On our last full day in San Antonio, we headed to the northern part of town to check out both Freetail Brewing Company and Ranger Creek Brewing and Distillery. After thoroughly pleasant tours at both (I highly recommend both breweries), we decided we needed a late lunch as we headed back downtown. And we decided that BBQ is what we were craving.
Well, unlike nearby Austin, who has a very vibrant BBQ scene, there’s nowhere near as much good BBQ action in San Antonio (if I’m wrong, let me know here…). Sure, there’s a lot of BBQ places, but a good chunk of them are all Bill Miller BBQ, which basically is the McDonalds of BBQ (they smoke stuff at a central location and ship it out). Bill Miller’s is decent stuff, but it’s not anywhere near the quality of a good Texas BBQ joint.
But thankfully, the good folks over at Full Custom Gospel BBQ keep a handy map available of the places they’ve reviewed, and on our way back into downtown San Antonio, we passed pretty close to Two Bros BBQ Market, so we decided to give it a shot. Located in a fairly quiet little corner of Northern San Antonio off of West Avenue, Two Bros BBQ Market has a nicely wooded location with a nice outdoor patio (and little traffic at the moment, since West Ave is under some serious construction, but you can still get to Two Bros easily if you ignore the “Road Closed” signs).
Two Brothers primarily operates on the meat market principle like most better Texas BBQ places: the are selling brisket, pulled pork, chopped beef, and ribs by the pound, and sausages by the link. You walk up to the counter, tell them how much you’d like, and then you pay for it. Unlike a few of the other places, here you don’t really get to watch them slice, you pay, grab utensils and such, and then they call you when your order is ready. But this isn’t a big deal to me, I know what I want… so we ordered up some brisket (half lean, half fatty) and some sausage links, and went to go get a seat.
The dining area is a little schticky, with most of the wall decorations being odd cutout ads from old 1950s magazines, but other than that, it’s a nice seating area with booths and tables. But after only a few minutes, our BBQ was ready. And this was actually some good BBQ. The brisket slices had everything I look for in a good smoked brisket: A nice amount of rendered fat. A juicy interior on both the lean and fatty cuts. A nice, rich smokiness throughout the meat. And a nice thick bark that was both flavorful and smoky. This wasn’t quite the level of perfection I’ve had some other places (it could have used a bit more smoke), but this was some thoroughly enjoyable brisket.
The sausage wasn’t quite up to the same standard, it was your basic unremarkable sausage, although it did have some good smoke flavor, a nice snap, and nice juicy interior. It could have just used a bit more spice and meatiness. We also ended up still being a bit hungry, we ended up going through the line again, and getting some smoked mac and cheese and some pulled pork. Both of these were excellent as well. The pork was nice and juicy with some serious smoke going on, and nice little bits of bark mixed in. The mac and cheese was a nicely made version as well, with a nice flavor.
Overall, I was quite happy with Two Bros. It’s not quite in the same league as the Austin, Lockhart, and Luling places, but it’s not terribly far off. They got a nice location, friendly staff, and some good brisket and pork. I wouldn’t hesitate to come back. I’d rather come out here, than have to do Bill Miller’s.