Snow’s BBQ: Lexington’s Limited Edition Barbecue Destination

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Barbecue Texas


The intoxicating aroma of smoked meat immediately greeted our arrival in Lexington. We figured this was thanks to Snow’s, the barbecue establishment Texas Monthly designated #1 in 2008, immediately after the last Austin trip with my dad and brother. However, that scent was primarily because our visit coincided with Homecoming, where dozens of dedicated smokers set up shop in a vacant lot near the main square, completely permeating a town of 1100 people. Undaunted, we stayed the course and were rewarded with one of the best barbecue meals imaginable.

Kerry Bexley is Snow’s owner, and Tootsie Tomanetz is his pit boss. They launched on March 1, 2003, and she brought on son Herschel in September 2008, after the Texas Monthly article hit.

She’s been smoking meat for 46 years, beginning with City Meat Market in nearby Giddings, which is where Herschel grew up. He said he was born on the first of the year, and mom started cooking not long after. Prior to Snow’s, she owned a meat market on the square in Lexington, a town where her parents had a ranch. She sold the market in 1996 and eventually started cooking with Bexley.

Factory Texas
Snow’s is only open on Saturdays. Lines typically form prior to the 8 a.m. opening time, and considering their outsized reputation, meat has been known to sell out by noon. The corrugated metal facility that currently houses the smokers, the building where customers place orders, and the silos across the street were all part of bygone peanut packing facility.

We entered a small building, which is where employees carve, tray and weigh before customers pay. The menu appeared on a dry erase board near the entrance, with meat available either by the pound, plate or sandwich. They offer five meats: sausage ($8.45/lb), brisket, pork and pork ribs ($9.45/lb each) and chicken (1/2 for $4.50). We drove more than an hour to reach Snow’s, fueled by about three years worth of pent-up anticipation. Of course we were going to order all five meats, along with Mrs. Patschke’s “homemade cole slaw and potato salad ($2.99 per pint).

Barbecue Texas
They started smoking brisket over oak at 11:30 p.m. on Friday night, which produced a pronounced smoke ring and a savory, smoke buffeted crust seasoned with nothing but salt and pepper. The color faded to pink near the center, which was fastastically juicy, with enough fat to keep the beef moist.

Barbecue Texas
Other meats went in the smoker at 2 a.m. On the pork spare ribs, the pepper was more noticeable, and the meat, lush, chewy and lacquered.

Barbecue Texas
They source pork and beef sausage from a market in town and smoke links for 20 minutes, until they pick up beautiful color and wrinkled skin that practically swaddles the coarse, luscious meat.

Barbecue Texas
The half chicken arrived on the bone, with bronzed skin that rendered its fat during the cooking process and smoke that absolutely infused the tender meat.

Barbecue Texas
Snow’s not only had great barbecue, they also touted a terrific setting. We took breaks from indulging in consumption to chat with the crew while they worked.

Barbecue Texas
Bexley tended to the sausage while Pit Boss Tootsie Tomanetz presided over the other meats.

Wood Texas
They stacked post oak human-high out back.

Barbecue Sauce Texas
Snow’s BBQ tangy, slightly spicy sauce appeared in re-purposed water bottles.

Barbecue Texas
Kerry Bexley, Tootsie Tomanetz and son Herschel took a brief break to pose in front of the pits.

Barbecue Texas
To commemorate our memorable meal, my father, brother and I stood in front of the sign that signaled our achievement. Snow’s has garnered plenty of hype, and it was clearly deserved.

Snow’s BBQ: Lexington’s Limited Edition Barbecue Destination

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

I want. I want. I want.

Mattatouille,

If you can’t wait to make it to Snow’s, they do ship barbecue, and it’s pretty good.

Great place to visit, and I think, some of the best-textured brisket in central TX. It’s very austerely flavored with just salt pepper and smoke, typical for that region, but still a surprise to people who are expecting some other style of BBQ.

I shot some video when I was there last in 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M6pkdv3dJg

Shuji,

That’s cool that you got footage of Herschel manning the pit. Snow’s didn’t surprise me, since I’d eaten a lot of Hill Country barbecue before, but in a way it did, since expectations were so high, and Snow’s met them.

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