Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sunday Mass, Plus BBQ


This Sunday, I experienced my first Baptist Brunch. What a show. Baptists are the second largest denomination in Texas, with over 3 million practicing, making Texas the true "buckle" of the Bible Belt.

Stubb's BBQ is the place for The Gospel Brunch Buffet - a beautiful hybrid of praising Him while practicing gluttony. According to the restaurant history,

"Stubb was born March 7, 1931, in Navasota, a small town on Texas’ Brazos River, one of 12 children born to a Baptist evangelist preacher and his wife. Some say that Stubb inherited his love for cooking from his father who would feed his congregation barbeque along with the gospel. Stubb recalls revival meetings followed by potluck dinners featuring beef, pork and even raccoon and possum."


Thankfully, they now only serve brisket, sausage, and chicken for breakfast. Stubb's original restaurant was in Lubbock, Texas, a city famous for boasting the most churches per capita in the nation. Unfortunately for Lubbock, for fortunately for me, Austin was destined to be the final home of the music venue/barbecue pit.

"Let’s put it this way," said Stubb, "I got run out of Lubbock ’cause I was broke, busted and disgusted. I can’t fight the IRS with barbeque and sauce."


He started selling BBQ out of the back of another music venue here in Austin in 1985 and was on his way to opening Stubb's BBQ over on Red River Street.

Sunday is really where its at for Stubb's. Besides an all you can eat BBQ brunch, there's a gospel choir/band playing a two-hour show during your meal and a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar to boot. The buffet includes biscuits and gravy, enchiladas, migas, pancakes, pecan pie, grits and fried catfish while the butcher carves you off a slow-roasted choice cut of meat. While you're digesting between rounds one and two (or three and four), you can clap your hands, stomp your cowboy boots and praise Jesus!! And thank Him for giving you barbecue, the breakfast of champions.

The restaurant also hosts a myriad of musical acts from country to pop to dance to bluegrass, and lists Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Linda Ronstadt, and George Thorogood as former performers.

Grammy winner Tom T. Hall even wrote a song about Stubb’s Bar-B-Que—“The Great East Broadway Onion Championship of 1978”—about an early morning pool game between Hall and Ely, where they used an onion instead of a cue ball. Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan came in regularly, and learned to play Tin Pan Alley by listening to James Reed’s version on Stubb’s jukebox.

I don't mean to be all commercially/proselytizing at you, I'm just saying that if you go there for music or food or both, you won't be disappointed.

You might even get saved.

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