I’ve always found that the best way to find a good restaurant is to find one with a parking lot full of local cars. On the way to the Mission San Jose, my son and I decided that it was time to eat a bit of lunch. We were driving south on Roosevelt Avenue, and just past the entrance to the mission, we found Bill Millers BBQ restaurant.
When we walked in, we found a few empty tables and a long line. I tolerated the complaints of my hungry son and decided we would wait through the line for some local barbeque. The line moved quickly, and within 5 minutes, we were headed to our table with big plates of food. The line begins with a choice of entrées: barbeque sandwiches, ribs, and sliced meat seemed to be the favorites. A selection of side items – green beans or black beans, hash browns or Spanish rice, slaw, and baked potatoes – made it clear that this restaurant would satisfy the traditional barbeque lover as well as the local Hispanic population. The pie rack was too tempting to pass up, and we each selected our favorite.
I got the ribs. They were some of the best I have eaten, thoroughly cooked but tender and loaded with meat. The hash-brown potatoes and slaw were served in large portions, and it made a good meal. They serve both sweet and unsweetened tea, and the sweet tea was good, and not too sweet, a mistake often made by those who serve sweet tea. And the pecan pie – wow! It was absolutely perfect.
My son got the barbeque sandwich, fries, and brownies. The sandwich is served on a po’ boy roll, and it had a lot of meat. The only complaint was that it had too much sauce that made the roll a bit soggy. But he couldn’t make it through both brownies, so I know it filled him up.
I knew I had found the local, single gem of a restaurant. Then I began seeing more Bill Miller BBQ restaurants around town. Later I looked at their website to find that there are 51 Bill Miller restaurants in San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi. Find more about the restaurants at billmillerbbq.com. Or, drop in next time you are in the area and try it for yourself.
April 7, 2005
From journal San Antonio on a Whim