New Texas BBQ restaurant opens today

10:32 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2016 What To Do

There’s a new restaurant opening in town today, and I’m personally excited.

I’ve lived in Ohio for quite some time now, and what I get homesick for the most is real Texas barbecue. Not at all knocking the delicious BBQ offerings of local joints, I have to say there’s nothing quite like barbecue smoked by a real born-and-raised Texas BBQ chef.

A fellow “Tex-pat,” James Nunez also has made Ohio his adopted home. He’s been making barbecue for 30 years and uses mesquite wood that comes from his family’s ranch. “In Texas, mesquite are considered weeds,” he said.

A hard wood that yields a unique flavor that’s deep and fragrant, and even a little sweet, mesquite burns at a very high heat and is great for enhancing the natural flavors of meat.

Nunez cooks all his meat in a smoker he built himself. It holds 120 pounds of meat at a time – beef and bison brisket, ribs, pulled pork, sausage and chicken. Last night, I watched him prep some ribs with his special blend of spices, and he meticulously and thoroughly covered the entire surface, “Every rib is important,” he said. “They all have to get the same love and attention.”

Texas Beef & Cattle Co.’s grand opening is schedule for Thursday, June 30, but Nunez will have a soft opening through Sunday. “What we expect of people coming here is to be critical of our process,” he told me. “We need them to interact with us to tell us what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong before our grand opening.”

Nunez expects to be open today from 5-10 p.m.; 4-10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Expect a 4½-inch sandwich containing a half-pound of meat to be in the $10 range. Dinner sides – corn on the cob, beans, rice, slaw, Texas-style yellow potato salad, green beans (and maybe Brussels sprouts) – will be $2.50 each.

The restaurant will accommodate about 40 inside; plus, there’s an enclosed patio. All the wood and wall furnishings inside the restaurant are reclaimed from the area.