The Granary 'Cue & Brew (San Antonio, TX)
The Granary Webpage, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
The Granary has been on our list for a while, especially once we’d heard about pastrami beef ribs on Tuesday. So, Scott, James and I headed down to see how it compared to the places in Austin. This certainly qualifies as a trip for us.
Nestled in the Pearl District, where the old Pearl Brewery once made beer. We'll leave the debate of that particular beer's quality for another day. The area has seen urban revitalization efforts come to fruition, and provide a new area for locals, San Antonio expats (*cough Scott cough*), and tourists alike to visit, just north of downtown (just west of 281, north of 35). Granary has obviously caught the eye and taste buds of folks who get paid to check out places like this.
The Granary is counter service with pickup at a window right next door. They also brew their own beer (Scott had their Brown Ale while James and I had their Coffee IPA (Socrates), both of which were excellent). Lunch is sandwiches and plates (although meat can also be ordered ala cart), while the dinner menu is more elaborate (smoked octopus? We must head back one evening!). But we each order three meat plates, and will try most of their meats between us.
Chicken: The chicken was tender and had a slight smoky flavor. Mine as a touch dry in places, but the others didn’t have this complaint. There also didn’t seem to be a lot of flavor other than the smoke. This was probably the most divisive of the items for us. Tom – 6.5/10. Scott – 7.5/10. James – 8.0/10. Avg: 7.33
Pork Ribs: I was the only one trying these. They were juicy but just a tad tough. They had a decent amount of smoke, and were nicely sweet with some black pepper to complement the sweetness. A solid entry. Tom – 8.0/10.
Brisket: The brisket is very tender and has a nice bark. There’s a heavy smoke flavor complimented by black pepper. It’s good. All three of us score it 8.5/10.
Regular Sausage: The sausage is tender and juicy. It has a very good flavor, reminiscent of pastrami/corned beef itself (I ask, and someone tells me that the meat is brined before put in the sausage). It’s good. James and Tom – 8.5/10. Scott – 8.25/10. Avg: 8.42
Spicy Sausage: They use cayenne and red pepper instead of jalapeno, which gives a nice bit of heat while not following the normal jalapeno model (this is a plus in my book). It is also well-made, being tender and juicy. James and Tom – 8.5/10. Scott – 9.0/10. Avg: 8.67.
Pulled pork: The pulled pork is tender and moist without being greasy. It is sweet and smoky, and does not need sauce to be good. Tom – 8.5/10. Scott – 9.0/10.
Pastrami Beef Rib: I was the only one to try this. I must admit I had some preconceptions. It’s always important to remember that pastrami is a style of preparation and technically NOT a flavor (although there are some common flavors used when making pastrami for deli meat). So, if you order this expecting to taste your normal pastrami sandwich, you’re going to be caught off guard. What you are getting is a beef rib that is VERY tender with a nice smoky flavor and some delicate seasoning. It also looks like it is rare (very red) even though it isn’t. It’s a quality beef rib. Tom – 9.0/10.
The Granary has put together a quality BBQ place. They have some excellent food, and make some great beer to go with it. Consensus was that we’d probably spend way too much time here if we lived in San Antonio.
Interestingly, the layout inside seems a little different than a lot of places. They seem broken up into smaller rooms. The section we were in would have sat no more than 20 I would suspect. Definitely a lot quieter than most places. We liked it.
Is it worth a visit? Definitely.
Is it worth a trip? Absolutely. It qualified as a trip for us but we certainly considered the time well spent.