Natty Flat Smokehouse: Great BBQ and scrumptious homemade pies

BY J. MICHAEL ROSS michael.ross@empiretribune.com
Roy Dennis, owner of Natty Flat Smokehouse, is pictured with his niece, Dieann Davis.

If your route to the Metroplex takes you along Hwy. 281 to or from I-20, then you’ve seen the world’s largest cedar rocking chair sitting out front of Texas Hill Country furnishings and Natty Flat Smokehouse & Gift Shop.

But if you haven’t stopped in at the Smokehouse, you’re missing a real rustic treat. The weathered wood looks as if the place has been there since there was actually a place called Natty Flat a long, long time ago. In reality, it’s been there a little over a decade according to owner-manager Roy Dennis.

Asked how he got into the barbecue business, Roy says, “I started the place 11 years ago and we’ve been here ever since. When I was at Tarleton I got into the grocery business – convenience stores. After I graduated I bought my own store. Back in the 70s those kinds of stores didn’t have delis very often and I wanted to do that.

“I bought a huge smoker and I knew an old cook who had been in the Navy. He said he’d cooked brisket all the time and would teach me. He showed me how and I’ve pretty much stuck with the way he did it ever since.”

Natty Flat has a variety of sandwiches and plates featuring sliced or chopped brisket, smoked sausage, ham, turkey and bologna, hot link and grilled cheese. Plates are $9.50 and sandwiches with chips and a drink are $6.50.

You can order the meats by the pound, too, and they have fresh canned goodies lining the walls that you’ll want to take home with you or give as gifts.

They also have a huge selection of ice cream, malts, shakes and floats. But they may be most famous for their homemade fried pies made in house Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by Roy’s niece, Dieann Davis, affectionately called “Granny Annie.”

The pies are amazing with light, flaky crust and a choice of fillings that include apricot, blackberry, apple, chocolate, cherry and buttermilk.

You can also order a 12-pound turkey or 7-pound ham for your Christmas dinner but hurry because the orders are all ready piling up.

Natty Flat Smoke house is located 5 miles south of I-20 on Highway 281. Just look for the giant cedar rocker.

Hours are 10 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information call 254-646-3844.