June 22, 2010

Bar-BQ Heaven

Glen at BBQ Heaven has been involved in the BBQ business for over thirty years with his brother.  His father and grandfather had café’s and night clubs while he was growing up in the early 70’s.  Glen says he remembers going down to the café as a little boy: “I’d go down and stick my hand in the pots and my dad would call me over to stir the beans or stir the bbq sauce and turn the brisket.”  He got his first job washing dishes at G&M catering in Austin when he was seven years old and progressed through the ranks of the industry from cooking, catering, bar tending, to baking.  When he was 20, Glen opened his first restaurant on
East Martin Luther King Blvd where friend of his family had a corner store and owned the whole block.  After five years, he left Austin and worked in catering for the Houston Astro’s off season training camp in Orlando, Florida for seven years.  He returned to Austin to take care of his mother, so he started with BBQ again.

“I don’t care about the money, the only thing is to live my life right by God – that’s what’s important to me.  My customers – I tell them - ‘ I work for you’ if I didn’t have a customer I wouldn’t have a business – it’s important to me to make them happy, laugh, joke.  We live to make people happy – its about the community, its about the people – that’s what we live for, that’s what we enjoy doing, and we enjoy giving good service.”   Their community is made up of the university crowd including a lot of UT basketball and football players, people who live and work down town, and people who work in the service industry.  Being where they are, there are a lot of pan handlers, but Glen feels it is his job to make his customers feel safe and protected and addresses any problems by coming out of the trailer himself.  The students that come down know they can relax and eat a good meal without getting hassled. 

Brisket is Glen’s personal favorite item on the menu.  In his words of infinite BBQ wisdom, “Brisket – I love to cook it, it’s like a baby – you gotta babysit it for 16 hours – move it around, rub it, play with it… you gotta put time in and be patient, you gotta make it taste good  - that’s my theory right there.”