I recently attended a BBQ extravaganza hosted by Travaasa Hotel and Spa to launch their new farm. It was a benefit for Foodways Texas and designated as a BBQ Bash! Foodways Texas is one of my favorite organizations and the party provided a rare opportunity to eat an assortment of meats and sides dishes from five top Texas BBQ joints. Thankfully the weather cooperated. Instead of a blistering-hot sunny day we had a beautiful overcast cloudy day. The grounds were gorgeous with newly planted fruit trees along a garden path leading to a tented party site nestled along-side the Cypress creek. The tables were set with wildflowers collected from the grounds and abundant arrangements of fresh vegetables. The crowd of about 150 to 200 were buzzing about the resort and new farm, but even more so about the BBQ.
Scott Roberts from the Salt Lick was there. He not only brought his famous pork ribs, but Salt Lick Cellars new wines – BBQ*Red and BBQ*White. Kerry Bexley co-owner of Snow’s BBQ, offered some of the best brisket on the planet. The Granary Cue and Brew from San Antonio was also there. It was my first taste of their specialty “Pastrami short ribs”, a new twist on an old favorite. Their ribs made me hungry for some rye bread and Russian dressing. Justin Fourton’s famous Dallas joint, Pecan Lodge, was scheduled to be there but there was a glitch so he helped out remotely. Killen’s BBQ joint from Pearland TX was new to me. They served their “made from scratch” sausage, cream corn and bread pudding. Killen’s also filled in for Justin Fourton with crusty fatty juicy beefy beef ribs. I could be inspired to write a BBQ Lover’s Guide to Houston if the BBQ in Houston is this good. Chef Ben Baker at Travaasa provided a fresh-from-their-garden green salad with harvested herbs in a light dressing, deviled eggs, refreshing slices of watermelon and a killer peach cobbler.
Kellie’s Kandies and Cookies in Cedar Park showed off her talent with a vast collection of baked goods. We were treated to fresh cold craft beer from Hop’s and Grain, St. Arnold’s Brewing Co. and Rahr and Sons. And what’s a party without cocktails from Deep Eddy Vodka?
After all the extraordinary food and drink, we needed some exercise so we danced away the evening to tunes from the Marshall Ford Swing Band. Although it was a bit intimidating dancing next to good ol’ Texas boys who really know Texas two- step (including Kerry Bexley from Snow’s BBQ).
I invited house guests from Raleigh NC to the event. They were blown away eating all of this incredible BBQ in one place. No road trip required. Maybe they’ll be back to try The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival in the fall for another round.