Meet Southside Market and Barbeque
If you find yourself in Elgin, Texas, be sure to stop at Southside Market and Barbeque for some of the best BBQ in the state. Not sure of the address? Just follow the aroma of brisket smoking over post oak to their location on Highway 290.
Southside Market and Barbeque is the oldest BBQ joint in Texas. That’s quite a claim, considering the history of barbecue in the state. The title has been vetted by the publication, Texas Monthly, the official guide to barbecue throughout The Lone Star State. Southside’s history, and BBQ experience, goes back 140 years. Today there are four Southside restaurants that continue serving world class barbecue.
SOUTHSIDE – THE BEGINNING
The history of Southside dates to 1882 where it was started by William Moon, who raised and processed cattle. Moon sold his beef from a horse-drawn wagon he guided door to door to the homes in Elgin. Refrigeration wasn’t available, so any leftover beef was lost to spoilage. Moon solved this problem by making and smoking sausage with the beef he couldn’t sell.
In 1886, Moon opened a brick and mortar butcher shop in town with Smoked Sausage and BBQ selling in the back of the store. Local legend says Moon’s smoked beef sausages quickly developed a following that stretched beyond Elgin.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
William Moon sold Southside to Lee Wilson in 1908 and Wilson continued the tradition of a butcher shop with a space in the back to sell cooked sausages and barbecue.
There were multiple owners during the coming years, but one constant was Bud Frazier, who worked at Southside from 1895 to 1971. As the keeper of the flame, Frazier witnessed the changes of owners. He told stories of the business changing hands over late-night card games.
THE BUSINESS EXPANDS
In 1991, the Bracewell’s purchased the old Security National Bank building on Hwy 290 in Elgin and moved from the original Central Avenue location. Ernest Sr. and his son, Billy, remodled the new location to include a pit room, kitchen, meat market and meat plant.
In July of 1992, the new Southside Market and Barbeque began making sausage and opened the restaurant. The basic meat-by-the-pound menu was expanded to include beans, potato salad and baby back ribs.
BRYAN AND RACHEL – NEXT UP
Southside continued to produce quality meats and barbecue throughout the 1990’s with many of the Bracewell family taking part in its success.
In 2010, it was time to pass the torch. Bryan Bracewell and his wife, Rachel, officially purchased Southside Market and Barbeque from Bryan’s grandparents, Ernest and Adrene. Under their leadership, the family business continued to expand and there are now four total markets and restaurant locations in Texas. They can be found in the cities of Elgin, Bastrop, Austin and Hutto.
THE SRF CONNECTION
The barbecue community is big in size, but closeknit when it comes to all the folks in the business. Through mutual contacts, Bryan reached out to Snake River Farms with an idea. Southside was making a fully cooked, smoked beef brisket for folks who loved barbecue but didn’t have the time, experience or desire to smoke their own. There was an opportunity to do the same with SRF American Wagyu beef.
Snake River Farms has strong ties to competitive BBQ teams, where our briskets take home top honors every season. The reputation of SRF American Wagyu briskets carries over to experienced backyard pittmasters, but many of our great customers don’t have the equipment to do a brisket at home. The possibilities seemed tremendous.
A FULLY COOKED BRISKET?
As Bryan says, “Some folks will bristle at a pre-cooked brisket. They're proud of how them smoke them at home. But there are folks who don’t have a smoker and they would love to serve authentic Central Texas barbecue.”
The SRF smoked brisket is prepared exactly the same was as the product Bryan and Rachel serve at Southside. “We use the same process, in fact the exact same BBQ pit that’s all wood fired with post oak wood. There’s no gas assist, just wood,” says Bryan, “The cook is in the 12 to 14 hour range at 210 to 225 degrees.
There’s no corner cutting or any fancy ingredients used. A simple rub of salt and pepper is all that’s added to our American Wagyu. The final product is pretty amazing. The flavor of smoke melds with the richness of our briskets.
“No surprise here,” says Bryan, “it’s just high quality beef, simple dry rub, real post oak wood, and time”.
Here are SRF, we’re excited to work with Southside Market and Barbeue. All the products are quick frozen and arrive in our SRF black boxes ready to go. Just thaw, heat and serve.