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Big Flavors from the Big State


Belton (Central), Texas


Everything in Texas is big.  It sounds trite, but the people of Texas, probably inspired by the landscape, have a tendency to do things in big ways.  I landed at the Austin airport for a business trip in Belton, Texas, a town located about 65 miles north of Austin.

There are many intriguing places to explore along the I-35 corridor on the way to Belton.  I particularly enjoyed Saledo with it’s compact downtown full of antique stores, restaurants and hotels.  Be sure to pick up some beef jerky at Robertson’s to keep you going. 


My business lunch in Belton that day was a visit to Schoepf’s BBQ.  You can smell the enticing pit bbq smoke before you even get out of your car.  There is nothing fancy about this place.  You walk past the smoking pit area, where stacks of mesquite logs surround the pit.

One of the BBQ pits at Schoepf

Once inside, you select your meat right off the serving pit filled with mesquite coals.  A carnivore’s heaven, perfectly smoked brisket, pork ribs, several kinds of sausage, pork chops and chicken are all ready for the picking.  It was difficult to choose, but I opted for a couple pork ribs, a sausage and chicken.

After leaving the pit area, you continue inside to select freshly made side salads, sauce and breads.  It is a cafeteria on steroids.  Nothing like I have ever seen, but then again it’s in Texas where they think big! 


Once you pay for your meal, you pick a place at communal wood picnic tables.  Wood paneled walls are adorned with hunting trophies, local memorabilia and photos of the area.  It’s all about the Central Texas lifestyle and prized Texas bbq.







  1. I love your blog. My family has long wanted to do the same sort of thing, but a little less upscale. For example, your perfectly roasted bbq chicken at my house is just called beer butt chicken (bravo for the Bud by the way!) But don’t give away too many secrets about SLO, the housing is already out-of-touch with reality, as you know. Continue with the great read.

  2. I love the flavor slow smoking a chicken gets into the meat. When I don’t have time to watch a grill I use the oven. I don’t pat the chicken dry but use the moisture on the skin to hold a heafty layer of Slap-ya-mama hot salt to the chicken. I then pop it in the oven at 425F for 90 minutes. A chicken over 7.5 lbs may need and extra 10 min or so. I usually use an IPA for the beer but lately I’ve been enjoying the flavor hint I get from Guiness. For a little extra flavor and to make the house smell amazing I throw a healthy sprig of fresh rosemary into the beer can with the beer. Thanks for the great recipes on the blog we’ve cooked our way through most of them….keep em coming!

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