For a guy who went to Texas A&M’s barbecue camp just a few years ago, Jack Timmons sure does get his brisket right. Before opening Jack’s in September, Timmons, a former marketing exec at Microsoft, spent 18 months hosting Seattle Brisket Experience dinners, slow-smoking dozens of briskets over post oak, mesquite and hickory in an offset smoker he had custom-built back in Texas, and feeding it to folks who were desperate for real Texas barbecue. Now, Timmons has two such smokers and an experienced pit master, Tony White (lured here from Texas by our temperate weather), who works with Timmons to keep up with demand at the already popular roadhouse.
The sweet carnivorous perfume of smoke and meat greets diners in the parking lot of this Georgetown spot. Inside, Timmons has hung reclaimed doors in shades of yellow, green and worn blue, along with strings of lights, to make it feel “a little bit like Austin,” he said one evening, working the room and occasionally sitting down to spend time with customers. The place is roomy, casual and fun, and the meats really are awfully good. You must try the brisket (served with two sides, a slice of white bread, pickles, onions and jalapeños for $17), which is moist, tender and yielding, with a ring of deep pink inside its salty crust.
In Texas, you’d never put sauce on brisket like this, and I don’t, but Jack’s offers its own version for those who must; it’s slightly thin, vinegary and sweet with just a little kick. The big ol’ pork ribs ($16) here are meaty and extremely tasty, and the brined and smoked chicken ($14) is outstanding, too. (Order two meats, with all the fixin’s that come with the brisket, for $20.) The only letdowns are a few of the sides, which ranged from decent to pretty disappointing (the worst of which was the gritty mac and cheese), so you should opt for the coleslaw or ranch beans instead.
There are sandwiches packed with your choice of meat for $11, one hell of a chili (all meat, with brisket and bacon) for $5 (cup) or $10 (bowl), and there’s Frito pie (chili served with Fritos, cheese, jalapeños and onion, $7). Bring the family, sip a Smoked Old Fashioned ($10), watch the game (there are several big flat-screen TVs) and fill up on some meat. Jack’s is easy to love. Georgetown, 3924 Airport Way S; 206.467.4038; jacksbbq.com