Ah the BBQ road continues.  Today brings us to Jaspers, in Waco Texas.  There are a few do’s and don’ts for Jasper’s.  Do tell them that this is your first time to Jasper’s.  Do let them recommend the fare you are about to take.  Do get the bowl of ‘gravy’ when they ask if you want it. (it is a $.50 side item, but included with plates). Here are a few don’ts:  Do not refuse to take multiple pieces of bread.They will simply laugh at you when you say you want one  piece and you have accepted their offer for gravy included in your meal. Do not think about your diet, you can always resume tomorrow. And lastly, do not worry about your health, if you stroke out, well, you went happily.

Jasper's in the Old Days


Quite frankly, this is one of the best BBQ  joints we have reviewed on Redd…..first, let me explain that Jasper’s BBQ is in East?, North?, Northeast?, I cannot get the directional designations in Waco neighborhoods.  Speaking of the neighborhood, Jasper’s is in a rather desolate one. It also happens to be across the street from one of my favorite named businesses in the whole world:  Nappy Roots.  Love it!

The story on Jasper’s is that it started in 1915. They started as a fruit stand and wandered into the restaurant business.  Back then, as in now, they would sell you beef and sausage, serving it on butcher paper.  Today, they continue this tradition even though the current ownership seems far removed from the origins of this BBQ Joint. In fact, I believe they just reopened under new ownership.  I can recall cars outside only for the last several months; but what caught my eye was how many cars during lunch. So I observed. The clientele was mixed between races, worker types, and levels.  A truly good sign. I had to try it. And the new ownership was on site, and quite nice.

Service was friendly and fast.  I followed my own advice above and let them new I was a virgin.  They quickly steered me to the ribs, and the gravy.  Well, as you readers know on this site when we review BBQ, we always get at least the two meat plate with brisket and ribs.  Today was no different. The sides here are limited.

A quick glance on the sides menu also got my curiosity up.  Here they have a side of a loaf of bread for $2.00. Was not sure about that one, but about to find out. That, my friend is for the gravy.  So they take the drippings from the meat they slow cook, and mix it into some recipe that I am sure they are unwilling to share, and have it as a side item.  The bread is for dipping. No wonder they chuckled when I said one piece of bread while accepting gravy. They knew I would be back. This you just have to indulge in. The gravy is so good, not BBQ sauce, but a mother of god liquid that has the smoke flavor of the meat. Please try it with much bread.  If you have to purge later, just go beyond the parking lot please.  No one wants to see that.

The star here were the ribs.  These were meaty and large pork ribs that were cooked to perfection.  They had a beautiful charring on the surface, and underneath, juicy pork meat that had a rich taste of smoke.  Not sure what wood they use here, I assume mesquite, but interestingly and unlike other BBQ joints like this, you do not smell the wood from the street as you pass by.  The smokey flavor had a slightly hint of sweet to it. It was just heavenly.  They were tender fall of the bone great.  The two meat plate had three sizable ribs included. Truly a star.  Please, please, do not put BBQ sauce on the ribs.  It is not like the sauce is bad, quite the contrary.  The ribs are just that good. The brisket, was a little less dynamic.  They state they usually chop the brisket instead of slice.  I asked for mine sliced so I could observe the characteristics.  I did not observe an appreciable smoke ring.  The smokey flavor was hinted, but not in your face dynamic like the ribs.  Truly the clientele enjoyed the chopped brisket, based upon observations of what was ordered, but I was seemingly less impressed.  It was middle of the road brisket in taste, tenderness, and quality. That said, there were alot of orders for a sort of open faced sandwich where the chopped brisket was layered between bread and served on the butcher paper.  Unique. The clientele augmented the open face brisket with the BBQ sauce.  This was a good sauce with modest texture, slightly sweet, but lacking any heavy smoke flavor.  For the brisket, it complimented the meat well.  But for the ribs, as I indicated earlier, please do not use on the ribs, the sauce, while good, cannot live up to the stellar quality taste of the ribs.

The sides are limited to potato salad, slaw, beans, gravy, and deviled eggs which I did not order but wished I had. Two sides come with the meat plate which you can combo what ever you wish for a super reasonable $6.95  Next time I will have to try the sausage, as it looked good as I coveted other guests plates. The sandwich plates run $3.50-$4.00. For a BBQ joint, which most are grossly over priced, you cannot beat Jasper’s value. Drinks are a little steep to make up for it, so if you are a cheap ass, then order water.

Jasper’s BBQ in Waco Texas is a unique place.  The new ownership apparently tries to keep the old tradition alive.  The butchers paper serving is one of these traditions.  You can still just order the meat and be served on the paper. Jasper’s BBQ Waco is a great place.  Very reasonably priced.  If ever in Waco, give it a shout.  It is right off of I-35.

I give Jasper’s a 8.0Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint out 10.  If they end up making the brisket the way they do the ribs, you will have perfection


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