Though Andy Harris grew up in San Diego, he spent many years eating barbecue in his father's home state of Texas and since his teens, has been working to perfect his own barbecue skills. A vet of the music industry, Harris was able to travel the country sampling some of the best of barbecue and in 2010, decided to turn his hobby into a successful catering business. Five years later, with the blessing of his wife, with whom he owns a music management and marketing company, he did a short, four week test run of a sit-down eatery around the corner from Thorn Street Brewery. Last month, Harris opened a more permanent home for Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado in the same North Park space where the all-outdoor dining room, a casual cluster of picnic tables under rows of strung lights, feels straight out of Austin. So does the BYOB policy.
Open from noon to 4:30 p.m. for lunch and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday (unless they sell out), Grand Ole BBQ's specialty is Central Texas barbecue, the result of a 15 hour process that employs a 20-foot-long smoker named 'LBJ' and uses local white oak, the closest approximation to the wood used in Texas; brisket (only available at dinner) and turkey are Harris' signatures, but the menu also includes spare ribs, pulled pork and hefty beef ribs. He also grew up with relations from Argentina, so Sundays are reserved for the traditional celebration of seared meat known as asado, a chimichurri-doused feast of skirt steak, whole chickens, lamb, blood sausage, tri tip and fresh chorizo, which Harris has made according to his recipe by the neighboring Parkside Market. Harris told Eater that he may eventually expand his meat offerings to smoked prime rib and a Central Texas pork chop.