Friday, September 26, 2014

Opie's BBQ - Spicewood

It may surprise some to hear that Opie’s BBQ has appeared on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 List twice (2008, 2013).  Perhaps because of their location in Spicewood, just outside the traditional Texas BBQ footprint, Opie’s does not seem to garner the statewide name recognition or respect that a two-time Top 50 joint should have.  Even so, it is evident that Opie’s has won the hearts of those that travel down this stretch of Highway 71 as the joint was packed during my Wednesday lunchtime visit.


Opie’s offers a bridge from Central Texas BBQ to West Texas BBQ.  Typical of West Texas joints, the wood of choice at Opie’s is mesquite and the spread of meats are presented on a large warming pit.  Despite the presence of the direct heat pit, these meats are smoked indirectly in the Central Texas style.  The briskets specifically are smoked overnight in a couple of Oyler smokers.  I enjoy the presentation that warming pits provide and at Opie’s, that is your first stop.  I made my selection of brisket, pork spare ribs and regular sausage from the pit then settled in for lunch.

The spread of meats in Opie's pit

Opie's BBQ: Brisket, Pork Ribs, Sausage

My moist cut of brisket benefitted from a decent amount of smoke.  The lightly seasoned crust revealed a prevailing flavor of mesquite smokiness.  The tender meat had great moisture throughout.  This is a good brisket but not quite great.

The thin spare ribs featured a coarse, flavorful crust highlighted by black pepper.  The meat itself held tons of smoke and each juicy bite carried plenty of moisture.  The meat pulled easily from the bone.

The house link of sausage carried a ton of pepper with a good bit of spice.  There was a nice snap to the casing.  It was a pretty typical but very enjoyable link.
I was very tempted to order a half rack of the Sweet and Spicy Baby Back Ribs but my plate was already full.  The sticky looking ribs were very attractive but they would have to wait for another visit.  The chicken, pork chops and pork loin were the other meats on the menu absent from my plate.  Opie's also offers pulled pork Friday through Sunday.


In addition to the meats, Opie’s features plenty of popular side dishes including spicy corn and the always free Pinto Beans.  The desserts, including multiple cobblers and a “Coca Cola Cake” are also wildly popular.

Scattered tables fill the open dining area.  It is large enough to accommodate a crowd, which is appropriate because they seem to draw quite a crowd.  At the center of the dining area is the self-serve bar with the standard dressing of pickles, onions, jalapenos, sauce and bread along with those free pinto beans.  The sauce is a thin and tangy concoction with a little heat on the back end.

Opie’s has posted closing times but that does not mean that they’ll have their full menu available until closing and it is quite possible they sell out completely before close.  A couple of months ago, I took a gamble and swung by Opie’s at 7:00PM to see what would be available.  Proprietor Todd Ashmore met me in the parking lot to break the news that they had sold out earlier and were closed for the day.

Opie's BBQ in Spicewood, Texas


It is evident that those at Opie’s take great pride in their product.  The staff patrols the dining area to ensure that you are satisfied.  I was certainly satisfied on this visit.  Opie’s is serving some solid BBQ across the board.

The brisket is probably the high point and while the pork ribs that I tried were good, I coveted those baby backs.  There is plenty of reason to return to Opie’s, but the possibility of sampling the Sweet and Spicy Baby Back Ribs is at the top of my list.

Address: 9504 Texas 71, Spicewood, TX 78669
Phone: 830-693-8660
Hours: Monday – Tuesday: 11AM – 4PM; Wednesday Thursday: 11AM 7PM; Friday – Saturday: 11AM – 8PM; Sunday: 11AM 7PM


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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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