Jack Timmons's story is so perfectly Seattle (Microsoft alum applying his hot brain to a longtime food passion; a popup going brick-and-mortar) and yet his approach to barbecue is a mixture of scholarship, geekery, and outright zeal usually associated with Texas and the rest of the barbecue belt.
Timmons completed the hardcore barbecue summer camp at Texas A&M’s Meat Science department a few years back, launched his Seattle Brisket Experience dinners last year, and today his dedication finds a permanent home at Jack's BBQ, a Georgetown roadhouse in the former Bogart's and Goldie's address, 3924 Airport Way S.
When he launched his Seattle Brisket Experience dinners, Timmons had an offset smoker custom built in Texas, big enough to hold 80 briskets. It's almost comically enormous. So is the second one that now resides beside it in the Jack's BBQ parking lot, pulling double shifts of 12-hour briskets, plus pork and chicken.
Barbecue Cred: Timmons ships his wood from Texas; the mesquite goes in first thing in the morning because it imparts the strongest flavor, followed by hickory, then the post oak that's so common to Texas hill country. The pitmaster is Tony White, who headed to Seattle after a gig at Louie Mueller's BBQ in Taylor, Texas. An Austin food writer friend described it as "the best old-school barbecue in the state" and likened its apprentice program to the Harvard of Texas-style barbecue training.
Eat: A giant plate of meat with two sides. There's brisket, pulled pork, chickens, hot links, and St. Louis ribs, plus any combination thereof. Each plate comes with two sides (slaw, potato salad, collards, mac and cheese, corn pudding, black-eyed pea salad, or beans) plus pickles, onions, jalapenos, and Timmons's tomato-based Texas-style barbecue sauce. The Jack's BBQ menu also has appetizers (Frito pie!), sandwiches, a few salads, and desserts like banana pudding.
Drink: Carbonated margaritas. They're on draft, and so is Texas favorite Shiner Bock. Timmons, a Dallas native, still retains enough native pride to throw shade at the state's other signature brew: "It's impossible to get Lone Star here on draft, but Lone Star is a horrible beer." There's also a cocktail list, a slate of good local drafts, and a barbecue-friendly wine list. A roadhouse with lambrusco sounds just about perfect.
Sit: One one of the red vinyl bar stools, a rare remnant from the Bogart's days. Or, if there's a game on, anywhere with a view of the 80-inch TV. Timmons warmed up the walls and ceiling with stained plywood and strung white lights in the main dining room, a nod to Austin's general vibe. Another part of the 150-seat space will be set up for cafeteria-style lunch.
Bonus Intel: There is tons of parking here. Jack's BBQ is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 3pm and again from 5 to 11.