San Angelo, TX

38 Years of BBQ: Still Smoking Up The Goods

Joshua H.

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mobile truck logoJoshua Hockett

If you fly into San Angelo Texas SJT airport and drive your way into town, you're likely to pass by Packsaddle BBQ on your left-hand side of the road just a couple of miles before hitting the town. You'd be mistaken to not make a stop inside and see what's cookn'. Let me show you why this is so.

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namesake bench out frontJoshua Hockett

Husband-wife pair Don and Tracey Kennemer, co-own Packsaddle BBQ and have since they took things over in June 2021 from the previous owners who ran the place for 37 years. It is the longest-lasting BBQ joint in the city mind you. Standing not only the test of time in general but also weathering the two very rough years of the pandemic as well. The food quality, the staff, their true to brand values, have allowed the business to continue to serve locals and those from afar who come to town looking for not just great food, but great West Texas-style BBQ served with a big scoop of local hospitality.

Jay, Don's right-hand man in the kitchen and pitmaster has been working at Packsaddle since he was 17 years old. Pretty impressive tenure to have stayed on board that whole time. Jay told me that he loves people, he loves food, and he loves to make people happy by serving them food that he has just made for them.

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Jay left, Don rightJoshua Hockett

Don told me that they place 12-15 full briskets on the smoker named "big bertha," every night where they will smoke over mesquite wood chips for 12 hours time to absorb the unmistakable aroma of sharp, spicy, smokey wood. All the meat used at Packsaddle is sourced locally in San Angelo as well, making sure to benefit local businesses with their purchases.

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8lb smoked brisketJoshua Hockett

Don informed that his team at Packsaddle is composed of him and 14 other full-time staff that run the show day in and day out for daily orders, delivery, and catering events that can host up to 750 people.

Some best-selling items on the menu are the brand new fried potato balls, jalapeno sausage, pork spare ribs, brisket, smoked turkey (one of my personal favorite items they have), steak fingers, and a new creation that is pretty much Frito pie on steroids. It's Fritos(or fries) layered with chopped brisket and beans, topped with shredded cheese, diced jalapenos, house-made bbq sauce, and sour cream. All for under $11 too! Don also noted that their cornmeal battered catfish is available every single day as well.

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cornmeal catfish plateJoshua Hockett

Don't neglect side dishes or dessert here either folks. Classics like baked beans, killer mac & cheese, fried okra, mashed taters, coleslaw, hand-cut fries, hand-battered onion rings, plus my favorite, jalapeno hushpuppies! They also have peach cobbler baked daily, and Don's circa 1940's grandmother's vanilla ice cream recipe on deck.

I should note that the restaurant has a side private patio room that seats 40 people and can be reserved for business functions or any function free of charge to groups that need such a space for lunch/dinner meetings/socials.

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private side patio spaceJoshua Hockett

If you want to taste some local BBQ history with a new infusion of staffing, mission, purpose, and quality at fair prices and generous portions, swing on by and say hello to Don, Tracey, Jay, and the team. They welcome the chance to serve you.

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12-year blogger who's lived in 5 states, 7 cities, and 2 countries in 11 years. Hosted 3 blogs in that time. Food and wine are how I explore the world around me and the place I travel to solo and with my wife and son. See where we go next!

San Angelo, TX
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