Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009: Schoepf's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Belton, Texas)

Five of us made the 60-mile drive up I-35 to Belton for lunch at Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, a return visit for everyone except Russell. (Read about our previous visits.) It’s Ashley’s favorite BBQ joint, and the rest of us have really enjoyed it in the past, so we were looking forward to it. Plus, loading up on BBQ is exactly what we needed to sustain us through the over 5 hours of cigar smoking that would follow lunch at Salado Cigars. Certainly a Valentine's Day well spent.

Located just off the interstate at Exit 294A, Schoepf’s is a great choice for BBQ on I-35.It’s a traditional pit-BBQ joint, with the smoking outside the restaurant and the meats carried inside on plastic trays. They have a nice selection of brisket, pork ribs, sausage, chicken, turkey, pork chops, and sirloins. (View the menu.) Their sauce is quite good. Thin, peppery, and tangy. Beans, pickles, onions, and cornbread/roll are complimentary.

We sat in the new Special Event Room in the back. It doesn’t have as much of a true BBQ feel as the original seating in the front, plus there were flies, so I suggest sitting in the front. We had great service, including a nice chat by the pit with Staci Schoepf, who owns the place with her husband, Ronnie. (Staci and Ronnie are on the cover of the February 2009 edition of Bell County’s Wedding & Party Ideas.)

Russell sums up his thoughts: “Brisket: good but not really memorable. Pork ribs: good flavor but a little on the crispy side this day. Sides: solid but not great. Atmosphere/hospitality: very nice tour given by one of the owners of this recently nicely-updated place. Overall: solid place along I-35 to stop for some hill-country-esq BBQ.”

Ashley’s scores – Chicken: 9; Sides: 9; Atmosphere: 9; Service: 9; Overall experience: 10

Mark’s scores – Brisket: 8; Chicken: 8.9; Sauce: 9.1; Cole slaw: 9.25; Atmosphere: 9; Service: 8.5; Overall experience: 8.95

Brad’s scores – Brisket: 7.25; Sausage: 7.5; Pork ribs: 8.85; Sauce: 8.75; Sides: 7; Atmosphere: 8.5; Service: 8.75; Overall experience: 9

Drew’s scores – Turkey: 9; Pork ribs: 8.8; Chicken: 9.2; Atmosphere: 8.8; Service: 9.7; Overall experience: 9

Russell’s scores – Brisket: 8.5; Pork ribs: 8.35; Sides: 8; Atmosphere & Hospitality: 9.95; Overall experience: 8.88

Overall Man-Up Score: 9.166

Schoepf's Old Time Pit Bar-B Que on Urbanspoon

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