1701 BBQ, one of the newest and most popular barbecue joints in Beaumont, has made Texas Monthly’s list of the Top 50 barbecue spots in the state.
1701, aptly named after the address of the historic building it began occupying at the end of 2020, has been an almost instant hit among barbecue lovers in Southeast Texas drawn to its combination of central Texas smoking styles and Southeast Texas charm.
Opened by James “Blue” Broussard and company just over 11 months ago, 1701 BBQ is now as easily spotted by a parchment sign on the front door declaring “SOLD OUT,” as it is by the neon “Local” sign hanging in the dining room.
Texas Monthly complimented the pit crew on their brisket and pork ribs — cuts not usually associated with Southeast Texas barbecue — in addition to its sausage.
From opening a restaurant during a global pandemic to being among one of the top barbecue spots in the state, General Manager Travis Cox called these past several months a whirlwind.
But it’s been a rush the team has sustained thanks to the connections they found while making great eats.
“It’s been unreal,” Cox said. “We went from not really knowing each other to building this team together. I think it’s a success we were able to generate because we really do care about every bite.”
Just this week, 1701 BBQ debuted its own house-made boudain, further cementing its balance between central and Southeast Texas.
Cox said customers can expect some more new tastes and menu items to drop in the near future as the crew continues to experiment and grow behind the smoker.
The Calder Avenue eatery now joins 49 other joints that made Texas Monthly’s sixth list since the magazine started scouring the state in 1997.
For this list, 32 editorial staff and three freelancers visited 411 restaurants across the state over about two months before Texas Monthly’s top barbecue experts visited the top candidates.
1701 BBQ was the only Southeast Texas joint to make the list, joining Charlie’s Bar-B-Que on College Street in the honor of being listed in one of the publication’s lists. Charlie’s was named in the magazine’s 2019 25 Best New and Improved Barbecue Joints.
Before 1701 became a brick and mortar restaurant, fans of Broussard’s barbecue had to visit the Blue Davis food truck that made the rounds across the region.
Broussard and his partners sold the pop-up operation in 2019 and he briefly returned to the family mortuary business, now just next door to his restaurant, but the smoke quickly returned.
The operation has been expanding its smoking capacity since it opened with three industrial smokers and has been taking on catering and pop-up events at places like Neches Brewing in Port Neches.
When Texas Monthly’s barbecue guru, Daniel Vaughn, visited 1701 back in September, he complimented the craft and willingness of the crew to break away from Beaumont’s deep barbecue traditions to deliver something uniquely good.
“1701 Barbecue isn’t like the other barbecue joints in town, and that’s okay,” Vaughn wrote in his review. “I love the deep history of Beaumont barbecue and wouldn’t think to leave town without one of the area’s signature links, but Broussard wanted to offer his hometown a different take on Texas barbecue than they’re used to.”
Written by Jacob Dick