Yes, I realize the headline for this post is a tad sexist, but let’s be honest here. There are two things most Texas women cannot resist, and that would be outstanding barbecue and firefighters. I realize that a good number of the population in Austin does not eat meat, but my vegetarian friends will concede that the mouthwatering aroma of barbecue is an unmistakably heady scent. They just won’t eat the meat, which is all fine and good by me as it means more for my plate. And since my hardcore “nothing with a face” and vegan friends love a good margarita, music and firefighters, the Burnet BBQ Cook-Off and Music Festival can honestly boast they have something for everyone.
This weekend is a great time to get out of town and visit the Hill Country. Reveille Peak Ranch, which boasts its own private quarry lake along with views of Lake Buchanan and Inks Lake, is the host site for this Lone Star BBQ Society sanctioned event. The drive to the ranch gives you glimpses of Texas that you normally find on a postcard. Barb wire fences separate pastures filled with native grasses, late wildflowers and deep green cactus. You’ll start to relax before you ever reach the cook-off. Reveille Peak Ranch is the ultimate outdoor venue, with plenty of room for attendees to roam around, watch the BBQ teams in action, and enjoy the firefighter games and challenges. There’ll be a kids’ fishing tournament and a vendor area with art and crafts for sale. And firefighters. Did I mention firefighters?
Make sure you look for signs like the one below, to alert you to samples of savory slices of brisket, tempting moist spareribs and chicken. Resistance is futile. Check the schedule, so you don’t miss your favorites. Friday night is margarita night, by the way.
Entry to the deliciousness and fun is a $5 donation per person to Serve Who Serve, a nonprofit founded by Reveille Peak Ranch and dedicated to supporting local charities and nonprofit organizations. Money raised through the event will fund the Burnet County Volunteer Fire Departments’ construction of a new water quick refill station.
Competitors will vie for $8500 in prize money in the following categories: margaritas, brisket, ribs, chicken, cowboy chili, wild game, and desserts. The event is BYOB, but keep in mind that glass bottles are probably not optimal at this pristine natural area, and pack canned drinks and plastic or reusable water bottles.
You’ll want to stick around for the award ceremony, and after, for the music. Concert admission is an additional $10, but you don’t want to miss the Texas Renegade band, with its all-Texas native band members, including twins on bass and guitar. Also playing is JB and the Moonshine Band. I’ve never heard their music, but any band whose name includes the word “moonshine” and has an album out titled “Beer for Breakfast” is alright by me.
So load up the ice chest, grab the family or friends or both, and hit the road. You’ll be rewarded with first-class barbecue (and firefighters) and be supporting a fantastic cause. Driving directions to Reveille Peak Ranch can be found here.