Our BBQ road trip to Lexington, Texas began at 1 a.m. on Saturday, July 17. The four hour drive was filled with empty Texas roads with the sporadic white tail deer on the roadsides from time to time and spectacular nighttime views of the beautiful courthouses in San Saba and Lampasas.
We arrived still in the dark at 5 a.m. in Lexington. The small town of 1,177 was about to increase in population with the usual Saturday morning wave of BBQ lovers. We walk up to Snow’s BBQ and the line is already going behind the building and I mean circling behind the building. We talk with ones at the front and find out that the first one in line got there at 8p.m. and setup his chair and went to drink at a bar till he returned at midnight to reclaim the top spot. His wait would be 7 and half hours to able to go in first for the early open at 7:30 a.m.
The owner of Snow’s BBQ, Kerry Bexley is the master of ceremonies when it comes to the long line at Snow’s and he began the fun task of moving the mis-shaped line so it could continue to growing further down the street. Kerry started the line count and we found out we are 181, 182 and 183 in line. Kerry started up the drawings for the line prizes and we miss skipping to the front of the line by one when 184 is drawn by the sweet little couple behind us. Kerry tells us we will probably be eating by 11:45 p.m. based on our number in line.
The wait begins for some of the most talked about, written about by Texas Monthly and recently Netflix Chef’s Table BBQ featured Tootsie Tomanetz’s BBQ. Our friend, Thereza dozes off to sleep after being our amazing driver in the night and the people watching begins. I look around and see something that makes me beyond happy. I am surrounded by all these people who love BBQ like I do and nothing was separating us. We were all one. It felt so Texan.
The line opens early at 7:30 a.m. with the usual opening time at 8 a.m. The line moves for the first time and we are already two and half hours in on the wait. Gay and Thereza decide to hit the merchandise stand since it was open now along with the open bar. I quickly made fast friends with the three guys in front of us in line from DFW and their excitement for the opportunity to experience something so Texan just further added to the day. We talked BBQ and they put away Lone Star and Bloody Marys on this beautiful Saturday morning.
A bachelor party has been in line wearing their custom Tootsie t-shirts for Neil’s Last Roast. Tootsie joined the guys for a group photo and a celebratory whiskey shot. It was definitely an Instagram worthy moment to say the least. The time was now 8:50 a.m. It is now less than three hours to go.
The weather was cloudy to start the morning so the wait was pleasant and the company was too. We enjoyed each time we moved our chairs closer to the doors of Snow’s. We were drenched in the smells of the woods Tootsie was masterfully handling. It was like attending a pitmaster class in old school BBQ. Watching Tootsie moving her coals shovel by shovel and moving her meats with such precision was a dream for the crowd who watched in awe.
The first menu item goes off the board when Chicken went off the board at 9:55 am at customer #100 and second to go was Cole Slaw at 10:20 a.m. at customer #122. We pray that is the end of writing on that board till we can order. The guys in front of us wanted a pound of everything and their strategy sounds like the way to go but unfortunately chicken was now off the menu.
Snow’s BBQ meat menu is filled with Brisket, Pork Ribs, Pork Steak, Turkey Breast, Regular Sausage, Jalapeño Sausage and Chicken. The sides included Potato Salad, Cole Slaw. The dessert is Banana Pudding.
We ditch our chairs and prepare to reach the concrete steps of Snow’s BBQ. The time is reaching 11 a.m. and Kerry is looking like he was dead on for our lunch reservation. We walk up those glorious steps to Snow’s wooden porch dock and the longest part of the wait really begins. We are all so close now. We start thinking of what the order is going to be again and hope it isn’t changed by a menu deletion. The door to Snow’s BBQ starts to feel like Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4 in London’s King’s Cross Station. The DFW guys enter Snow’s first and we are now next in line to enter Snow’s. We made it. We are about to have Tootsie’s BBQ.
We open the door to Snow’s BBQ and enter to the most amazing smell of BBQ I have ever experienced in my life. The crew at Snow’s are beyond nice and their service is flawless. I ordered three pounds of Brisket at $27 a pound, one pound of Pork Ribs at $19 a pound, one pound of Pork Shoulder Steak at $17 a pound, a link of Regular Sausage, a link of Jalapeño Sausage and a few slices of Turkey breast. I got a pint of Potato Salad and a serving of Banana Pudding. We loaded up on onions, pickles, white bread and a Coke to drink. We make our way out the side door at Snow’s and go look for a picnic table to enjoy our meal with a view of Tootsie still working her pits. We sit down and say a prayer to bless this amazing meal before us. I look at my watch and it is just past 11:45 a.m., Kerry nailed it.
My first bite of the Brisket was a moment I will always remember. In Texas, brisket is the measuring stick for any barbecue joint and Snow’s BBQ brisket is at the tip top of the BBQ mountain. The bark and moistness of the brisket was perfect and the flavor was life changing great. If Brisket is king in Texas, a queen definitely holds the throne in Tootsie.
The Pork Ribs were Thereza’s favorite meat and were definitely so unbelievably good. The pull was just as it should be for a perfectly smoked rib and the ribs made you want the next one even more.
I had down trying Pork Shoulder Steak as something that I was wanting to eat and I wasn’t the only one as I heard people throughout the line talking about it and hoping to try it for the first time themselves. It was just as I expect. Amazing. Tootsie’s Pork Steaks didn’t disappoint anyone.
GayLynn tried the Turkey Breast first and she said it was super good. The turkey breast was juicy and tasted like having the best Thanksgiving ever in July.
The Regular and Jalapeño Sausages were everything you expect from a quality smoked sausage. The snap of the sausage is so on and the flavor of the sausage is damn tasty. I love sausage with my family’s history in making Pep Sausage and Snow’s sausage made me smile.
The Potato Salad was the only side today after the early fall of Cole Slaw in the morning and it is best potato salad I think have ever had. The creaminess of the potato salad was something I wish I could have ever time I had potato salad and the taste was something I will judge all other potato salads by now. I want that Potato Salad recipe bad.
The dessert at Snow’s BBQ is Banana Pudding so we had to try it too. I love banana pudding. The vanilla wafers crunched and the pudding was so creamy. It was a nice finish to the menu for the day.
I watched Tootsie scrap her pits clean and wash up pots and I soon realize just how hard a worker Tootsie Tomanetz is. She is a legend because she works hard and she earns it in the Texas heat every Saturday at Snow’s BBQ. We were even lucky enough to get a picture with Tootsie taken by our new BBQ buddies from DFW to complete our dream BBQ road trip. We loaded up all the extra meat we had left in our Dallas Cowboys cooler bag to return home after a iconic foodie moment and a true Texan life experience we will always remember. Thank you so much to Snow’s BBQ, Kerry, Tootsie and the crew. You are simply the best in the BBQ biz.
Most of all, I want to thank everyone in that long line at Snow’s. You made the experience mean so much more than just BBQ. You made me remember why I love living here in Texas and how I wish we all could be everyday.