Two chefs who never set out to become restauranteurs are the fire, smoke, sugar, and spice behind Black Board Bar B Q.
“It sorta kind of chose us,” Jake Gandolfo said.
The property is located 1123 Sisterdale Rd in Boerne. Joanne Irizarry and Jake Gandolfo bought the place on July 4, 2017. The space already had BBQ swag from being Maywald’s Sisterdale Smokehouse.
The couple tried two pop up chef-driven runs before claiming the Black Board. They decided on the name because it makes a cool logo.
“Plus, if we mess it up, it’s kind of like 'back to the blackboard,'” He said.
Gandolfo’s background as a chef stretches from serving the finest at high-end ranches to the London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills. Irizarry was trained at Austin’s Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts.
They decided Black Board Bar B Q would be a BBQ restaurant would encompass a scratch kitchen, serve prime BBQ, prepare game in a delicious way and be dessert forward. Translation: This was not going to be a traditional BBQ joint.
Even though Gandolfo hates labels he describes their smoked meat at craft BBQ.
“We, certainly, pay homage and huge respect (to Texas BBQ) on the smoke,” He said.
The menu has St. Louis style ribs, Wild Boar sausage, Axis and Wild Hog boudin and two types of brisket. One is Angus.
“Upper two-thirds top choice bottom,” He said.
The other is Texas-raised American Wagyu Brisket. Wagyu Excelente to exact.
Gandolfo makes a sauce for the BBQ called Jake’s Mistake. That’s about as traditional as it gets in the Hill Country restaurant.
“We don’t do beans and we don’t do potato salad,” He said. “And we don’t apologize for it either because that’s not who we are.”
Neighborhood Eats got to know their identity better with a huge sample provided by Black Board Bar B Q.
Texas Taters started the taste test: Kennebec potatoes, truffle oil, green onions, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Fantastic!
Luckenbach Lollipops are a customer favorite. The buttermilk brined deep-fried quail is wonderful especially dipped in the sriracha sauce with a squeeze of lemon.
The non-traditional sides were beyond tasty. Neighborhood Eats loved Jo’s Asian slaw and the cream corn maque choux topped with flash-fried Brussel sprouts.
The St. Louis style ribs were yummy! The same can be said of their Axis and wild hog boudin.
Neighborhood Eats did not want to put down the Wild Boar jalapeno cheddar link with its beer-based mustard for dipping. Fantastic!
The Waygu brisket is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Irizarry finished Neighborhood Eats off with a full tray of desserts. Her blackberry cobbler is magnificent. The carrot cake was great too.
The most thoughtful and comforting dessert was the cookies and milk: triple chocolate chip cookie and Blueberry Cardamom.
Overall: Black Board Bar B Q feels like you’re driving into the middle of nowhere from San Antonio. But it is worth the trip. The scenic Hill County views are calming. The restaurant is an amazing find! Here’s the thing though---it’s only open Thursday-Sunday. And when they sell out of meat---that is it for the day. So, customers have learned to get there early. They also offer an underground supper club called ‘Hoof and Feather.’ The chefs will do four maybe a five-course meal. Sometimes they announce the menu. Sometimes they don’t. Neighborhood Eats is happy to write grade A on this place’s blackboard.