Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Willhite's B-B-Q, Creedmoor, 3.24.2012

Wilhite’s B-B-Q
4903 FM 1327@FM 1625,  Creedmoor; 243-2703
Wed & Thu: 10:30-3:30, Fri: 10:30- 9, Sat: 10:30-3:30

For many of its 50 years it was a little barbecue shack sitting on the corner of the intersection of two lonely farm to market roads, then the TDI dump and Gardenville were built, FM 1327 became the shortcut to 183 going south, the new gas station-store was constructed, and Wilhite’s relocated to the east end of the complex. Robert Wilhite, hizzoner of Creedmoor, started working in that shack that his daddy started in 1962, learning at his father’s side. The pit is made of rock with a steel liner, and it creates its smoky magic using post oak, like most of the joints in the CenTex BBQ Belt.

A driving note for ATX'ers: If you want to avoid IH 35, head south on 183 towards Lockhart; you’ll see Pilot’s Knob, the old volcano off to the right, then go through the FM 812 intersection, past the Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Arena on the right, and  FM 1625 angles off to the right. Go 5 miles and you’ll be at Creedmoor. If you're coming from way up north, Creedmoor is just north of the 130.

We went in around 1:15 last Saturday to find a line, which we promptly joined. After suffering through listening to one of the most complicated orders ever given for a simple chopped beef BBQ sandwich, by the young woman directly in front of us, we finally reached the counter. We both went for the Super Plate (3 meat, 2 sides) for $9. Portions are huge, and value is high.

My plate had 2 ribs, a link of sausage, and three slices of brisket, coupled with a mound of spud salad, beans, and the requisite white bread, dill pickle slices, and sweet onion. The ribs had great flavor and were very can see the smoke ring in the photo. They could have used maybe another 30 minutes in the pit, as they were a tiny touch on the bite-resistant side. NOT tough by any stretch, but just a little resistant when you bite. Too many places today cook them until they are mush...much rather have a little resistance than a rib that falls apart with the first nibble. Sausage is Meyers', from Elgin. Meyers' used to be the preferred Elgin sausage until they dumbed it down for the plebeian taste and the mass market. It still has one of the better, read coarser, grinds of the commercial links out there, but they cut back on the fat percentage and the spice. To get closer to what Meyers' USED to be, check out the sausage coming out of Texas Sausage, over on E. 12th. Sausage history aside, it was a nice, smoky, beefy link, with a snappy casing. The brisket is well-smoked, meltingly tender, and nicely spiced. Being kept in a steam table to keep it hot causes some of the caramelized bark to degrade, but all BBQ joints can't pull straight from the pit to the slicing table. It is delicious brisket, and for the price, a real bargain.The sauce is excellent; a complimentary blend of richness, depth, spice, and well-balanced twixt sweet and sour.

We also got a half chicken ($4.50, although it was the last one, and wasn't quite a full half, so they knocked a little off of the price). It was smoky and moist, with crispy skin...pretty much all that could be asked of a barbecued chicken.

Will I go back?...hell yes. I also want to check out the catfish fry on Friday nights....a tradition that dates back to the Friday = fish days, and a practice that's common among barbecue restaurants all over the state. Willhite's is definitely worth the visit.

Robert also caters everyday of the week BTW.......

Mick Vann ©     


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