Cooper’s BBQ (Mason, TX)

Best. ribs. ever.

7.5/10

If you want some great bbq where you pick out your meat right out front and watch the guys man the smoker while you wait in line, this is the place for you. Yes, I know the drive is far (1.5 hours from Central Austin) and you probably don’t have a reason to be out in Mason, Texas, but I can promise you its worth it.

The view of the restaurant from waiting in line

The options are simple, yet I can assure you, they have perfected each meat. Their flavor is incredibly unique; far more different than your typical bbq seasonings (they sell their classic rub inside) and I was really impressed to watch the men refill the meat tray by pulling directly from the smoker. We arrived around 11am and there was hardly a line, but as we left an hour later the line was wrapped around the corner of the building. It seemed to be moving fast, though, and the smell of smoking meat definitely helps pass the time and make you more likely to buy more…

The meat warming tray we hand picked our food from!

We hand-picked our meal, half a pound of sausage, a pound of brisket, and half a pound of ribs. Your meat is cut right straight from the warmer and placed on a tray, then you take it inside where the workers weigh it, and you choose sides, desserts, drinks, etc.

We got two iced teas, of course, and a baked potato, beans, and some bacon mac and cheese. The total ended up being around $50, which seems incredibly pricey, but we were left with at least half a pound of leftovers.

The entire meal was very noteworthy, but as I said earlier, the ribs were incredible. Falling off the bone, a great rub, and tender while still juicy, I could’ve eaten waayyyy more of them!!

My only complaints were that despite it being really cool to watch them cut the meat by eyeballing it outside the restaurant, they left all of the fat and included that in the weight (and price), which made the meal more overpriced than it should’ve been, the brisket was also slightly dry— there was an option to slather it with sauce, but I wanted to try the meat as is. Also would’ve appreciated more pickles, you could go up to the counter and ask for some, but I would’ve preferred them right there on the table… just sayin.

All in all, really great bbq that left me insanely stuffed and satisfied. Would I go back? Absolutely. Would I drive almost 2 hours to get there? Maybe on a rainy day…

-Ari

Here’s my resting munch face. What’s yours?

PS: Please reach out if you’ve been to Cooper’s or if you plan on trying it! I would love to chat about it!!!

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