SAN ANTONIO - Corporate America was not the dream factory Lewis Harkless aspired. He traded in a job at AT&T for a catering business that's now a budding barbecue joint.
"We started catering out of the house in 2015," Harkless said. "We kind of got bigger than we expected. And, a lot of people wanted to see a location and see a place of business."
The 38-year-old tapped a former co-worker and friend Jeremy Neal to invest in his barbecue venture.
"The history starts with a simple conversation in a room," Neal said. "He said alright I want to get this business started."
They did it. Neal and Harkless met during training at AT&T. Neal is from Monroe, Louisiana. Harkless is native of Detroit. So, where's the expertise in attracting Texans to smoked meats and sides? Apparently, it exists in their simple and affordable business model.
Let's start with the business' name: Devil is a Lie BBQ & Catering. Harklelss was cooking ribs he deemed delectable. His wife didn't eat pork. Still, his meaty boast gave birth to one conclusion "If these ribs ain't good the devil is a lie." The name stuck to his ribs and his business.
"The D-I-L (Devil is a Lie). I was like alright...unique name. Something different,"' Neal said. "It works."
"Sauce Dawg" as Harkless is called by his fraternity brothers developed a 17 spice dry rub light on the salt. Plus, the husband and father two daughters smokes his meat in two kinds of oak, mesquite and peach wood. Yes, peach!
The concept of his place at 1332 East Cesar Chavez is simple:; Takeout and catering. Devil is a Lie is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.- 6 p. m. Harkless shuts the business down to cater on the weekends.
"Our menu consists of smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs, rib tips, turkey," Harkless said. " We just did a pork chop taco that's running up the charts."
The aesthetic appeal may not be huge but they've only been in the old Perera's Ice House for three months. Harkless insists the atmosphere is designed good times and good eats. In fact, he said customers are welcomed to pull up a seat play cards, dominos and bring a chest of cold ones.
Neighborhood Eats sampled his brisket taco: Smoked brisket, coleslaw with golden raisins and pecans, the DIL BBQ sauce and maple mustard. Que Rico!
Next, the DIL version of baked beans with kernel corn, black beans, slivers of sauce, a drizzle of jalapeno juice and brown sugar. Awesome! The very can said of is flavorful potato salad.
The rib snack: Three ribs with the DIL BBQ sauce is a definite Que Rico!
Please grab a cup of the peach lemonade!
That's this week's edition of Neighborhood Eats. If you have a suggestion for Marvin send him an email (Mhurst@kens5.com), tweet (@Mhurstkens5) or post it on our KENS 5 FACEBOOK page. #KENS5EATS