New Texas barbecue spot on Broadway
T & R Taste of Texas opened on Broadway near 36th Street in late October, and Chef Rodney Ray said he thinks the barbecue restaurant will be able to last in the spot that has seen several businesses come and go in past years.
“It’s simple, good, home-cooked food,” he said Wednesday. “It’s great barbecue, and we don’t grill it – we smoke it.”
All meats are smoked a minimum of five hours in an on-site smoker, and four types of wood are used: apple, hickory, mesquite and cherry, Ray said. Meats and other ingredients come from local restaurant suppliers, and he added that he wants to work with farmers markets to bring in local produce during harvest season.
Ray, who is a longtime friend of owner Clarence Pughsley Jr., said he got much of his experience with barbecue cooking as a freelance chef – including time on cruise ships.
“I travel all over, and Sacramento has been my home base for the past 10 years,” he said. “I really like going to the Caribbean. They’ve got a lot of great barbecue there.”
Both Pughsley and Ray have Texas roots, and Ray said he likes the Texas style of barbecuing, with a heavy emphasis on ribs.
“Our pork ribs are our most popular,” he said. “We’re working on a boneless beef rib, too, and tri tip is really popular here.”
The 1,300-square-foot restaurant holds 30 people, and there are plans to build a patio starting in March or April. Prices range from $6 – $10 for meals, with a combination platter of two meat types with two sides for $7.99 available from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Before T & R, the space was briefly Johnny Broadway’s, another barbecue restaurant, Ray said.
Sides include coleslaw, barbecue beans, potato salad and tater tots.
In addition to walk-in dining, T & R also caters, and Ray said he can cook a multitude of types of food – not limited to barbecue.
“We’re a barbecue restaurant, but we can do a lot more,” he said.
Sandra VanHook, owner of the Images & Beyond sign-making and silk-screening business a block away, said she has eaten at T & R several times since its opening nine weeks ago.
“When I tasted their pulled-pork sandwich for the first time, it was really good,” she said. “I think it’s the first time I’ve tasted it done right, with coleslaw on top.”
She said she has liked all the food she has tried, including the pulled pork, fried wings and hot links.
“The hot-link sandwich is unusual, but delicious,” she said.
She added that the restaurant is a good addition to the area, with food options predominantly being fast food.
Norma Henderson, owner of the Norma J’s Place beauty salon less than a block away, said she thinks that once the restaurant gets established, it will help draw business to the area.
“It’s very good, and the hospitality is really nice,” she said. “I’m glad to see a business there.”
T & R Taste of Texas is located at 3621 Broadway. It is open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from noon until the customers stop coming in, Ray said.
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.