Hurricane Ike recently decimated the Texas coastline and left much along the Galveston coast and in land unrecognizable.  Days before landfall Ike’s path was predicted to punish a different part of the Texas coastline and devastate an area that I have grown to love over the last decade.  The devastation in Galveston and the near miss in Port Aransas and Corpus Christi has made me appreciate our “3rd Coast” so much more.  I am looking forward to an opportunity to get back to Port A but also feel a calling to visit Galveston and support the businesses that are going to be trying to restart and rewrite their history along their part of the coast.

On a recent trip to the beaches of Port Aransas we arrived on the island along our normal route, the ferry boats that come across from Aransas Pass.  As my wife and daughter anxiously scanned the channel waters for breaching dolphins, something caught my eye on the horizon of the approaching island.  For the deck of the ferry boat I could see an unfamiliar building amongst the roof tops of the residents and businesses of Port A.  It was a big red barn.  Our road from the ferry landing to the beach took us right past this oddity and it was as if it were fate.  Here I was with my family, in one of my favorite places, and there in the form of a big red metal barn was two of more of my favorite things wrapped up in a mouthwatering needless-to-say unique package.  A Big Red Barn + A 12ft Brick Pit BBQ + a Rusty Old Jeep.  I don’t have a weakness for red barns…good BBQ and Jeeps…yes commit me…sign me up for a help group…I’m weak.

The Rusty Jeep Pit BBQ houses a 12foot old fashioned pit BBQ in a BIG RED barn.  Pit BBQ is barbecue at its best, slowly smoked over hickory wood.  I used to run a small pit BBQ and smoke the briskets and pork butts overnight over hickory wood…Oh man, nothing comes close.  The menu at the Rusty Jeep is what you’d expect to see at a BBQ joint, the regular BBQ fare and the fixins, serving up plates, sandwiches, and lbs.  The owners Bill and Debbie Cook will greet you from behind a spread of their offerings with a smile, a family style atmosphere, and a story or two about the rusty Jeep that sits outside the big red barn that the restaurant is named after.  That Jeep has got some history to say the least, just check out the VIN number, it is No. 401.  That’s the four-hundred and first Jeep Willys ever made.

Mmmmmmm.  Pit smoked BBQ and Jeep history.  My trips to the beach can’t be beat.  I love our 3rd coast.  Come and visit.  Support the local businesses that make our beaches unique, and stop for a chat and a chopped BBQ sandwich at the Rusty Jeep BBQ.  Then…pick up a small feast of everything they offer, head to the beautiful Port A beaches, park your Jeep next to surf, set up the folding tables and dining fly, a nice campfire, and enjoy a pit smoked BBQ dinner and watch the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Rusty Jeep Hickory Pit BBQ

118 South Cut Off Rd

Port Aransas, Texas 78373

749-2276 (BARN)