Saturday, August 9, 2014

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ - Austin

This review is about their old location.  They are now have a permanent location way down in Manchaca. It's still terrific!

The first time I heard of Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, I thought it was too good to be true.  Combining something as sacred as Tex-Mex cuisine and good smoked BBQ is a novel concept but certainly could draw much scrutiny in the Lone Star State. 


We arrived shortly before the noon opening on Saturday and waited patiently while studying the menu.  The menu is rather limited but the options are glorious.  Meats can be ordered as sandwiches, tacos or by the pound.  The meat options are restricted to brisket, pulled pork and chicken.  At high noon, the window of the trailer opened and we were placing our order for sliced brisket and a pulled pork taco. 

Brisket and Pulled Pork served alongside tortillas at Valentina's

The sliced brisket was accompanied by fresh tortillas.  The brisket was gorgeous with a well-formed dark crust and smoke ring.  The slices featured a thick, thick layer of fat.  The heavy layer of well rendered fat absolutely dissolved as I bit through.  The meat below was excellent.  The fat, the heavy black pepper crust and the wealth of smoke created a harmony of taste.  This is brisket done right.

The large amount of pork featured on the smoked carnitas taco allowed me the opportunity to poach a few bites and taste it on its own.  The pork was tasty.  It offered a simple presentation of pork and smoke.  Outside of the taco, there was nothing Tex Mex about this pork.  Inside the taco however, the tomatillo habanero salsa took it to the next level.  This was not your typical presentation of Texas BBQ but it certainly didn’t feel wrong.


Valentina’s trailer strategically sits alongside Star Bar.  You can take the BBQ to go, but you also have the option of sitting in Star Bar’s comfortable patio and having the BBQ delivered to your table.

Valentina's Trailer promises Tex Mex BBQ made with Love

The tortillas are fresh, homemade and clearly superior to the typical option of white bread.  The sauce available is fine, slightly sweet with a bit of a spice, but the salsas are what you need at this joint.  The salsas are great and are far from the ordinary salsas you find in typical Mexican restaurants.  These salsas are well crafted to compliment the items on the menu.

Pork Ribs are available on Wednesday and this fact is firmly on my radar for future trips.

Valentina’s does not only feature an intriguing concept, they execute that concept very well.  I am not sure I have ever seen a menu as near to perfection as Valentina’s gets with their blend of Texas BBQ and Tex Mex street tacos. This trailer could change the way you see Texas BBQ.

Address: 1500 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-221-4248
Hours: Monday - Sunday: 8AM - Sold Out


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*All Grades Are Based Solely on the Quality of Texas BBQ Offered at the Joint. We Aren't Looking for Burgers or Catfish!

My Grading Scale:

A = This is some of the finest BBQ you'll find anywhere. It is worth a roadtrip in itself along with any required wait.
B = This is very good BBQ, even if it is over an hour away, consider making the drive.
C = This is just average BBQ but it's worth a stop in a pinch.
D = This is a poor example of Texas BBQ. Even if it's the only place around, skip it. Apologize to any non-Texans that have eaten here.
F = This is not only a bad Texas BBQ, it is probably not suitable for human consumption.

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