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Food & Drink

Stiky Ribz BBQ Saves You a Road Trip to the Hill Country

Photo: Gefen Kusin-Kline

Photo: Gefen Kusin-Kline

There isn’t a line when I stroll up to Stiky Ribz Texas BBQ at 10:58 AM. It’s already sweltering, the morning clouds were burning off but the humidity was sticking around. It’s late June and that means it’s barbecue season. But first, I have to wait for Stiky Ribz to open and the sign says 11 AM. The sign also tells me that they’re open until 9 PM or sold out. 

If you’ve neglected to keep up on your Lowest Greenville restaurants, you wouldn’t likely know that Stiky Ribz is new. It occupies the space that was Louie King BBQ after Daddy Jack’s left, and inside, it is largely untouched from Louie King’s brief stint next to Laurel Tavern. It doesn’t help that Stiky Ribz took over Louie King’s social channels, causing some confusion over whether it was a rebrand or something new altogether. Or that Louie King’s sign still sits atop the exterior.

But Stiky Ribz is cut whole cloth from owner James Reeds’ smoking. He’s behind the counter ready to slice brisket and sausage when the open sign is turned on and as customers trickle in shortly after me, he stops to talk to tables and lay out just how Stiky Ribz’ second location — the original is in Forney — came to be.

Despite opening just last week after a two-and-a-half week sprint to clean out what Louie King’s owners had left behind and get staff trained, Reeds and his crew are already putting out terrific Texas barbecue. 

I order a brisket sandwich, fatty and sliced (you could go lean and chopped if that’s your style) with a Shiner tallboy and potato salad. The sandwich comes out on a hefty Kaiser roll — Reeds claims it’s sturdy enough to hold up under all the meat even on a car ride for to-go orders — and is piled with succulent, moist brisket cut thick and drizzled with sauce. Throw a few pickles and jalapenos on if you like, or just eat them by hand on the side. 

Maybe it’s the heat or the beer or the fact that Stiky Ribz is only open Thursday through Sunday but it feels like a stop in the Hill Country on a long, hot summer day. 

It was unfortunate when Louie King shuttered, but if Stiky Ribz can continue to produce brisket this good (and its beef ribs on Saturdays) when it expands to being open six days a week, then Lowest Greenville is going to have a cornerstone of convenient Dallas BBQ. 

Just expect there to be a line as word gets out because, at 4 PM the day of my visit, Stiky Ribz posted on the Friends of Lower Greenville Facebook page that they had already sold out for the day.