Filed under Trail tips

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ – South Austin’s Best

This BBQ lover continues to be impressed by Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ located on Manchaca in South Austin. Pitmaster Miguel Vidal and his team consistently deliver amazing smoky brisket, spicy sausage, best in class pork ribs and a nice range of signatures side items. Took my friends Sean Finnegan & Ginger Sofia recently and it made for a truly memorable lunch. We are not the only ones taking notice. They were included in the last Texas Monthly Top 50 and was featured two weeks ago on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. It’s a destination BBQ joint. Go hungry!

Welcoming Inman’s BBQ to Texas Top 20

Made my second visit to Inman’s Kitchen BBQ in Llano. Again I was warmly greeted by Texas Pitmaster Grant Morgan. They recently remodeled the restaurant and it looks awesome. But still stays to it’s small town roots as friendly & casual BBQ joint. Everything was just right. Tasty mesquite smoked moist brisket, incredible & lean turkey sausage, homemade bread & the best cole slaw I’ve ever had(except my mother-in-laws). Pitmaster Grant Morgan, his wife Kayla & the rest of their team in Llano treats you like family. We are proud to add Inman’s to our Texas Top 20 Favorites list. Inman’s in my humble opinion is not only the best BBQ in Llano but one of the very best in Texas. Can’t wait to our next visit.

Inman’s BBQ in Llano – Home of Turkey Sausage

Met Texas Pitmaster Grant Morgan I spent Saturday afternoon checking out all three BBQ joints in Llano. Coopers, Laird’s & Inman’s. At Inman’s I got a warm, small town Texas welcome and a  VIP pit tour from Grant & his wife Kayla. They took over 2 years ago the business his grandparents opened in 1967. My mesquite smoked, moist brisket, cole slaw, beans & home made bread were spot on. He also let me sample his jalapeño turkey sausage – super lean, super tasty. I’m hooked on it now. Check em out next time you’re in Llano. Tell ’em Sheehan sent you. And remember, life’s too short to eat bad brisket.

Kenneth Laird – Texas BBQ Hero

Meet my new friend pitmaster Kenneth Laird. Kenneth & his wife Esther have owned Laird’s “Real Texas” BBQ in Llano for 46 years. He’s originally from San Saba TX. He served me up a tasty slice of moist, mesquite smoked brisket & some amazing beans. They don’t take credit cards so I wrote him a check, yes a $5 check. He offered to give me my lunch for free. Kenneth also proudly served in the army in Vietnam. He has 22 pieces of shrapnel in him to remember his time serving our country. Fellas like Kenneth make me so proud to be an American & why I love being on the TX BBQ trail in little Texas towns like Llano. Drop by Laird’s next time you are in Llano, tell him Sheehan sent ya.

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ – South Austin’s Best

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ is South Austin’s best BBQ. Owner Miguel Vidal is an accomplished pitmaster who has spent much of his life working in the restaurant & BBQ business. Last week’s visit had us sampling perfectly smoky brisket, spicy jalapeno cheddar sausage & tender pork ribs. Each of these three meats were simply perfect. It’s no wonder they were recently recognized as one of Texas Monthly’s Top 50. We are so impressed they’re going in our Texas BBQ Trail Top 10. I love that Miguel named his BBQ joint after his daughter Valentina.

Creekside Cookers BBQ – Head of the Class

We’re excited to welcome Creekside Cookers BBQ to the Sheehan Can Texas BBQ Trail Top 20. Kelly & his wife Melody are both full time teachers. Kelly teaches 6th grade world history & Melody is a reading specialist. But on Saturdays they sell about 400 lbs of perfect BBQ on RR 12 in Wimberley. They use pecan wood and slow smoke brisket, pork ribs, sausage, chicken, pulled pork with amazing sides too. The brisket and pork ribs get an 11 score on a 10 point scale. The cole slaw, corn soufflé & peach cobbler topped off an amazing meal on my latest Texas BBQ run. Teachers and pitmasters are some of the hardest working people I know. This dynamic duo of Kelly & Melody happen to be both. Another teacher friend, Paul Dixon works with them as well. Do yourself a favor and head down RR 12 South to Wimberley on a Saturday morning to check out their great Q — but get their early by 10:30 – 11:00am. They sell out fast!!


Stiles Switch BBQ – Texas’ #1 BBQ Joint

Thank God It’s Friday – BBQ Time, had an amazing lunch with 9 yr. army veteran & Merrill Lynch advisor Cory Boyles. Cory had perfectly smoky moist brisket, corn casserole & Mac Cheese. I had awesome turkey, coleslaw & cucumber salad. Our pitmaster buddies Lance Kirkpatrick & Bill Dumas gave us the VIP pit tour. Stiles Switch is now my #1 favorite BBQ joint in Texas. They consistently smoke great Q and their sides are fresh & super tasty. I love that they have 4 pits going most all of the time. They don’t plan on selling out. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Every time I take friends there they are blown away by the perfectly smoky moist brisket, tasty sausage, pork ribs,  their amazing big beef ribs. Keep up the great work boys!!


Smitty’s BBQ Lockhart – Old School BBQ

Smitty’s BBQ in Lockhart is probably the coolest BBQ joint in Texas. It’s an old meat market which hasn’t changed much through the years. They serve up great BBQ – sausage links, smoked brisket, pork ribs with many tasty sides as well. As you walk in you see dark black walls, from the years of smoke and a number of open fires fueling their pits. This was the original location as well for Kreuz market before they “carried their fire” with them to their new location in Lockhart. Lockhart is known as the BBQ Capital of Texas. It’s rightly named as they have 4 excellent BBQ joints – Smitty’s, Kreuz, Black’s & Chisholm Trail. Taking good pictures for my blog takes some work too. 15203334_787642554709358_6633819551821036722_n15095436_779146682225612_4164374314320514373_n15241886_787642331376047_3634995946204778454_nunknown

Brown’s BBQ – Austin..some of the smokiest brisket you’ll find

We love Brown’s BBQ in Austin. They have a BBQ food trailer located on S. Lamar. Thanks to my BBQ buddy John Kaechle for introducing me to Brown’s. Another Texas BBQ family operation, Daniel Brown knows how to slow smoke a beef brisket to perfection. The moist brisket we had was truly incredible. So go check them out…and take home some for your family and friends.




Freedmen’s BBQ — Great BBQ on UT West Campus – Austin

I was blown away with the perfectly smoked BBQ at Freedmen’s – Austin. Located on 24th & San Grabriel, pitmaster Evan Leroy is slow smoking some of the best Q in town. This is a must visit place…check out their great selection of premium bourbons & whiskeys too. Call a taxi if necessary.