Betting on your own dreams is one of the boldest moves in life. For Nick and Elliott Reese, the bet smoldered and grew for most of the last decade until recently, when they put it all on the table.
With roots in both Austin and San Antonio, Nick and Elliott Reese spent the early part of their 20s around oak fires and butcher blocks, cutting their teeth through Central Texas at the likes of La Barbecue, among others. They then voyaged out west where they fell under the tutelage of Phillip Moellering at Brick Vault Brewery and Barbecue in Marathon, TX. (In case you missed it, here is a feature on that amazing place.) During their three-year run out west, they soaked up everything they could from Moellering; from fire management to food prep to running a restaurant. Nick and Elliott returned home with a bag full of knowledge and a head full of ideas. After a few years, a few dozen pop-up shops, and a few thousand miles on their food trucks and trailers, Nick and Elliott have placed their bet – right below a sign that bears their family name.
Nick and Elliott are not alone in this new venture. They’ve brought on two enthusiastic culinary students, Jorge Flores and Gabriel Perez. Jorge and Gabriel bring traditional Hispanic culinary authenticity to what Nick and Elliott have created. Take the best of Texas BBQ tradition and add generous doses of family recipes and ingredients from south of the border and an entirely new world of culinary opportunity comes into being. Sure, the brisket is legit, but things like “okra beans” and the “spicy pasilla sausage” stand out again and again. Pro tip: try the “smoked carnitas torta.” Have mercy.
It's about twenty-eight hours from the first official day of service of Reese Bros Barbecue. There are extended family members sprucing up the space and fixing the little things. Fires are being tended to get ready for the first batch of smoky goodness. The space looks like a BBQ joint should; a metal roof with big heavy doors. The massive smokers are tucked inside a metal-framed, open-air patio. The crave-inducing smells of tomorrow’s lunch begin to fill the air as the sun eventually faded and the San Antonio night approached. In twelve hours, as long as a customer shows up, the first tray of barbecue will be served.
They did indeed show up. A heavy and steady line formed before noon and didn’t let up. Customers were chipper and happy to be celebrating the new venture as they enjoyed a complimentary Lone Star Beer. Within an hour of opening, the entire covered patio was full. A half dozen large tables in the parking lot were also full. One tray followed the next and empty seats didn’t stay empty long. By 4 pm, they were sold out. Bets laid, bets paid. Customers left with smiles of satisfaction and safe to say, the Reese Bros walked a little taller into the sunset of day one.
Words and content: Flint Field Tx - @flintfieldtx