When we first visited 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio last year, we wondered if the joint was turning out the best barbecue in Texas.
After a recent visit, our view hasn’t changed.
“I’ll flat out say it,” Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said after our lunch of brisket, pork ribs, turkey and Serrano pepper/Oaxaca cheese sausage, “I think the food here is better than Snow’s.”
Snow’s, of course, is the legendary joint in Lexington that was ranked No. 1 last year by Texas Monthly.
“No disrespect to Snow’s,” Wilkins quickly added. “There’s still no place I’d rather be on a Saturday morning than Snow’s.” That’s the only day it is open.
The side dishes at 2M Smokehouse — coleslaw, potato salad and chicharoni macaroni that we ordered — were also excellent.
“I think that’s the best potato salad I’ve ever had,” said Brad Nations, a salesman and our table mate at 2M.
“I’m with you on that potato salad,” agreed Wilkins.
The Posse, we must admit, is showing its age, or maybe just some culinary maturity. A decade ago when we first hit the barbecue trail, all we cared about was the meat. After all, that is our motto: Let the Meat Speak for Itself.
But now, all these years later, we think the sides are important, too.
We arrived at 2M Smokehouse at about 10:20 a.m. on a Thursday and there were eight people in line ahead of us. The place, open Thursday through Sunday, begins serving at 11. By that time, there were 40 in line and people were steadily arriving. When we left at noon, there were still about 40 in line. It was a steady stream of customers.
“God, I’ve still got those flavors bouncing around in my mouth,” Wilkins said later as we drove back to Austin after eating.
“Bouncing around” is not a term you’re likely to find in Gourmet magazine or Bon Appetit. But it does describe the experience at 2M. Sweet. Savory. Salty. Sour. Pungent. Coolness. All together with one or two advancing to the forefront and then retreating.
“Every single thing has a unique flavor,” Wilkins said.
On our recent visit, pit master and co-owner Esaul Ramos was in New York and not on site. His partner, Joe Melig, did all the cutting.
We talked afterward to Dusty Dworak, one of the cooks, asking about the sweetness we tasted in the brisket. Did they add something extra sweet to the rub?
Not really, he answered. If anything, he said, there was extra salt.
“But once you melt all the fat it gets like candy,” he said.
2M Smokehouse, 2731 S WW White Rd,, San Antonio, (210) 885-9352. Open Thurs-Sun 11am-4pm or when the meat runs out. Website: www.2msmokehouse.com