Tony Di’Marie’s BBQ in Waco Texas is the business I would love to operate when I grow up. Further explanation is required. This is a BBQ joint in NE Waco that has operated as a family business since the mid 40′s. Like the other BBQ joint reviewed on this site a while back (Jasper’s), this BBQ joint shares a long history of family operation. It is one of those businesses that would never make it, especially in this neighborhood, if you were just starting out. Its long standing establishmnet has it firmly entrenched in this not so well to do part of town. Now the reason I want to have a business like this when I grow up is its simplicity. It sells meat. Meat and more meat. It started as a grocery store. Today you can still see remenants of this with a simplistic meat counter where you can buy a variety of meats for BBQ and other. But the BBQ, well, it is very simplistic. Brisket, and links,and the standard fare. But what everyone buys here is brisket. When it comes to sides, the website (above) shows beans and slaw, but I sure did not see any when I was in. I saw chips and such for sides. As is the seeming tradition of BBQ joints this side of town, the meat is served on butcher paper. It is served with white bread (however much you desire), and a “gravy” which is the meat drippings as it has been slow cooked. With its simplicity, the menu is limited. Better order Brisket. The result is a well prepared brisket, cut in slices and served on your butcher paper.
The brisket had a nice smoke ring to it, and the taste matched. This was a brisket so well done that you really do it injustice by putting sauce on it. But the sauce was a tangy vinegar tasting thin concoction that went well enough with the meat, but again, the brisket did not need this. Nor would you want to mix the fine brisket with the bread and gravy. Make sure you keep the two separate in your indulgence. The brisket was very tender, and a mid level cut of meat, meaning, it had a bit of marbling and fat. One small part of the brisket was set aside because of the fat. That was, however, the only drawback that I witness on this midday visit. The gravy comes with the order. They ask how may slices of white bread you wish upon order, but fear not, there is a person working the room serving additional slices of bread. As with the other BBQ joint nearby, be aware, the gravy and bread make this a very rich, artery clogging meal. You will feel stuffed and somewhat nauseous if you are not used to eating such fare. Its OK. Nut up, its worth it.
The ambiance is sparse. If you are shy, you may be a bit uncomfortable as the tables are all long family style seating. So at busy lunch time, you have to work your way in to get a seat, likely next to some construction worker who is probably a really nice guy, but looks like he can kick your ass sideways. Di’Marie’s is only open at lunch, and, when they sell out, they sell out. They place a sign in the window that indicates such. So for you late lunchers, there is a slight chance you can show up and be turned away.
Again, what a simple and great concept. Operating a restaurant takes long hours and dedication. They way this family owned operation is, they cheat the system and apparently make a good living doing sonc nc nc