Collin and Katie Harwell, owners of Waxahachie’s newest restaurant, Bluebonnet Barbecue, look forward to serving up their style of Texas barbecue to both Ellis County residents and people passing through for a visit.
Bluebonnet is a family-owned restaurant and event center located at 3921 U.S. Highway 287. The restaurant hosts its soft opening Wednesday, July 1, and its grand opening Saturday, July 4.
Collin said the recipes on the menu have been a part of his family for years, with some of his own creation. With “a great team in place,” he said the goal is to “serve up some great barbecue leaving the customers craving more when they finish.”
“We are backyard chefs and [opening a restaurant] is one of the things we have talked about but never took it seriously,” he said. “When this place came up for sale, we said, ‘Let’s put the pen to the paper and see if we could make this thing work.’
“I am a backyard barbecuer and I know nothing about the restaurant business so I hired a fantastic general manager who came from 1050 Barbeque in Richardson,” Collin said. “He brought down an events coordinator; she formerly worked for Prime Barbeque in Fort Worth. She also worked for Billy Bob’s as the event coordinator there.”
The pit master, Zach Junot, is from Hays Co. Bar-B-que in San Marcos, Collin said, noting that Junot was named one of the top pit masters in the state by Texas Monthly.
Customers can purchase meat by the pound, with choices from sliced and chopped brisket to pulled pork, smoked turkey breast, jalapeno-cheddar sausage, black pepper sausage, St. Louis style ribs and chicken by the half-bird. The sandwich selections include the PB&J, which is made up of pulled pork, sliced brisket and jalapeno sausage topped with sweet slaw stacked high on a homemade bun.
Bluebonnet’s menu includes several bigger plates with different meat combinations, a stuffed baked potato known as The Ella, desserts and side dishes that range from the old south baked beans and sweet slaw to Mom’s Tater Salad. One side that is becoming a favorite of customers is the smoked mac & cheese, which is made with three kinds of cheese and smoked to perfection.
Collin said Bluebonnet has taken inspiration from other barbecue styles to create its unique flavor. Adding to that flavor is the type of wood used to smoke its meat.
“What a lot of people do is they use what is available to them,” Collin said. “In central and southern Texas, they use a lot of post oak because it grows down there. If you go further to San Antonio there is a lot of mesquite wood used.
“Around here we have a lot of pecan trees,” he said. “The pecan tree that we are using was a tree that fell on the property. I still want to use pecan after that. It is a mild smoke and is not harsh. I enjoy the taste.”
Katie said Bluebonnet is available for special events with portions of the main building that can be sectioned off. There is also a separate building on the property that features its own kitchen that can be used for private events.
She hopes people will consider Bluebonnet as their one-stop-shop when they have a special event like a rehearsal dinner, birthday or corporate function and not worry about the catering. Bluebonnet offers onsite as well as off-site catering.
Bluebonnet Barbecue is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
For more information about the restaurant or to see a full menu, visit www.bluebonnetbbqandevents.com or its official Facebook page. The restaurant can be reached at 972-923-8921.