The Legend of Smokey MAE’s
Smokey MAE’s had a humble start. It was the early 20’s on the hardscrabble plains of far North Texas, off a dirt road that twisted its way up just shy of the Okie border. Our founder was a ditch-digger by trade; a man of great strength and heart, but meager means. He was named after his daddy, Horace, but everybody called him Hank. If there was one thing you could say about both Hank and Horace, it was how them boys liked to drink.
Horace and them were brewing moonshine long before the United States drove the drinkin’ crowd into the backwoods to distill their own. Prohibition hit in 1920, but by then Hank was something of a legend with the whiskey.
To cover their tracks with the smoke coming up from the stills, Mama Mae was always smokin’ meat. Her tender ribs, briskets and pork butts slipped right off the bone. They were juicy, flavorful and- thanks to them boys brewin’- plentiful. Mae was no stranger to Texas heat, so she kept it outside where it belonged. The boys had built her a pit, and that thing was legend too. To hear somebody tell it, you’d think they were spinning a yarn, with the talk of rock walls seven-foot-high, and four spits. But folks who seen it will tell ya, that was the magic of Smokey MAE’s.
Friends were always stopping by the homestead for a visit and a sip. It was the moonshine that brought ‘em out, but it was Mae’s BBQ that kept them around. Heck, half the time fellas would show up with a friend or two in tow. If you couldn’t find that last turn onto that dirt road, your nose would get you there.
Smokey MAE’s now calls crowds from around North Texas at its easy-to-find spot on the western edge of Mansfield. But even today, Smokey MAE’s is about the best pit BBQ from all around. It’s still about the congregating and perhaps having a sip while you’re here.
It would honor us- and Mae- greatly if you’d consider yourself part of our family. Come often and stay awhile!