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Archibald’s BBQ Movie from SFA

How to Barbecue a Whole Cow

Open Pit BBQ is Alive and Well

The Legend of Joe Burney

Houston Third Ward Barbecue Legend and Civic Leader Joe Burney

Houston Third Ward Barbecue Legend and Civic Leader Joe Burney

Karen Burney Mayberry

Karen Burney Mayberry



The following is a short excerpt from a Foodways Texas oral history project recounting the life of Houston barbecue legend, Joe Burney.

Karen Mayberry:
My father, Joe Burney was born March 5, 1903 in Baldwin, Louisiana. He moved to Houston and got a job “in service” which meant working as a driver, porter, manservant in those days. He worked for a man named Bob Smith. The Third Ward was a booming African-American business district in the late 1940s. My mom and dad saved their money and bought the Avalon BBQ in the 2700 block of Dowling–they owned it with two other black barbecue men, Oscar Lott and Bill Williams. The small BBQ joint was famous for ribs and links and my dad worked hard to build up a good reputation. He learned to cook juicy links from Matt Garner, one of the old-timers around here.

My dad used to drive around and give away barbecue to old folks who couldn’t get out of the house. When the Avalon burned down, he used the insurance money to build Burney’s BBQ on Holman—it became an iconic Houston African-American BBQ spot in the late 1940s. Unkie Lott started his own place called Lott’s Barbecue on Holman. Bill Williams opened another place on Scott. My mother and father cooked in the evening and worked their regular jobs during the day. The day crew sold the barbecue.

My father did very well, he bought some show horses and he was very proud of them. There was a group of black businessmen that supported each other. They formed a club called the El Dorado Social Club. It became the center of the social scene in the Third Ward. It’s still around today.

My father died October 12, 1958. I was 6 when my dad died. My mom ran the barbecue joint for a year, then sold Burney’s to Harry Green-my dad taught Harry Green to cook at Burney’s. I got a job as at Lott’s Barbecue when I was old enough to work. That’s where I met my husband Waymon Mayberry; he worked there too. I married a barbecue man, of course.

Joe Burney's grandson, Warren Mayberry

Joe Burney’s grandson, Warren Mayberry

Karen’s son Warren Mayberry, who works in public affairs in Austin, helped make the film titled Barbecue: A Texas Love Story narrated by Ann Richards. The movie debuted at the South by Southwest film festival in 2003.

2014 Community Q

On the Origins of Texas BBQ

Millheim Father’s Day BBQ

Here’s some images by O. Rufus Lovett from last year’s Father’s Day BBQ at Millheim.
I’ll be out there early in the morning! Come say hello.
BBQ is served at 11 am–$10 a plate. Plenty of co’ beer on hand.
Gambling for homemade cakes.
See you there!

Firing the Pit O Rufus Lovett

Firing the Pit
O Rufus Lovett


Seasoning the Meat O Rufus Lovett

Seasoning the Meat
O Rufus Lovett


Babysitting the BBQ O Rufus Lovett

Babysitting the BBQ
O Rufus Lovett


Mopping Man O Rufus Lovett

Mopping Man
O Rufus Lovett


Carving Time O Rufus Lovett

Carving Time
O Rufus Lovett

Millheim Harmonie Verein’s Annual Father’s Day Barbecue
Father’s Day
Millheim Harmonie Verein’s Dance Hall
3384 FM 949 Road (15 miles east of Cat Springs)
Sealy, Texas
BBQ 11:00 am Beef, Mutton, and Pork.
Cake Wheel, Silent Auction, Music
One of the last of the old-fashioned open pits!
Don’t miss this one!
Information: 979-877-4408

The Oldest BBQ in Texas

Cat Springs Agricultural Society has been holding a community barbecue out back behind the German dance hall for over 150 years.
This is the oldest barbecue tradition in Texas.

Here’s a message from Marilyn at Cat Springs Dance Hall for those who may want to come and take photos before the festivities begin:

C.H. Shayne Carter

C.H. Shayne Carter

“Actually the guys will be BBQing out back early in the day and the helicopter will be there in the afternoon and some drinks will be available about 2:00, but the actual meal will not begin until 5:00 p.m. The auction starts at 6:30. In the auction we will have some homemade quilts and baked goods and there are always some interesting things. The cake walk will begin as soon as there are enough people through eating to play.

The free dance is from 8:30 until 12:30 in the evening. The band is called The Hit Men and they play a mix of some polka, country and a little bit of everything if you ask for it. Bring a crowd with you. There will be booths to browse through and some childrens games with a bounce house at no charge.

So come on out if you can. We’d love to have you.”

Cat Springs Dance Hall BBQ
1st Sunday in June
Cat Springs Agricultural Society Hall
13035 Hall Rd. Cat Spring
BBQ Beef, Mutton, Pork
Information: 979 865 2540

2014 Community BBQ Season Getting Underway

A three meat plate at the Millheim Father's Day BBQ comes with veal, pork and mutton.

A three meat plate at the Millheim Father’s Day BBQ comes with veal, pork and mutton.

There are several community barbecues that take place in April and a few more in May. The Father’s Day BBQ in Millheim is my favorite–although I have many more to check out!

Stirring BBQ Gravy in a Cast Iron Washtub

The oldest barbecue tradition in America, the community barbecue, continues largely unnoticed in churches, clubs and lodge halls. Many of the pits are ancient, the cooking methods are traditional and the barbecue is generally excellent. Check out a community barbecue near you, it’s worth the trip! If you love to barbecue, why not volunteer to help keep this tradition alive?

Please post additional listings and information about community barbecues in the comments section of this website so we can update the calendar.

Texas

Cat Springs Volunteer Fire Department BBQ
3rd Saturday of April
(more info requested)

Annual Frydek Grotto Celebration
Last Sunday of April
St. Mary’s Catholic Church Grounds, FM 1458
124 Zaruba Road, Sealy
979-885-3131
Mass 9:30am
BBQ 11:00am Brisket, chicken and homemade Czech sausage
Music, Auction, Cake Walk, Kids Activities
Get there early if you want to buy homemade kolaches–they sell out fast!

Southern style open pit tradition goes back more than a hundred years in the Old Austin Colony region.

Southern style open pit tradition goes back more than a hundred years in the Old Austin Colony region.

10th Annual Fruehling Saengerfest
Fourth Sunday of April
Concordia Hall, 952 S. Tesch, Bellville
For more information please contact Robert Herridge 979-865-0935
Sponsored by Bellville Lions Club & Bluebonnet Chapter of the Texas German Society.
BBQ 11:00am Chicken & Sausage Dinner $9.00 per plate.

St. John’s BBQ
1st Sunday of May
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Bellville

Peters Mother’s Day BBQ
Peters-Hacienda Community Hall
756 Trenckmann Rd., Sealy
BBQ 11:30am Beef, Pork
Cake Walk, live auction, beanbag tournament at 2 pm
Information: 281 898 1346

Cat Springs Dance Hall BBQ
1st Sunday in June
Cat Springs Agricultural Society Hall
13035 Hall Rd. Cat Spring
BBQ 11am Beef, Mutton, Pork
The oldest community barbecue in Texas, this one goes back 150 years.
Information: 979 865 2540

Dumas Dogie Days
2nd Saturday of June
McDade Park, Dumas, Texas
BBQ 11:00 am tickets are $8.00 until day of BBQ, then go
up to $9.00 the day of BBQ.

7600 pounds of meat cooked in a covered pit with 15 cords of wood for 24 hrs.
40 gallons of barbecue sauce, 800 pounds of beans 200 pounds of onions, 228 gallon cans of peaches
300 loaves of bread. Also 14.500 hamburgers are served at the hamburger stand.
Approximately 5,000 to 6,000 people are fed at the barbecue every year.
First Dogie Days was held in 1946.

Millheim Harmonie Verein’s Annual Father’s Day Barbecue
Father’s Day
Millheim Harmonie Verein’s Dance Hall
3384 FM 949 Road (15 miles east of Cat Springs)
Sealy, Texas
BBQ 11:00 am Beef, Mutton, and Pork.
Cake Wheel, Silent Auction, Music
One of the last of the old-fashioned open pits!
Don’t miss this one!
Information: 979-877-4408

 

 

 

Kenney 4th of July BBQ
Kenney Agricultural Society Hall, Keeney, Texas
(Off 36 north of Bellville)
July 4th
BBQ 11:00 am Beef, Mutton and Pork
Plates, $10 with sides and desserts

(Meats also available by the pound)
Cake Wheel, Silent Auction, Live Music
This barbecue is over 100 years old.
For info: call Keeney Post Office (979) 865-0329

Bellville Volunteer Fire Department BBQ
3rd Friday in August
(more info requested)

Mentz BBQ
1st Sunday in October
St. Roch Catholic Church
1600 Frelsburg Road
Alleyton (former town of Mentz)
(979) 732-3460
(info requested)

Sons of Hermann Washington Lodge BBQ
Third Sunday in October
Sons of Hermann Lodge
9499 Fm 1370 Washington, Texas
BBQ 11 am Brisket and Pork Butt, homemade dessert table
Cake auction, raffle
Come early and see the wonderful old BBQ pit in action!

HouBBQ Fest 2014