Texas barbecue done right

Charles Brewer

When Asian takeout is reduced to its basic elements, quality food comes from a guy (or gal) with a wok. By the same token, excellence in barbecue often comes down to a guy with a pit.

A perfect example is Charlie’s Bar-B-Que, offering high-quality smoked brisket, ribs and more from an unassuming trailer parked on the side of a closed convenience store at the corner of Interstate 10 and Magnolia. The gas pumps there are no longer dispensing premium unleaded, but Charles Brewer is serving barbecue that makes it worth getting off the freeway.

In addition to the aforementioned brisket and ribs, there are turkey legs and pork chops plus homemade beef links crafted by Charlie himself. The pork ribs are prepared St. Louis style, and it’s all good.

You might have seen Charlie’s before, maybe at Lunch at the Lake in downtown Beaumont at the Event Centre. They were one of the first vendors there a few years back with their unique trailer with a screened-in porch in back containing not one but two pits creating smoky goodness. His fans from downtown have followed him out to Magnolia Avenue, so it’s not unusual to see lawyers and bankers in suits dining alongside workers with their names stitched above their pockets.

Brewer’s attitude toward barbecue explains a lot about why his product is so lovingly prepared.

“It’s like I learned when I was a kid and we had family disagreements, it was barbecue that would bring people back together,” he said.

That’s why Charlie’s Bar-B-Que and Catering, with his brother Brandon Prudhomme, will travel to your location for receptions, weddings, and family reunions, to name but a few of the events. You can serve the goodness of Charlie’s to your friends, families and guests and share the magic of Texas barbecue.

Charlie’s Bar-B-Que and Catering is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plate lunches with one meat are $8 with the traditional baked beans and potato salad sides, and Charlie’s Special, which is one whole homemade link and 3 ribs, sells for $10. Sandwiches are also available and a selection of soft drinks and potato chips and everything can be wrapped up to go so you can bring some back to the office or surprise Mama, if she doesn’t live too far away. She’ll be glad you did, but don’t be surprised at the disappointed looks when you show up for future visits without Charlie’s.

Barbecue is more than a tradition in this state; it is a way of life. High-quality barbecue is where you find it, and it is not always in some rustic saloon with wagon wheels hanging on the wall. You can definitely find it in an unassuming trailer alongside a closed convenience store where a man named Charles Brewer has a pit. Two, in fact.