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Hays Co Bar-B-Que owner Michael Hernandez (right) stands with son, and youngest pit master in Texas Monthly’s Top 50, Aaron Hernandez in front of one of the restaurant’s grilling pits. Aaron Hernandez takes brisket off the pit after it has been cooking for 20 hours.A variety of some of Hays Co.’s signature brisket sausage and pork chops, accompanied with fresh tomato, avocado and jalapeno.

Hays Co. Bar-B-Que: A smoking hot Texas tradition

Daily Record Intern

San Marcos is now home to one of Texas Monthly’s top 50 barbecue restaurants in Texas — and therefore, as many Texans will argue, the world. In its new location, Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering is the only barbecue joint in San Marcos that provides the cooking style of real Texas barbecue in addition to a happening music scene that’s worth the trip itself.
In 2008, owners Michael and Asennette Hernandez were standing in line at Hastings when they saw Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ issue on the rack. It was at that moment that they decided on their goal.
“We knew we were going to be in the next issue,” Asennette laughed. Even then, friends of theirs treated them as though they were simply big dreamers, but five years later, they made it happen. “And we’ll still be in it in the next one,” said Michael.
For this couple, failure is not an option, and they plan to continue to bring their customers what they want.
The Hernandez family originally purchased Hays Co. Bar-B-Que seven years ago in 2007 when the restaurant was on Hunter Road, but relocated off I-35 in September last year. Since the move, the restaurant has been able to expand its services to become a unique music scene in addition to a high-quality restaurant.
“The backyard feel is really important to us,” said Michael. “We want it to feel like a backyard party all the time.”


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