Jessie Miranda, the general manager at Hays County Bar-B-Que & Catering in San Marcos, is old school. The joint doesn’t use temperature gauges to judge the doneness of its briskets. It’s all about how the meat looks and feels to the touch.
“The only thing we probe is poultry, sausage and sometimes a pork chop,” he said.
Miranda is also old school in his approach to competition: Bring it on.
“We got room to go,” he said. “There’s plenty business for everybody. There’s thousands of restaurants, yes. But there’s nothing like barbecue.”
He said the I-35 corridor from Dallas to San Antonio is filled in with good barbecue joints now. “All we need next is someone in Laredo,” he said.
Hays County is doing its own bit for expansion. Owners Michael and Asenette Hernandez recently opened Hays County Burgers & BBQ in nearby Martindale. And they hope to finish an ambitious expansion of their original joint sometime later this year.
Miranda, who has been general manager five years, said the expansion will include a new, larger building, a pavilion and parking for a couple hundred cars.
Hays County made Texas Monthly's new list of the Top 50 joints in the state and also did in 2013.
Hays County Bar-B-Que & Catering, 1612 South IH-35, San Marcos, (512) 392-6000. Open Mon-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-4pm or when the meat runs out. Website: http://www.hayscobbq.com