Texas Barbecue – a tradition that runs deep
In the Lone Star State, we take our Texas barbecue seriously. With cherished family recipes passed down through generations, local variations in techniques and style, and flavor to rival BBQ hotspots like Memphis and Kansas City, East Texas is right up there for top honors in the world of Texas barbecue.
Jasper may be small and quaint, nestled among swaths of forests and lakes, but local BBQ pit masters are putting East Texas on the map. Case in point: a Jasper BBQ team recently won the top prize out of 250 teams at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s World Championship BBQ contest, one of the highest honors in the ultra-competitive BBQ scene.
In our region of the state, surrounded by the beautiful and vast Piney Woods, East Texas barbeque joints use the best of local hardwood like oak and hickory to smoke meats, imparting delicious flavor and complex smokiness.
We’re also thrilled to bring barbecue right to our backyard (but it’s in our front yard? …) with the newest addition to The Bird & Butterfly property: a brand-new outdoor kitchen area with two grills, a sink, an outdoor fridge, a massive meat smoker, where you can make your own BBQ magic happen. You’ll find a pleasant space to relax while cooking or entertaining. The space has beautiful brickwork and lamps to provide evening light, with plenty of chairs around the fire pit, and farm tables and benches with plenty of room to spread out your feast. The grills and firepit run on propane, so there is a charge to use them, but you’re welcome to enjoy the space even if you’re not planning to cook – we just ask that you reserve the space so we have it on the calendar and can best accommodate access for all of our guests.
Jasper Barbecue - Local Favorites
There are two sure-fire BBQ joints and choosing between them is like naming which child is your favorite … but whether you choose Rue’s or Smitty’s, you’re sure to make a right choice!
Rue’s – world-class Texas Barbecue right down the road from us
Start your dive into Texas BBQ at Rue’s, practically our neighbors and less than two miles away. You’ll see their BBQ setup just off Highway 63, the enticing aroma of their outdoor meat smoker letting you know you’re in the right place. Order from their walk-up window and saddle up at one of the picnic tables under their outdoor shade canopy, where their homespun wooden sign says “dining room.”
With Rue’s meat-smoking expertise, everything on the menu is worth trying, whether you opt for a rack of ribs, smoked sausage (a favorite of ours), or their tender chicken leg quarters, always a popular choice. Choose from a list of tried-and-true side dishes like baked beans and coleslaw, full of flavor and the perfect complement to the meat mainstays, and you have a mouth-wateringly delicious plate of BBQ.
Rue’s is only open Thursday through Saturday, and their barbecue reputation is well-known, so try to show up in the early afternoon to get the best choice of meats (they sometimes run out later in the day, especially on Saturdays, when people drive in from the surrounding area to get their BBQ fix). Being just a few minutes away from your Bird & Butterfly room or cabin, it’s the perfect spot for grabbing big to-go plates before spending the day at nearby Lake Sam Rayburn. Hang out by the water, enjoying the beautiful lakeside scenery while savoring some sweet Texas barbecue.
Smitty’s Smokehouse – in the heart of Jasper
Smitty’s Smoke House, smack-dab in the middle of Jasper at the intersection of Highways 96 and 190, has a well-earned reputation as one of the best restaurants in town. The staff is friendly and the dining room is cozy and clean. With black and white tablecloths on the tables and photos lining the walls, it’s a nod to the restaurant’s old-school Texas roots. Get a combo plate to try the ribs (don’t be sad when the meat falls off the bone!), brisket, smoked turkey and pulled pork, all smoked perfectly on-site.
Don’t forget the sides! Great potato salad, creamy mac ‘n cheese (get it before they run out!), and a coleslaw that runs a little sweeter, setting it apart from the tangy versions you’ve come to expect. Finish the feast with a slice of peach cobbler, always a treat. And don’t miss their daily specials, a great deal at under $10, spotlighting a different BBQ menu staple each day of the week.
Smitty’s is open every day of the week – Monday through Saturday Sat 11-8, and Sundays 11-3.
Honorable mention – Texas Joe’s Backporch BBQ
An honorable mention because they’re not in Jasper, but a happy find in Brookeland! Texas Joe’s has a varied menu and good atmosphere, whether dining inside or out. You’ll find them if you’re going north, so opposite of town, but a pleasant stop after a day at the lake, or on your way to your lake adventure. Nice people and good food. Not a lot more you could ask for!
Come see us, Bed, Breakfast & Barbecue
When you stay at our Jasper, Texas bed and breakfast, you’ll have both our state-of-the-art outdoor grills/smoker and your choice of several local BBQ restaurants, all a short, pleasant drive from The Bird & Butterfly Inn. Taste the very best of Texas barbecue, smoky and decadent, the way it’s meant to be.
Stay with us and bring your appetite – you’ll be blown away by the tantalizingly tasty Texas barbecue available at several local restaurants, or try your hand at your own BBQ with our new grill and smoker!