Jethro’s Genuine Texas Barbeque: “the King and Queen of BBQ”

Originally published in Taos News

When the 2015 Best of Taos Award for best BBQ went to a restaurant located in Angel Fire, Shera Maher and Richard Nance knew exactly what kind of business they were going to get into.

“It was clear that Taos needed its own authentic BBQ place,” said Maher.

And that was the beginning of Jethro’s Genuine Texas Barbeque, a food stand located between Ace Hardware and McDonald’s.

They opened the business on Friday June 12th and hit the ground running.

“The first day we sold everything in an hour and a half,” Maher said. “We were pleasantly surprised.”

The menu

Their “sandwich special” is made of 1/3 pound of either pulled pork, sliced beef brisket, chopped beef brisket, or sliced Kielbasa sausage, with Texas sauce. It comes dressed with onions, pickles or jalapeños, and served on a toasted bun with chips. A drink is included.

There is also a brisket burrito served on a flour tortilla.

Sides are potato salad, coleslaw, and Texas pinto beans.

Beef brisket, pulled pork, sausages, and pork ribs are sold by the pound as well.

Just like in Texas

They prepare the meat the way it is traditionally done in Texas.

“We smoke it for at least eleven hours and sometimes up to thirteen hours,” Maher said. “The meat never touches the flame and is cooked only by the smoke, which circulates around it with temperatures between 250 and 300 degrees.”

As for the sauce, it isn’t added while the meat is being cooked, but afterwards.

“We make our own sauce from scratch, like everything else,” she said.

She likes the fact that the BBQ business is multicultural and has deep historical roots.

“Actually the word BBQ, barbacoa, came from the indigenous people of America,” she said. “Then, in Texas, we have strong black and Mexican culinary influences. They all added their own touch to the way the BBQ is done there and now we are bringing it to Taos.”

An enthusiastic reception

“You are the undisputed King and Queen of BBQ in New Mexico,” wrote Lenny Foster in the business’ Facebook page.

“We are very thankful to him and all our clients,” said Nance. “Such comments encourage us to continue working hard and offering Taos our very best.”

“I have worked in the restaurant business before,” Maher said, “but this is the only place where people have come up to me and say ‘thank you, we needed a place just like this one here.’ It’s really satisfying.”

A family business

Maher and Nance have an employee and friend, Joel Craig, who brought the big smoker and is the “sandwiches specialist,” but Jethro’s Genuine Texas Barbeque is mostly a family business.

Maher’s daughter, Savannah Hall, a UNM-Taos art student, works as a cashier. Her boyfriend Kyle Lavarnway pitches in sometimes.

“I like working here,” Hall said. “It’s fun to be around different people. And I eat BBQ every day. Everything is good so come get some food!”

The “uniformed discount”

Anyone who is wearing a public service uniform like EMS, firefighters and police officers can get a discount.

“We want to show appreciation to those who work so hard for our community,” Maher said.

Days, hours and more

Jethro’s Genuine Texas Barbeque is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from eleven in the morning until the last brisket or rib is gone.

“We also started catering, which is something we can do any day of the week,” Nance said. “We hope to be open more days in the future.”

“For catering, we offer desserts like apple cobbler and can tailor the menu to whatever people want for side dishes,” Maher said. “We just had the first catering gig from Palacio de Marquesa and are very excited about this branch of the business.”

They plan to stay in the same location for the rest of the summer and bring in an actual building before winter.

The owners

Maher is a jewelry designer and a seasonal rafting guide.

Nance has a building repair and garage door business and is also a river guide.

When they met, she first fell in love with his cooking.

“He made pork ribs and I gobbled them down,” she said. “I was so embarrassed later… I didn’t even use to eat pork back then!”

Nance learned the BBQ art from his uncles in Texas and has been cooking for over thirty years.

“As a river guide, he is used to cook for many people,” Maher said. “So we set out our outdoor kitchen like the ones you would find in a river trip.”

They have been partners and “very special friends” for four years.

“He helped me build my house and I am now helping him build his dream business,” she said. “Someone told me that when two people love each other, they become the keepers of each other’s dreams. That’s what we are doing now.”

Jethro’s Genuine Texas Barbeque is located 219 Paseo del Pueblo Sur.

Phone:  (575) 770-4317


All the pictures here are from the business’ Facebook page.


About dovalpage

Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana and now lives in Taos, New Mexico. She has a Ph.D. in Spanish literature and teaches at UNM Taos. She also freelances for Taos News, Profile, Hispanic Executive and other publications. A bilingual author, she has published eight novels, six in Spanish and two in English, two collections of short stories in Spanish and one in English. Her English-language novels are A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004) and Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010). Her collection of short stories The Astral Plane, Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond was published by the University of New Orleans Press in 2012. In her native Spanish she has authored the novels Muerte de un murciano en La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain), El difunto Fidel (The late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, that won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009), Posesas de La Habana (Haunted Ladies of Havana, PurePlay Press, 2004), La Regenta en La Habana (Edebe Group, Spain, 2012,) Orfeo en el Caribe(Atmósfera Literaria, Spain, 2013) and El retorno de la expatriada (The expat’s return, Egales, Spain, 2014). Her short novel Las Muertas de la West Mesa (The West Mesa Murders, based on a real event) is currently being published in serialized format by Taos News.
This entry was posted in Business story, Taos News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.