Recently I tried CBQ Eatery in Schertz for the first time. Located in a strip mall just off IH 35 between the FM 3009 and Schertz Parkway exits, CBQ advertises “Burgers, Beer, BBQ, Rockin’ Grub.” I had avoided trying it because I tend to not like “sports bar” type places that have TVs in various corners, with said TVs inevitably tuned to a sporting event (or a variety of sporting events, depending on the number of TVs) and the TV audio is inaudible because music is playing on the restaurant sound system. But even though CBQ commits this atmospheric offense, I decided to try it after a friend told me the food was good.
CBQ Eatery is the creation of Chuck Stanley, who was with KISS 99.5 for many years, and the decor features a good many rock concert posters and the music played over the sound system is rock and roll. So why were the ubiquitous TVs turned to sports and not music videos? This was probably due to the Olympics, but videos would make more sense thematically. Just sayin’.
Upon entering, we were seated quickly if unenthusiastically by the young lady at the front door. Her lack of engagement was more than compensated for by the enthusiasm of our waiter, Tracy, who was high energy, quick to respond to our needs, and quite knowledgeable about the various dishes and how they were prepared.
Even the most cursory glance at the menu will reveal that this is NOT a place for vegans or calorie counters; while there are about a half dozen salads on the menu, half have bacon or chicken added. This is not a criticism; it is refreshing to find a place that says it does burgers and BBQ and then unapologetically commences to serve those very things. Diners, be forewarned that a trip here will be hard on your calorie count.
As an example, let’s look at the chicken fried bacon appetizer which costs 6.99.
Thick slices of bacon were breaded and deep-fried, then served with a ranch dressing that Tracy said was made there at the eatery. It was good, but the breading and ranch dressing tended to overpower the bacon flavor. I am not sure I would order it again, but I am glad I tried it.
On the BBQ side of the menu, one offering is baby back pork ribs. Slow cooked in the house sauce, the full rack is a substantial offering for 16.99.
The ribs were meaty and moist, and the sauce was just spicy and sweet enough. These ribs are a messy but filling meal. As a side, the BBQ potato chips were good. Tracy told us that the chips are bought raw and frozen, then cooked and seasoned there. They were a bit bland, but crisp and fresh. The chips would probably be better with the bbq sandwiches on the menu, but the other choices were french fries or sweet potato fries. Perhaps a slaw or salad could be added to the side options.
Perhaps the most interesting entree on the menu was the sweet potato tamale with pulled pork.
For 7.99, this was a huge meal. Two tamales, actually , were on the plate — large thick tamales that were an unexpectedly good blend of sweet potato and masa. Pulled pork was served across them, and the whole was drizzled with the house #6 BBQ sauce. As Tracy explained it, “we put our pork on the outside of the tamale.” The flavors worked really well together, and the tamales were fresh and had a strong, but not overpowering, sweet potato flavor.
I would definitely order this again, maybe to share with a friend because the portions are so generous.
One of the sides looked so interesting that I had to order it. The fire slaw is the only individual-sized side and cost 2.99.
The usual cabbage and carrots were augmented by slices of apple, all in a spicy creamy slaw dressing. The slaw was very fresh and had a nice crunch, and the dressy was just spicy enough to balance the dish; the result was a slaw that had Oriental undertones. This slaw was fresh, unexpected, and excellent.
Since I was so stuffed, I ordered dessert. The one dessert on offer was the Sweet Emotion.
Three freshly baked chocolate chip cookies arrived, two of them topped with vanilla ice cream and the whole creation drizzled in toffee and chocolate sauces. After the generous servings of the entrees, it was tough, but my dining companion and I managed to finish it. The warm cookies were especially good.
In the end (and despite the TVs) I really liked CBQ. I would recommend it for families and informal outings with friends. Next time I will try one of the huge burgers that the waitstaff kept delivering to surrounding tables. You can check out the entire menu at the CBQ website at http://www.eatcbq.com/.