According to Bill Dumas, head pitmaster at Smokey Denmark’s, “Barbecue is the most bastardized word in the English language.” And it’s true. When most people hear the word barbecue, they imagine the Fourth of July with burgers, hotdogs and pool parties. But if you live in Texas, you know better – or at least you should.
You might not be totally familiar with the name Smokey Denmark’s, but I’m certain you’re familiar with their product. They’ve been smoking sausages and other meats since 1964. Their smoked sausages are served in several restaurants around town, such as Banger’s Sausage House on Rainey Street, where you can get Smokey Denmark’s andouille sausage.
After smoking meats for 50 plus years, they’ve decided to venture into the food truck world, taking their meats to the open road. Or in this case, right next to their meat shop at 3505 E 5th St.
Jumping Aboard the Meat Revolution
True Texas barbecue is no fuss, slow cooked meat. There are no fancy electronics to help speed up the process or electric knives to slice through meats. Just the smoker, the meat and the pitmaster. That’s good, old fashioned barbecue. But just because you have old fashioned barbecue, that doesn’t mean you have to enjoy the same old fashioned way.
Don’t get me wrong. I love me some slabs of meat and ribs piled up so high I can feel my arteries clogging by just looking at it. But I can’t do that every day! I can, however, trick my body and enjoy that same meaty goodness in different ways. And that’s just what the guys over at Smokey Denmark’s are enabling me to do.
Let’s be honest. Slabs of meat aren’t the most creative dish a chef can conjure up. So head pitmaster Bill Dumas saw the need to marry the old with the new. You can still get slabs of meat and ribs at Smokey Denmark’s, but their unique daily specials allow you to savor the barbecue without putting yourself into a meat coma.
It was this offer of creative culinary freedom that drew one of John Mueller’s own pitmen, DJ Ridenour, to the “other side” last month. Ridenour was simply bored with the same old and wanted to be able to create meals rather than just sling meats. And his creations are to die for.
Visiting Smokey Denmark’s Food Truck
During my recent visit, I ordered Smokey Denmark’s two taco special, one pulled pork and one brisket, and sat myself down under the large pecan tree in the shade. I can honestly say I was not disappointed. The tacos were flavorful, yet simple. I was able to savor the superb flavors of barbecued meats and – best of all – I didn’t get the meat sweats. For just $5, I felt like I had hit the barbecue food truck jackpot.
You’re probably wondering what other creative meat concoctions are available. Alas, there’s no fixed menu with the new combinations at this point. Just make sure you look for the chalkboard when you arrive. Daily specials, like my tacos, will be listed there.
Just down the street from Justine’s Brasserie, Smokey Denmark’s is open for lunch Monday-Friday from 11 AM-2 PM. They also organize live lunchtime concerts, typically on Fridays, to spice up the atmosphere.
The truck is making appearances at special events all over town, so check out their Facebook page for details on where to find them “after hours.” You can even catch them this weekend on September 27, 2014 at AustOberfest – Austin’s Oktoberfest – where for just $40 you’ll enjoy unlimited German-style sausage and sides.
So whether you drive out to the eastside for lunch, or catch them at an event around town, you’ll want to check Austin’s new barbecue food truck out before too many people catch on. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting hours just for a taste.
Are you a barbecue purist or are you onboard with the meat revolution?