Editor’s note: This just is now closed.
We were driving on Highway 19 between Palestine and Athens when we spotted the smoke.
No one wanted to cram an extra stop into our East Texas barbecue tour last weekend. We were stuffed after eating at three places and we wanted only to sample the Hog Wings at Cripple Creek in Athens before returning to Dallas.
But the smoke on the side of the highway in Montalba was enticing. We drove past, but Posse co-found Chris Wilkins said, “We probably should turn around.” Wheelman Marshall Cooper obliged.
And so we pulled into Smokin’ Jay Galloway’s Butt Nekkid BBQ.
“We don’t put anything on our brisket except smoke,” Galloway said, explaining the name.
Open about a year, Galloway said he cooks every night and sells out every day. He offers a chopped beef sandwich special with chips and a drink for $5, sales tax included.
He was out of ribs when we arrived about 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon. We sampled his brisket and sausage and decided it would be nice to visit again when he still had ribs.
The joint itself, with its loose brick entryway and hand-strung, lighted “BBQ” sign, is unique. I would call it cute or quaint. Tour veteran Sheilagh Cooper called it “eclectic.” Bruce Tomaso said “faux rustic.”
However you describe it, it’s one of a kind.
Smok’n J’s Butt Nekkid BBQ, Hwy. 19 at FM 321, Montalba, 903-373-2956. Open Wed-Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m. or when the meat runs out.
Photos by Chris Wilkins