Garcia said Shugabee’s had actually taken over the restaurant inside of Buck’s for more than a year. But then, COVID-19 came, which forced the temporary closure of Buck’s. In late spring, the Garcias moved it to the trailer in the parking lot, where it now sells its signature offerings. “The trailer stayed where it was; we just weren’t using it while we were in the restaurant,” Garcia said. “So that made it easier for people to pick up food.”
When asked, Garcia said Shugabee’s is most known for two items, both of which are made on-site and combine into what he describes as one of the joint’s top sellers.
“Our No. 1 item is our brisket, and it’s always been,” he said. “It’s just a really good cut of beef. And then, we’re also known for our homemade flour tortillas. They’re about 12 inches, so we’re able to get about a half pound of brisket on there.”
The combination is no accident, as Garcia freely states he has loved barbecue with tortillas since he was a little kid. He said that for him, it made sense to frame his eatery around those two items.
In the restaurant’s first few years, tortillas were the only bread-related item offered, but Garcia said he is now offering sandwich buns from New World Bakery in Kyle that are similar to a Hawaiian roll.
“We started offering that because some people were wanting bread to go along with [our barbecue],” he said. “But it used to be nothing but tortillas.” While brisket and tortillas may be two of the most purchased menu items, Garcia is quick to point out the smoked pork, which is cooked for about 12-13 hours.
Also popular on the menu is the baked potato, which is made with Hatch chili queso, bacon, sour cream and brisket or pork.
“That thing is really popular,” he said of the loaded potato. “We run out just about every day. We only cook so many.”
Another hot-seller on the menu, according to Garcia, is the smoked chicken salad. It is made with pecans, Granny Smith apples and black olives, all of which are mixed with chicken that has been smoked for five hours.
“It’s different from other chicken salads, because the first thing that really hits you is the smoke,” he said. “I really wasn’t a chicken salad fan, but when we started doing this ... it just took off.”
As Garcia describes it, Shugabee’s has versatility beyond the food truck where customers typically purchase the restaurant’s food.
Because of the fact that it is housed on Buck’s parking lot, Garcia said they sell their food near the stage during concerts and other events held at the venue.
“We have a lot of our customers who go in [to Buck’s] and have a beer with our BBQ, which sounds natural to me,” he said. “That’s one of the big pluses of working with Buck’s. When people are looking for food, they can actually get BBQ or they can get bar food from the inside.”