When the rodeo rides in town, more than likely there’s tasty barbecue to go with it.
Since 1946, Coburn’s Bar*b*Que, which is based in north Fort Worth, has served the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo. The firm has been the Stock Show’s primary food vendor for the past 71 years.
Stock Show patrons can find the legendary firm in the Round Up Inn room in the Amon G Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall. Stock Show patrons also can call up Coburn’s to cater to any type of function on the Stock Show grounds.
“What sets us apart is we’re more worried about quality than we are quantity,” said Nancy Royal, who serves as office manager for Coburn’s Bar*b*Que. “If I give you a good hamburger, you’re always going to come back, but the first time I give you a bad one, you’ll never be back and you’ll take about 10 people with you. So, we take pride in every step of making our barbecue.”
Mark Haber, who works on the Coburn’s kitchen crew, said he smokes the meat for 22 hours at the firm’s headquarters in north Fort Worth before taking the cooked meat to the Stock Show grounds.
“We put it on at about noon to 1 o’clock (p.m.) and then we take it off at 11 o’clock the next morning,” Haber said. “I smoke it at (801 North) Main Street and I chop it here (at the Round Up Inn kitchen).”
One reason Coburn’s is successful is because they have dedicated employees such as Ernie Velacruz, 71, who helps manage the kitchen. He said he relishes working the Stock Show.
“It’s the part of the year that we always look forward to,” Velacruz said. “People come from all over the state to eat our barbecue. Apparently, everybody who eats our barbecue brags on the quality.”