tray with iced down sodas and beer. And ALWAYS condiments on the table, I.E. BBQ sauce and Louisiana Hot sauce/ pepper sauce. There are simply so many excellent places with specialties for each… it’s endless.
Was it the best BBQ experience I've ever had, No,... but the owner accomplishes the essence of what the experience is supposed to be and some. White bread, onions, and pickle slices were also right on target for a traditional meal.
This was the best BBQ we have purchased in California so far. That's worth something.
Colorful conversations during counter service with the owner and Master BBQ'r, Don Elkins. Excellent brisket. BBQ served the way I would expect a decent BBQ place ought to. No wait staff, just picnic style tables and condiments ON THE TABLE not on the meat. Texas BBQ uses a dry rub, not sauces. This is the way the owner has established his method.
Our only criticism: It's difficult to maintain the moisture in BBQ chicken, or turkey. Not sure if we liked the boneless turkey roast, re-smoked either. But the reality is no one will like everything on the menu. Also, we came at the end of the day. I expect that at another time we would have tasted a more moist selection of bird meat.
Although intended to be rustic and low maintenance, they could probably use a little cleaning in a few areas. Enough said