The mayor of Creedmoor Texas (pop. 300) is putting out some very good barbecue at the little joint his daddy started way back in 1962.
I call to inquire as to operating hours “10:30 am to 4 pm, get on down here now y’heah”
Robert Wilhite is holding court when I stroll into his little roadside barbecue restaurant. A group of young boys are sitting at a table near the counter and they’re furiously backpedaling.
Wilhite hasn’t seen them in a while, and he wants to know where they’ve been getting their lunch.
“Where y’all boys been?”
One young man tries to pipe up but is quickly over rode.
“Ain’t no place to eat but here so you got some explaining to do”
One offers that he’s been bringing his lunch, but the old pit boss ain’t having it.
“A bag of chips and a coke ain’t lunch, where you getting your barbecue?”
The boys are flummoxed when they’re suddenly let off the hook
“What’ll y’all have today?” the mayor laughs.
Robert Wilhite has smoke in his blood.
He started helping out at his daddy’s restaurant when he was just a little sprout back in the 1960s, and hasn’t looked back since,
There was a spell he spent in Austin getting a degree at St. Edward’s University but otherwise he’s given his life to the art of smoking brisket, and the political wranglings of being mayor of Creedmoor.
I’m here on a recommendation from an old school barbecue hound I’ve been friends with for a few years. When we’re passing the time over a few cold beers the conversation often turns to barbecue and Wilhite’s is one of his two favorites.
The other is City Market in Luling.
The guy knows his meat.
I order a pound of outside slice brisket from the point and sit back to take in the scene. It’s a good one. The restaurant is half full and all the eaters are men with tape measures buckled to their belts. Their pants are covered with spackle and they rode up in pickup trucks.
Everything is right and true at Wilhite’s barbecue.
My pound ($9.75) comes and it’s an enormous pile of pluperfect looking brisket. I can’t say for certain but it appears to be more like a pound and a half.
The smell of post oak drifts up from the meat and it’s right at intoxicating. The smoke ring is nigh onto a half inch of reddish pink with the fat ring easily melting into the lean part of the steer. It’s well salted and tender.
A side of crisp sour pickle chips and thin sliced, ice cold 1015 Texas Sweet onions comes with.
Texas through and through.
Halfway through my meal, the pit boss walks up and I inquire as to his technique.
“I just build a good big fire out of post oak and let em ride for about ten hours” he says as though turning out brisket this quality is as easy as pouring a glass of sweet tea.
I guess after 40 some odd years in the game it might as well be.
Signs are up proclaiming an all you can eat catfish spread on Friday evenings.
“ I get my catfish from Southern Pride over in Mississippi, it’s fresh water fish ”
What all comes with it?
“Sweet tea, hushpuppies, french fries and slaw, you won’t leave hungry”.
It’s real common in the Deep South for a barbecue joint to serve fried catfish as well as smoked meat, but out here in Texas it’s a rarity.
Good to see Wilhite’s filling a void.
During recent years I’ve become interested in exploring some of the lesser known meat houses of Central Texas. I still love the Blacks and Muellers of the barbecue pantheon but I’m more and more interested in finding the unsung gems
Places like Robert Wilhite’s little joint on the side of a farm to market road in deep south Travis County Texas.
4903 Fm 1327,
Hours of operation
10:30 am – 4 pm