This Former Football Coach Is Now Serving Great BBQ In El Campo, Texas
If you’ve lived in, been to, or even heard about Texas you know two things to be true: Football reigns supreme and BBQ is king. And one man by the name of Robert Crivellari has apparently mastered both.
In a new Texas Monthly profile, writer Daniel Vaughn introduced the world to Crivellari, the one-time head football coach and athletic director at Elkins High School, located just outside of Houston, and now owner of the BBQ Place located in downtown El Campo.
“I was just ready to try something different,” Crivellari shared with Texas Monthly about his two-year-old permanent BBQ location that took over for his take-out only spot he opened in 2014. “My entire life was run by a bell schedule,” Crivellari added about his previous life as a football coach. “I didn’t know what the rest of the world was like.”
Now, he said, his life is run by the BBQ pit schedule, which he doesn’t mind one bit. And apparently neither do his patrons.
Across social media and review websites, Crivellari’s restaurant garners gushing reviews.
“Hands down, some of the BEST brisket I've ever had,” one reviewer on Yelp shared. “I'm not a big sauce person, so it's rare to find a BBQ brisket that is so flavorful it can stand alone. This one does! Even better, BBQ Place sauce is also great, so it's a win/win. Paired with ‘OMG-how-do-they-do-it?’ Mac & Cheese, and it's Texas Heaven.”
“We had the BBQ Baked Potato (without pico) and it was DELICIOUS,” another excitedly added. “Topped with perfectly barbecued brisket, cheese & just a touch of BBQ sauce the potato was MORE than enough to eat for lunch. Staff was friendly, restaurant & bathroom is immaculate & atmosphere was fun! We'll definitely be back!”
What makes these reviews all the more remarkable is the fact that Crivellari creates this magic nearly on his own. According to Texas Monthly, he has a few people to help out taking orders, but he cooks every order himself. And the flavors on every order are huge thanks to his reverse-flow Pitmaker vault.
The only warning Texas Monthly gave was to make sure to visit on a week day. Crivellari closes the restaurant on the weekends to make time for his own life. But, if the BBQ flag is flying outside that means he’s ready for you to come in and take a bite out of his creation. Read the entire interview on here.