Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to the great state of Texas and to The County Line in San Antonio. Located on the beautiful River Walk in downtown, this BBQ joint serves up all of your Texas BBQ favorites. With a huge outdoor seating area on the water and an old charm, eccentric interior, this place has something for everyone.

The County Line Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Huge outdoor seating area on the water

The County Line Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Old charm eccentric interior

A check-in on Yelp offered a free appetizer, the cook’s surprise. Tonight’s “surprise” was sausage. Yay! At first we thought the BBQ sauce had the kick, but the links themselves were spicy. Not a forehead slicker, but a nice burn all the way down. 

The County Line Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

A Free “Cook’s Surprise” Appetizer for checking-in on Yelp

For my dinner, I chose the Two Beef Rib Platter with corn on the cob and fries. The ribs were huge and full of meat, cooked tender but not over cooked or fall off the bone. The fries were crispy and the corn was a bit soft.

The County Line Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Two Beef Rib Platter – Huge!

Dora here. The Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs packed a sweet tang, not real meaty but there were plenty of them. Not an ounce of fat, which made me happy. (No worries, honey, yours are still better. 🙂 ) The smashed potatoes were a bit heavy handed on the garlic, and the slaw was definitely a different take with chunks of carrots.

The County Line Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs-not real meaty, but plenty of them!

Thankfully, our dinner guest put up with all our plate picking and swapping and camera clicking with a good-natured smile.


Service was quick and friendly, and this is restaurant is a guaranteed stop every time we visit the River Walk.

When traveling, do you prefer to try new restaurants or do you stick with chains?

We rate the restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family restaurant serving great food.

The County Line BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This week’s edition of Excited about Eating is a deviation from our normal posts. Hope you don’t mind but hubby’s had so many requests to share his smoking tips lately that we decided to take a week and show everybody what happens at our house during his smokefests and how he arrives at the final product. Drool alert. 🙂

Buy Quality Meat

We used to buy ribs in bulk at Sam’s, but since Publix came to town, Ernie switched loyalties, says Publix ribs are meatier, less fat. If you’re going to invest the time and money, buy the best quality you can afford. We usually buy Baby Backs, St Louis, and Beef because everybody has their fave.

Since there’s a good bit of work involved, we fill up the smoker and send leftovers home with our guests, then bag and freeze the rest. Ribs are just as yummy heated up in the microwave or warmed on the grill weeks or months later.

Ready? Here we go.


Trim off excess fat on both sides.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Trim off fat

Remove the membrane from the back with a good, sharp knife. Hubby uses a boning knife. That thing is downright dangerous. 🙂

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Remove the membrane from the back with a sharp knife


Sprinkle both sides. Be generous with paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Be generous!

Don’t forget the love. Rub the spices into the meat. He likes to do this the night before so the spices marry with the meat. Reserve excess liquid for later.

In They Go

Get your smoker up to temperature, 225 to 235 degrees.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Bring your smoker up to 225 – 235 degrees

Hubby uses the 3/2/1 method. Put the ribs in the smoker for the first three hours, unwrapped, with smoke.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

First three hours, unwrapped with smoke

Take them out. Set them on aluminum foil. Drizzle squeeze butter and honey over the ribs. Sprinkle with a bit more rub (the spices mentioned earlier) and brown sugar. Wrap the aluminum foil over the ribs, adding a dose of the reserved liquid in the foil, and smoke for two more hours.

Remove from the smoker and unwrap those goodies. Douse with your favorite BBQ sauce (ours is Sweet Baby Rays) and stick them back in for one more hour, unwrapped. Then this…

Friends, let me tell you, I never liked ribs until Ernie started smoking them. Delicious and meaty and full of flavor, and sure to satisfy your guests. Ours, anyway. 🙂

OK, so here’s the question we ask every time around our table. What’s your favorite? Baby Backs, St. Louis, or Beef?

Hope you enjoyed this detour from our normal Excited about Eating posts. We’ll be back next week with another mouth-watering restaurant review.