Neighborhood Eats: Nathan’s Barbeque in Brenham


by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 7:40 PM

BRENHAM, Texas—This week’s Neighborhood Eats spot is in Brenham.

It’s Nathan’s Barbeque, a place so popular the owner built a new dine-in restaurant to accommodate all the regulars who used to come to the lunch counter in the convenience store.

Nathan’s is located off Highway 290 at Highway 36.  It is easy to miss the first time, but customers said once you try the food, you will never forget the way back.

The food has a touch of German flavor.

“Everything here is a little on the sweet side, so that’s the German in me coming out,” said owner Nathan Winkelmann.  He serves brisket, pork, chicken, sausage and ribs, plus several comfort food side dishes and homemade white bread and cornbread muffins.

He’s a big guy who learned to cook from his German grandmother when he was just knee-high. His family had a big tradition of eating big.

“The German people wanted you to eat. You had to eat to stay healthy and we never asked about gluten free in those days,”  Winkelmann said, laughing.

Winkelmann opened his convenience store in 1979. There is also a Shell station and now the relatively new restaurant.

He sees customers from all over, even Alaska recently.

Winkelmann  said these days he does not handle the daily cooking. He has a staff member who has worked with him 15 years and has mastered the art of “direct cooking” over a flame fed by oak and pecan wood.

Winkelmann  said his meats are not smoked like most barbeque in Texas these days.  He and his staff are “the keepers of the flame,” he said.

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