I am Tex-Mex. My family history is very Texan and very Mexican. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the only place that mixes Texas smoked meats with salsa and guacamole. But, the unique branding and the incredible quality of this Austin BBQ joint sets it apart and has earned my respect. When I say branding, in this case, it’s more of their story carried out in obvious quality and taste of their food. As a particular home cook, I am experienced in preparing made- from- scratch foods. I don’t take for granted home made food and I can recognize it immediately. Eating here was like eating at my home. We smoke meat, a lot, but we do love to try recognized BBQ places. Valentina’s has been on my list of BBQ to try for over 2 years. I was not disappointed, at all.
Do you have your meat map? Why not? Texas Monthly Magazine BBQ website.
Valentina’s is on the meat map. (The Texas Monthly/Yeti BBQ challenge) Even if you don’t complete the challenge, you must get your hands on this issue and the meat map inside.
We need to talk about these smoked brisket tacos y’all.
I know, right? Damn……… Let’s get back to these after I walk you through our visit.
Rolling up, you can smell the smoke. Mesquite just has that smooth, flavorful smell. So many smokers, so much smoke, so much smell, so many people in line, so much hunger for that brisket !! Standing in line is no problem here. They play great country music and Tejano music. Great atmosphere.
Literally, I know everyone was feeling this way. My inner Selena was wanting to come out. Actually, we did hear a Selena song while in line. Did I tell you we are related, or were related? RIP Selena.
Some late night Tejano dancing in the square would be awesome. I was already envisioning it.
Yes, right here in this beautiful space…..
*click on photos to enlarge
Waiting in line is always fun with a camera. I really enjoyed talking to the nice chef/employee we met in the parking lot. I didn’t get his name and I realize that was not professional of me, so I apologize. I like that they have posted the information about their meat source. Today, this is very important. These brands of meat are expensive but the quality is very apparent. We have a friend that cooks in BBQ cook-offs and he spends a lot on his high dollar briskets. It’s a very noticeable difference.
We chose to sit in the covered area. So pretty and so Texas
I loved it.
Time to eat. Aren’t the roses such a beautiful gesture? Something I would do for sure. A woman’s touch is missing from today’s scene. It’s usually all brosky, all the time. Not at Valentina’s. This is a family operation and they pride themselves in their family and the food being made with Love. Notice the heart in the logo? Yeah, boom. Go Girl !
I had to get the smoked corn. It had some Mexican creama on top and sprinkled with spices. Don’t ever turn down Mexican corn.
Even the BBQ sauce is smoked over the mesquite wood. It is delicious, damn, everything was delicious. We purchased some of the BBQ sauce and Habanero mustard to bring home. Their tortillas are homemade too. Like my Grandmas. So light, so sweet, so yum.
As I pondered on the way home, still savoring the brisket taco, I thought, ya know, food made with LOVE should change you. It really should. I was changed and touched by the pure love and dedication it takes to put out this food, every single day. The briskets are cooked for 15 hours. People that smoke meat and cook can appreciate Valentina’s food. The meat servings were generous and smoked to perfection.
So, why do I blog about food and places I eat? It’s important to me to remember and share my experiences. Like a modern scrapbook, the kind my Aunties used to keep. Maybe you think I’m a self-appointed food critic? I assure you I am not. Why would I blog about bad food? I do give reviews on Google, but only good ones. I have left one bad review and it was on our local post office. They got 1 star. Until the postman quits giving my packages to people down the street, they will only get 1 star. Besides, I don’t go to bad places and frozen food chains…..unless, I AM FORCED. I read and research restaurants and the chef/owners behind them. Valentina’s is one of those dreamy places in my book, my blog book and forever etched in my mind’s heart.