A new BBQ joint flashed up on my Facebook feed last week.
My nephew’s mother-in-law tagged her daughter to mention Smoke Sessions Barbecue, a new trailer on State Highway 66 between Rockwall and Royse City in the small town of Fate.
I was free for lunch the next day, so I drove the half hour east on I-30 and found Chad and Jessica Sessions manning a very sharp-looking smoker/trailer parked in front of a feed store.
The right half of the trailer houses the offset pit and a cutting area, while the other half is the kitchen and delivery window.
Smoke Sessions Barbecue is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but Chad said they’ve been selling out, so my advice is to get there early.
Pit capacity is limited at the moment. The pit can smoke 9 briskets at a time, but Chad said a new 1,000-gallon pit should be delivered in the next few weeks, so I expect service to last longer soon.
I arrived about 11:25 a.m. and ordered a three-meat plate with brisket, ribs and sausage. Other meats on the menu include turkey and pulled pork. Two sides are included with the meal and I chose smoked mac and cheese and potato salad. They also have brisket beans.
Chad said they cook all the sides from scratch and they make their own sauce.
The fatty brisket was superb. It had a great bark and just the right amount of salt-to-fat ratio to give that slightly sweet crunch that I love to find.
The ribs were still on the fire, and Chad was worried that they’d be too hot to enjoy, but he was wrong. The rub on the ribs showed course pepper and didn’t taste sweet at all.
Chad told me he was emulating the taste he found in the ribs at Smitty’s in Lockhart and I think he nailed it.
The all-beef sausage is made in-house. Chad said he started out with a pork/beef mix, but settled on all beef and it was outstanding, especially in a dip of their sauce.
The mac and cheese tasted of smoke. The sauce could be a bit thicker for my taste, but I’d order it again.
The potato salad featured small cubes of potato with mayo and herbs. It was good and complemented the meat.
Chad has worked in the restaurant business for years before deciding to open his own BBQ joint. He and his wife lived in San Marcos in an apartment that didn’t allow grills or smokers, so a friend with a house offered to let him keep a smoker in the back yard.
Backyard cooks led to catering gigs and then to thoughts of striking out on his own.
The trailer took the better part of a year to put together.
When Chad and Jessica decided to start the business they chose North Texas because of proximity to family.
He said they decided on the Rockwall/Royse City area because of the lack of good BBQ in the area.
I’m already planning a return visit to try the rest of the menu.
Smoke Sessions Barbecue, 7612 Highway 66, Royse City, Texas, (817) 319-1080. Open Tues-Sat 11am-8pm or until they sell out. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SmokeSessionsBarbecue