They say everything's bigger in Texas. While Texas BBQ House may not look big from the outside, they're still Texas to the bone: big personalities, big flavor, big ambitions.
This week we headed to South Phoenix to meet with Mike Pitt and Doug Dieckmann. Their concept at Texas BBQ House is simple: no plates, no sauce except what you put on the food yourself. Meat sold by the pound with sides offered separately. Two desserts and four Texas guys doing 'que the only way they know how.
We learned about the Texas BBQ style and talked about where they're opening their second location next month.
After working in everything from the linen business to construction, Pitt moved to Phoenix from Nashville to open up this own BBQ joint about four years ago. Unfortunately when the economy went south, he was forced to put the concept on hold. It wouldn't be until just six months ago he would finally get the smoker rotating at his own BBQ spot.
Get the rest of Pitt's story after the jump.
Pitt, originally from Corpus Christi, teamed up with Dieckmann through mutual friends who recognized both men shared the same (or at least a similar) vision. At that time Dieckmann was working with his brother at Hill's Café in Austin, but once he got wind of the new project in the works, he jumped on board.
When did you first know you wanted to do this?
MP: I worked in the BBQ industry back in the 80s, you know, when I was in high school. I worked there seven years at a BBQ joint and that's when I realized eventually I want to do this someday. But, I never had the opportunity, you know? That's where I kind of got it. I knew what I wanted to do, but I never pursued it I guess.
Where did you learn to barbeque the way you do?
MP: I've done backyard barbequing for years and learned a lot from my dad and friends and stuff...
What do people say when they first come in and see the menu and the concept?
MP: There's a lot of Texas people that come in and the first thing out of their mouths is they want to know who's from Texas. Why is this Texas BBQ? So then we pop up--well, there's four of us [Texans] here so then they're like, "Oh, ok." A lot of people know Texas BBQ and that's why they're driven here. They see the sign or hear there's Texas BBQ and that's why they're coming here.
DD: The biggest complaint we get is, "Why don't you have plates?" and "Why are you so far away?" People just keep saying we need to put one closer.
MP: Well our other thing was, if we can make it here, we can make it any where.
How often do you guys eat BBQ?
DD: You know, I do [too] probably. I sample something everyday.
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Check back tomorrow to hear about the next Texas BBQ House location, expected to open in just one month!