Restaurant Review: TexarBama BBQ

Smoky Texas bites on the Eastern Shore

Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

At Fairhope’s TexarBama BBQ, Bradley Parmer and Casey Carrigan serve up traditional Texas barbecue with top-notch ingredients, bold flavors and simple sides that always please.

“Barbecue in Texas is this whole other thing, like a religion, ” says Parmer, who moved to Fairhope from Austin, Texas, in pursuit of a slower paced life. After taking a hiatus from a grueling job in Austin to tackle a 2, 500-mile motorcycle tour around the U.S., Parmer decided that life was too short and he was working way too hard. He moved to Fairhope and quickly bonded with Carrigan over a love of good food. The duo began hosting backyard barbecues that spread by word of mouth and grew exponentially. “I looked right at Bradley and said, ‘There is something here, ’” Carrigan adds.

They describe their barbecue as traditional to the max, taking 15 hours to slow-cook their briskets and butts. “Good seasoned oak wood gives more of a mellow taste with a vanilla, nutty flavor, ” explains Parmer, “whereas pecan or mesquite is real heavy. The smoke shouldn’t hang with you, but you should taste it while you’re here.”

The menu is simple and satisfying. Choose from pork, chopped beef, brisket or ribs, served on plates, sandwiches or tacos. Then ask for advice on the flavorful toppings, which really round out the dishes. A bloody mary with a smoky rib sticking out is never a bad idea, either.

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After outgrowing their original food truck venue on Nichols Avenue, the duo recently announced they are relocating to a new brick and mortar location at 212.5 Fairhope Avenue (formerly Gumbo Shack). The restaurant will reopen at its new location on June 30 at 10 a.m.

On the Menu

Brisket Sandwich
[Pictured right] A half-pound of glorious brisket is topped with tangy pickled red onions, Cotija cheese, cilantro and fresh slices of jalapeño. The buns are made from scratch daily next-door.

Chopped Beef Taco
An overflowing pile of chopped smoked beef is perfectly complemented by a crunchy seasonal slaw made with cabbage, apple, radish, cilantro, jalapeño, lime and more.

Pulled Pork Taco
Slow-cooked to perfection, the pork is topped with traditional coleslaw and in-house candied bacon. Add bright green jalapeño sauce, with a gentle heat that’ll sneak up on you.

Texican Corn
One of four sides to choose from, this twist on Mexican street corn takes the slightly charred kernels off the cob. It’s garnished with Cotija, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime.

TexarBama BBQ • 212.5 Fairhope Ave., Fairhope • Average entree price: $12

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