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Texas Barbecue with a Korean Twist: Eaker Barbecue

Barbecue holds a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of most Texans. With rich, smoky flavors and tender cuts of meat, Texas barbecue has gained a reputation as some of the best in the country.

But what if I told you there’s a Texas barbecue joint that combines traditional barbecue restaurant fare with unexpected Korean flavors? Let me introduce you to Eaker Barbecue. It’s a one-of-a-kind restaurant located in Fredericksburg, Texas, where owners Boo and Lance have paired some of the best Texas barbecue with unexpected Korean flavors and opened a must-visit restaurant that keeps locals and visitors coming back time after time.

A Winning Combo

What happens when a south Texas guy meets a Korean girl and falls in love? You get the perfect pairing. And that’s what’s happening at Eaker Barbecue in Fredericksburg. It’s not so much about the fusion as it is discovering that things like kimchi taste great side by side with brisket.

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Lance Eaker grew up in South Texas where mesquite flavors first influenced his barbecue style. Boo came to the United States to study design. Neither one suspected they'd find themselves on the path to owning a barbecue restaurant, but little by little, the idea took hold. 

Kimchi Fried Rice with Brisket

IMG_5621“When we first opened a food truck in Houston and came home with more leftovers than money, we started making dishes to complement the barbecue,” says Lance. “We put brisket in the kimchi fried rice and put an egg on top, and that became one of my favorite meals ever.”

They introduced the dish at St. Arnold’s at the Houston Barbecue Festival throwdown and took third place. They also got invited to another cookoff featuring local restaurants and food trucks. “That time, we introduced the gochujang ribs,” says Lance. Gochujang is Korean chili paste. And instead of grilling and mopping the ribs in the Korean tradition, these are marinated and smoked.

Immediately, people wanted the ribs on the food trailer menu. “And that’s the first thing we run out of now, here at the restaurant,” says Boo.


A Local Favorite in a Tourist Town

IMG_5629When they left their corporate jobs for the barbecue life, Boo and Lance started looking for a place in the Hill Country. It was time to move and chase their restaurant dreams. In January of 2021, they chose Fredericksburg. “It’s a very small town, with a population of about 11,000 people,” says Lance. “Our kids are flourishing here. During COVID, in Houston, we could sometimes hear gunshots at night. If you hear a gunshot here, you just wonder if they got the deer.”

Even though the town is small, Fredericksburg attracts more than a million visitors every year, and there are about 100 restaurants ready to serve them. “We just weren’t sure this small town would take us on, but 70 percent of our business comes from locals,” says Lance. And a lot of Austin and Houston travelers find their way to the restaurant’s doors. “We absolutely love it here. And people seem excited to have something a little different from the traditional Fredericksburg fare, which can be heavily German and European.”

Look for Eaker Barbecue at Texas Festivals

“Come out and see us,” says Lance. “Tell us what you want to try. “Come see us at a festival like the Troubadour Festival or the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest.” Chances are, they’ll be testing out new flavor combinations at the festivals, and you’ll have a chance to sample the next new favorite barbecue and banchan (Korean side dishes) pairings before anyone else.



“Every family has a story. Welcome to ours.”

When you walk in the door at Eaker Barbecue, there’s a sign on the wall that reads: Every family has a story. Welcome to ours. The unexpected combination of Texas barbecue with a Korean flair has created a new experience your tastebuds that you won’t want to miss. Through their dedication, creativity, and unwavering passion for exceptional food, Boo and Lance have crafted a menu that celebrates the best of both worlds. And every bite is part of the story.

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