Barbecue, barbeque, Bar-B-Que, BBQ — take your pick. Every corner of the country has its own way of doing things, so it’s no surprise that a couple of Southeast Texans would put their own spin on the American dish with a flare unique to the area.
When Boomtown BBQ Company opened on Wednesday, March 5, hungry patrons flocked to the new restaurant at 5555 Calder Ave. ready to devour some serious Texas barbecue, and were introduced to some serious Southeast Texas barbecue.
“We don’t want to do the same barbecue as everyone else does,” said Emily Swanson, co-owner of Boomtown BBQ. “This is a little different, but give us a try, though — you’ll like it.”
When Swanson says “different,” rest assured that Boomtown has everything we look for in a barbecue joint — a fun, laid back atmosphere with even a little live acoustic music on the weekends. But we can almost guarantee that before Boomtown showed up, you’d never had a Taco Bomb.
“The Taco Bomb has been selling like crazy,” said Chris Swanson. “I mean it’s really, really good. And other people seem to think so.”
The Tex-Mex-meets-barbecue Taco Bomb features pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, onions, jalapenos and your choice of one of Boomtown’s signature sauces: queso blanco, chipotle mayo, salsa verde or orange jalapeno mustard.
The barbecue nachos is also another Boomtown creation that gives pulled pork a little more pizzazz than what you might be used to — queso, jalapenos, onions and plump pulled pork sitting on top of tortilla chips. Of course, with all the bells and whistles added to barbecue meat, one has to wonder — do these folks know what they’re doin’?
“People keep comin’ in, so we must be doing something right,” Chris joked. “We just took great food and put a twist on it, so we have a more fun menu than most barbecue places.”
Yeah, they know what they’re doing. The couple, both Beaumont natives, began thinking about the business of barbecue a little over five years ago.
“I was never really a huge fan of barbecue until me and my husband started dating,” recalled Emily. When Chris brought her up to Colorado to meet the parents, she also met the family business — a Colorado barbecue business called Serious Texas Barbecue.
“When I tried their barbecue, I was like — this is what barbecue should be,” said Emily, adding that for her, good barbecue meat was only the beginning of a good barbecue meal.
But that meat has to be good, she insisted, explaining how the Boomtown barbecue process is what sets its meat apart from others.
“Our pits are not open flame — the meat is closed in and the wood and smoke kind of surrounds it. We heat the meat at a very low temperature for a very long period of time, so you get the tenderness.”
Sliced brisket, pork loin, pulled pork, turkey breast and sausage links are all on the menu, but there aren’t any plate lunches on the Boomtown a la carte menu, which frankly, we appreciate. This allows guests the freedom to taste (and test) Boomtown a little at a time with each visit. Even the potato salad has a little kick, with cheese and bacon giving the classic side dish a baked potato flavor.
But where’s the BBQ sauce?
You’ll find it in a large liquor bottle-turned barbecue dispenser at your table, and you’ll have more than a few shots of this stuff.
Yes, Boomtown is a little different than other barbecue places. But like Emily said, give them a try — you’ll like it.