“Barbecue has been in our family for well over 60-70 years,” Rodriguez said. “My grandpa, my uncles, they have been cooking for years down in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.”
From them, Rodriquez said he learned everything about barbecuing from different types of wood to different types of meat. In late 1999, Rodriguez decided to jump into the barbecue world full time by opening a catering business and taking part in more competitions, winning some at the state level and competing nationally, he said.
In July, despite the coronavirus pandemic pushing some businesses to close, he and his wife, Angie, decided to make their business permanent, opening a food truck located off Shell Road near Hwy. 195. With help from his cousin Erica Cansino and her husband Tony Cansino, who works as the assistant pitmaster, the team sells out most days.
“I just rolled the dice,” he said.
He added family is a big part of the business’s success even 20-plus years later. With his daughter and son helping at the trailer and his wife even competing against him in competitions, “everyone knows how to cook a piece of meat,” he said.
“It's a barbecue family,” Rodriguez said. “At the end of the day, we're family, and we enjoy what we're doing.”
Rodriguez said it’s the business’s Tex-Mex style of cooking and specialty house-made rub—which he is working on bottling to sell by the new year—that sets it apart from other joints. For example, dishes are served with tortillas instead of bread, and patrons can find Tejano-style Frito pie and carne guisada on the menu.
Other menu items include breakfast tacos, brisket, pork ribs, turkey, half chicken and an original sandwich called CJ’s Big Boy Sandwich, filled with brisket, sausage, onion and pickles.
“Our roots come from South Texas,” Rodriguez said. “My whole concept here is to be more of a barbecue Tex-Mex-style place.”
3900 Shell Road, Georgetown
Hours*: Tue.-Fri. 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.
*Closing hours may vary if sold out.