Reveille Barbecue Co. reinvents itself as brick and mortar at Pinehurst

Reveille Barbecue Co. reinvents itself as brick and mortar at Pinehurst

The easiest way to open a rotisserie is to start out as a pop-up window. Set up a tent and table in a bar or brewery and start selling your smoked meats. Ironically, it’s also the most challenging – factors like bad weather and unstable equipment can disrupt an entire day’s service.

With a little more investment, an aspiring pit master can open up a barbecue trailer or truck. But the climatic and equipment factors remain. You can cook for hundreds of potential guests, but if the weather turns bad, no one shows up. Similarly, if the truck breaks down on the way to the event, they are stuck with hundreds of pounds of unsold meat.

The holy grail of barbecue entrepreneurship is a permanent location – a traditional restaurant.

Reveille Barbecue Co. is an example of a small family business that has reinvented itself over the years. It started as a trailer and recently opened as a full brick and mortar in a South Magnolia strip mall on a newly constructed section of Highway 249.

Current pit master and owner Michael Michna has been a part of Reveille from the beginning when he teamed up with James McFarland to open as a trailer at Magnolia in 2018. Eventually, they hired pit master Wade Elkins to help with the day-to-day cooking. .

32360 Texas 249, No. 140, Pinehurst; 832-616-6900

Open sat. and Sun. solo, from 11 am to 7 pm

Praise and success quickly followed: Reveille was named one of the 25 Best New BBQ Joint of the Month from Texas in 2019.

However, regulatory issues, another endemic challenge to the food trailer business, required them to move to nearby Lone Pint Brewery in 2020. McFarland would go on to run his own pop-ups as Nomad Barbecue, while Elkins left to open. Mimsy’s Craft Barbecue in Crockett.

Michna continued to work as a grill vendor for Lone Pint, opening on weekends while he continued his day job as a firefighter in Houston.

When space opened in a shopping center at a busy intersection of newly built Highway 249 in Pinehurst, Michna and her family jumped at the opportunity. Together with her parents, Paul and Delphine, and her sister Shelley, they opened the latest physical version of Reveille Barbecue Co. in November.

For now, it’s a basic operation that focuses on making the best barbecue possible.

“We plan to add pictures on the wall and a complete sound system in the future,” says Michna.

The dining room is spartan but cozy, with music flowing through small speakers. Michna has brought in a veteran group of friends and associates to help with the operation: Wyatt Norton as an assistant pitmaster (who has been with Reveille since the early days), Johnny Freeman making the cakes, and Dianne Walker as an assistant catering manager.

Michna and Norton are putting together a barbecue worthy of a trip north on Highway 249. A recent visit produced a plate of smoked meats with excellent Central Texas-style brisket, spare ribs, and exemplary home-made sausage.

The menu is surprisingly comprehensive for a recently opened barbecue with extras like beef short rib, pulled pork, pork belly, and turkey available. Side dishes include borracho beans, mustard-based potato salad, and Mexican-style street corn (elotes). For dessert? An excellent bread pudding.

However, the skirt tacos special stole the show. Flour tortillas cradled with minced and minced brisket topped with a hatch chile cheese, pickled red onions and coriander flakes.

The latest release from Reveille Barbecue Co. is a testament to how barbecues can continue to reinvent themselves in new and better ways, while maintaining the small-town, family-friendly feel that makes Texas barbecue great.

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