This article appeared in the May-June 2010 issue of Texoma Living! Magazine.
Galen Gibson is a BBQ man. He was a technical type for TXU until he was laid off a few years ago. He turned to cooking when his wife urged him to do what he liked to do. Four years later, a lot of other people have grown to like it too. “I love to cook. The coolest thing is making a sandwich, watching someone take it back to their car and take a big bite, and then watching his face light up.”
His smoker is hitched behind his truck, and he takes it home every evening when he closes up his stand just east of the Interstate. The work space in the stand he had built and then mounted on a homemade trailer is tight—submarine galley tight. “It so small, I just about reached the point where I can’t add anything else to the menu,” he said. He prepares an order when it’s ordered and not before. “I make real food, not fast food,” he tells customers who get impatient.
He has a full menu with brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, sausage, hot links, and ham, all available as an entrée for a plate or as a sandwich, a big sandwich. The customers’ favorite is the brisket, smoky, juicy and so tender it won’t hold together as a slice, so Gibson called it “chipped.” Add one of two red sauces and have at it. For spoon vittles, add potato salad and cole slaw. Then you might ask for a Galen Special. It’s not on the menu, but when he gets hungry, Gibson lays down a layer of brisket, adds hot links and jalapeños and has lunch.
The sandwich Smoky G is holding in the picture, the item he calls his signature dish, is a brisket. We beg to disagree. As good as it is, and it’s as good as we had, the real star of the place should be the ham. No sauce please, just chopped, smoked ham on a toasted bun. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
US Hwy 75 & FM 121
Van Alstyne, TX
Tues–Sat: Noon-7 p.m. (or til Galen runs out of food)
Photos by Anne Marie Shumate, Lasting Images Photography