We arrived at Slow Pokes Brisket Shack in Manchaca, Tx., a little after noon on a recent Friday.
No more than 60 seconds later, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins declared:
“This is the most unique barbecue joint we’ve ever been to, man.”
Wilkins has never been more right.
Visually, Slow Pokes Brisket Shack, located in a rural area not too far south of Austin, is overwhelming. It’s a hoarder’s paradise that had its beginning about two and a half years ago with just one smoker and a pop-up tent.
Now, flanking a stage area where a 20-piece band plays some nights, are four old, hot rod pickups with a row of 15 old sewing machines aligned in front of them.
Nearby sits a classic Cadillac convertible with a giant set of Longhorns for a hood ornament.
On the roof of another small building sit more than a dozen old tricycles. Not far away hang more than two dozen old toasters.
“I’ve never seen some of them,” Posse newcomer Mark Gabrick said of the toasters.
The separate bar building features model cars and model trains. And a classic sign touting “Warm Bad Beer.”
Throughout the area, on the ground, on shelves and on roofs, are scattered lawn ornaments, more old beer signs, bikes, old kids’ toys, license plates, other bric-a-brac, odds and ends, large and small. Yes, some might call it junk. I prefer salvage yard chic.
“You’re talking some serious style points here,” Wilkins said.
Cooking is still done outdoors, on large smokers, near the building where customers order their food.
We were told that ribs wouldn’t be ready for another hour and a half, so we settled on some brisket and sausage to share. We each took a couple bites and, unimpressed with the food, didn’t finish.
“I don’t think they’re going for craft meats here,” Wilkins said.
But do put Slow Pokes on your must-see list. It is one of a kind. And, despite the sign in the bar, the beer is cold and good.
Slow Pokes Brisket Shack, 737 Farm to Market 1626, Manchaca, 512-436-1016. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm.