Smoke is wildly underappreciated—it enhances the flavor of food, conceals the escape of superheroes, and adds suspense to otherwise tranquil strolls through haunted forests. Honor fire’s best friend with today’s Groupon to New Braunfels Smokehouse. Choose between the following options:
- For $14, you get dinner for two (up to a $29.48 value). The dinner includes the following:
- Two cups of soup (a $2.75 value each)
Two dinner plates (up to a $11.99 value each)<p>
- For $12, you get $25 worth of smokehouse fare or store merchandise, including smoked meats, jerky, and more.
Since the inception of its original location in 1952, the New Braunfels Smokehouse has lassoed herds of local and national fans with a menu of hickory-infused proteins, all cut and smoked at the restaurant’s own facility. Chefs craft fresh batches of soup daily to reward arm-implanted ladles with tastes of potato, split pea, and vegetable, and six dinner plates offer broth-absorption services with accompanying dollops of pinto beans, potato salad, Bobby Flay, and house-made bread. Dinners include hickory-smoked pork ribs, slow-roasted over the course of a sloth’s nap, and the wurstkabob plate, which spears five types of smoked sausage to capture a range of flavors on a single stick. A choice of sausage or bratwurst reclines on a bed of house special sauerkraut under the no-nonsense label “sausage and sauerkraut,” and the Bibs and More plate gathers smoked brisket, sausage, and ribs to perform a flavorful trio for rapt taste buds. Patrons eschewing the prix fixe dinner option may plant forks in any selection from the restaurant’s other famed fare, such as chicken and dumplings ($7.25), complemented with fresh cranberry salad.
The newest incarnation of the Smokehouse captures the old-fashioned atmosphere of its predecessor with simple wood furnishings and a player piano that belts the Lone Ranger theme on a loop. A fully stocked general store supplies customers with smoked beef, pork, and poultry treats to escort home, and sweet tooths can busy themselves with fresh-baked desserts that include German chocolate fudge ($22.95/16 oz.) and pecan brittle ($26.95/16 oz.). The New Braunfels Smokehouse Cookbook ($29.95) packs 144 carefully assembled, frequently taste-tested recipes into its nearly 200 pages, allowing home-cookers to recreate favorite restaurant dishes for their agoraphobic goldfish.
New Braunfels Smokehouse
Just a touch crooked, the timbers that hold up New Braunfels Smokehouse's awning impart both a rustic and timeless look, which hearkens back to the smokehouse's 1940s beginnings. The Dunbar family bought five local ice plants, including one in New Braunfels that formerly housed a brewery. With limited storage options, farmers brought their meats to the ice plant for refrigeration. Then employee Benno Schuennemann had an idea: he'd help the farmers preserve their meats even longer by curing and smoking them using old German recipes. As word grew of the smoked meats coming from the icehouse, the Dunbars found a whole new business on their hands. They added a restaurant in 1952, and by the 1960s, they fielded smoked-meat orders from across the United States.
Today, the family continues running New Braunfels Smokehouse from a new location, producing hickory-smoked beef, chicken, pork, and turkey using Benno's methods at their USDA-inspected facility. They also bake their own bread each day, plus insist that their chefs craft every side from scratch and smith every utensil by hand. The restaurant surrounds visitors in rustic style with decor that incorporates old barn siding and knotty wood paneling—many of the materials salvaged from the original smokehouse. After savoring meals ordered from the counter, visitors can peruse the country store for sausages and other packaged meats fresh from the smokehouse.