Two days ago I finally made it to Jaspers BBQ, probably Waco’s oldest BBQ joint.
It has changed hands a couple times, or at least once that I know of, but it still has its following.
Every time I have driven by it, the lot was decently full and this time was no different.
So me and my father pull in and find a place to park, wasn’t too crowded and the lot is decently sized. We go in and get in line, which is about 4-5 people, and check out the menu. They sell meat by the lb, 1/2lb, complete plates, sandwiches and sides. The offer the basic brisket, sausage, ribs and bologna; with the classic sides of beans, slaw and potato salad, deviled eggs, and they don’t serve bbq sauce… but offer this stuff they call gravy (we’ll get to that later).
I order the brisket plate with slaw, potato salad, white bread, pickles/onions, bowl of “gravy” and 3 deviled eggs. The brisket isn’t sliced like most places, they just do a rough chop on it. They serve a decent size scoop of potato salad and slaw, with enough pickles and onions as requested. Once I paid up, one of the guys carried my plate and sat me at a table… as well as my fathers. Was rather unexpected and nice, none of the joints Ive been to have had that.
The first thing I try is one of the deviled eggs. They are made with dill relish, which give them a less sweet taste, but they still had a very nice flavor and consistency. I really liked the potato salad; it is a mustard mix, with chunky potatoes and still a creamy texture, complete with a nice sweetish flavor. The slaw was alright, not as sweet as I like and was a but tangy, but the veggies were still fresh and crunchy. The brisket was alright, nothing really special…. and maybe it was just the cut I got, but it was a little dry…. It still had a decent flavor and texture. My least favorite thing was the “gravy” which is a juice/sauce I believe is made from the brisket juices with some added hot sauce and seasoning (one of which I believe is cumin, cause it kinda reminded me of Mexican food grease.). I don’t mind the beef juice being used as a sauce, that’s usually one of the best things to use, but I didn’t care for flavor of this recipe… nope didn’t like it at all.
The overall atmosphere of the place was great. All the employees were very nice and helpful. They constantly had a line trailing toward the door, was never really long but stayed consistent. Right before I left I decided to pick up a shirt, but they were out of mediums… so they offered to sell me the one stapled to the wall and gave it to me at a discount… worked for me. Ill deff go back to try more of their stuff, cause I feel I just got a bad batch of brisket…. and that happens sometimes. I mean come on, they've been around nearly a Century, they have to be doing something right!
I had Jasper's for the first time today. In fact, I finished consuming the last bite of my pecan pie no more than an hour ago. I ordered the Big Creek (chopped beef brisket with 2 ribs. no sides.) Since the Big Creek comes with no sides, I had to get a pecan pie, right? I mean, what's the point of eating delicious barbecue if you don't get to finish it off with something sweet?
The ribs were amazing. I'm hesitant to eat ribs usually because I've had too many that I need to fight with the bone for the meat. Not these. The meat came off the bone with such ease. Perfectly seasoned and lightly coated with sauce (I don't like 'em dripping all over the place.)
The brisket was good, but what set it off was the gravy, sauce, jous, whatever you want to call the bowl of liquid goodness that it came with. Without hesitation, I topped a slice of bread with a pile of brisket, a few pickles and some onion strips, then folded it up (taco style) and let it dip its legs in the delicious pool of awesome. Feeling I committed a sin against Jasper, I confessed my action to the owner, only to find out that's how you're supposed to do it!
The pecan pie was really good. Tasted homemade. I've had better but it doesn't influence my rating. It's not like it's called Jasper's Pecan Pie shop.
Friendly atmosphere and service along with amazing eats! They just gained a loyal customer.