Vera’s Backyard Barbecue
The sole licensed practitioner in Texas of pit-cooked cow head barbacoa operates out of a small, freestanding business with a separate pit house. It’s been doing so for 65 years. For most of that time, it’s been overseen by Armando Vera, a tall, mustachioed Valley native whose dry sense of humor conceals a soft side. He’s a master of the all-but-dead craft of smoking cow heads over mesquite coals, sometimes for as long as twelve hours. What’s pulled from the brick-lined pit is available in several cuts. Perhaps the most common for newcomers to the destination eatery is mixta (mixed leftovers), followed by the surtida (a little bit of everything). There is also lengua (cow tongue), the paladar (palate), standard cachete (beef cheek), and the highly prized “Mexican caviar,” as Vera calls it, of ojo (cow’s eye). It’s a delicacy that is seldom available. When it is, ojo is the first to sell out. Whatever you order—and it won’t likely be the ojo—will be subtly smoky, fatty, and worth the helluva drive it might take to the far southeastern edge of the state.
Call ahead to place an order, we sell out quickly!
Texas Monthly BBQ Fest: Backyard Edition https://txmnth.ly/2ZvFKfd
Friday: 5:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Saturday: 5 AM - 2:30 PM
Sunday: 5 AM - 2:30 PM