Pat Gee's Barbecue

My dad, James Wilkins, enters Pat Gee’s Barbecue in the piney woods east of Tyler. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

What’s your barbecue home?

Mine is a little clapboard BBQ joint deep in the woods outside of Tyler, where I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s.

Every time I go home I try to squeeze in a visit to Pat Gee’s, my barbecue home. I’ve been going there for 40 years. Pat Gee passed away in 1999 and his wife Vida Gee continued the business until she died in 2010. The Gee children continue the family tradition today

When my grandson James was 6-months-old, I took him to Pat’s for his first taste of brisket. My dad James, an artist who still lives in Tyler, and I try to get there whenever I come down from Dallas. There’s something magic about the simple pleasures of the BBQ you grew up with.

When you go to Pat’s, don’t expect the craft meats that have taken over the Texas barbecue scene during the past ten years. If Franklin Barbecue is your bar, you might be disappointed. Pat Gee’s doesn’t serve an artfully constructed platter of smoked craft meats on pink butcher paper, something you can take a selfie with to post on your Instagram page.

At my barbecue home, I suggest you order a pound of chopped brisket, sauced, with a stack of white bread, onions and pickles. Try the smoked ham too, it’s a secret that the locals know about. Then sit back and soak up the ambience of the most authentic, totally real East Texas barbecue joint you’ll ever visit.

Posse co-founder Gary Jacobson once wrote, “Everybody’s favorite barbecue is what they grew up with.”

That’s certainly the case for me when it comes to Pat Gee’s, what is your barbecue home?

Pat Gee’s Barbecue, 17547 Jamestown Rd., Tyler, 903-534-0265. Open Fri-Sun 11 am-until the meat runs out.

Pat Gee's Barbecue

Brothers Arthur Gee, left, and Billy Walker prepare an order as Billy’s grandson looks on at Pat Gee’s Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

 

Pat Gee's Barbecue

My dad and I get ready to dig into our chopped brisket sandwiches at Pat Gee’s Barbecue. (Photo ©Wyatt McSpadden)

Pat Gee's Barbecue

Pitmaster Arthur Gee works the chopping block as he makes our lunch at Pat Gee’s Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Pat Gee's Barbecue

A photo of the original Pat Gee’s Barbecue hangs on the wall. Note the sign “Charlie’s Bar-B-Q,” Arthur told me his dad went to get a sign painted for his new joint but got a deal on this one, which was already painted. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Pat Gee's Barbecue

The second Pat Gee’s Barbecue building was built after a fire in the early 70s. The joint was later added on to, doubling the size of the dining room. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Pat Gee's Barbecue

A customer orders at Pat Gee’s Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

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Greg Smith

4 months ago

Nice lead photo. Looks like a East Texas joint.

Chris Wilkins

4 months ago

Thanks Greg, you’d feel right at home at Pat Gee’s……

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