The Barbecue Station, 1610 N.E. Loop 410, inside the loop between the Nacogdoches and Harry Wurzbach exits, is the one place where my family intentionally falls off the eat-no-red-meat wagon. We can live without hamburgers, steaks and ribs, but when it comes to brisket that’s been smoked to perfection and sliced into thin, toothsome strips, our willpower fades away. Sliced beef BBQ must be woven into Native Texans’ DNA, so we’re helpless to its powerful pull.
Every year when Texas Monthly publishes its review of the top BBQ joints in the state, I’m surprised that The Barbecue Station doesn’t make the cut. It has been recognized by the San Antonio Express-News, though, as their critics’ choice for best barbecue. I think it should also be recognized for the best smell the Alamo City has to offer. Seriously. If The Barbecue Station could bottle and ship its smoked beef brisket aroma, world peace might be possible. People would be so busy sniffing that they wouldn’t have time to fight.
Several weeks ago, I picked up a friend who lives in New York City from the San Antonio airport, and I drove him straight to The Barbecue Station. New York City may have just about everything wonderful under the sun, but they don’t have The Barbecue Station. Jun lit up when he stepped into the smoke-filled restaurant. He had heard of barbecue, but he’d never experienced it.
Once, a friend of his in New York, who is a Native Texan, set him straight when he was grilling hamburgers at his home and called what he was doing a barbecue. “This isn’t barbecue,” she said, trying to explain the magic that takes place when meat is smoked.
We bought sliced brisket, sliced turkey and a couple of links of sausage to go. You may also dine inside of the restaurant, which is covered in Texas oilfield memorabilia. The friendly staff will include as much white bread (or wheat, but does anyone eat wheat bread with BBQ?), pickles, onions and barbecue sauce as you’d like with your order. Brisket is $9.99/pound; beef ribs are $5.99/pound; pork ribs are $8.99/pound; ham is $8.99/pound; half a chicken is $4.29; pork loin is $9.99/pound; turkey breast is $9.99/pound; chopped beef is $7.99 pound; and sausage links are $1.79 each. The restaurant also sells plates, which come with two side orders, bread, pickles, onions and sauce.
Stewart Peacock, the owner/manager, said that sliced brisket and sausage are their biggest sellers, followed by chicken and turkey. (I must say that the smoked turkey is heavenly.) He also said they sell a lot of beef ribs on Saturdays. All of the sides, which include creamed corn, potato salad, green beans, cole slaw, pinto beans and fries, are made from scratch. Peacock said it would be a lot easier to open up a ready-made tub, but the sides wouldn’t taste as good.
The Barbecue Station is open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Their phone number is (210) 824-9191. Do your part for world peace. Bring an empty bottle with you to see if you can capture some of the magic!