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By Jennifer Kornegay
At most Alabama barbecue joints, meat of the porcine persuasion is king. But at TexarBama BBQ in Fairhope, beef also has a strong claim to the throne. It’s an evenly matched rivalry that stems naturally from owner and pitmaster Bradley Parmer’s background and inspired the restaurant’s mashup name.
Parmer cut his teeth on Deep South ‘cue while growing up in west Georgia (where pork is also king). He ended up in Austin, Texas, working in architecture and building. There, surrounded by some of the country’s most lauded beef brisket, he learned the ways of Texas ‘cue.
Today, TexarBama combines the two. But what has grown into a popular and routinely crowded eatery (in a place with plenty of good eating options) started as a hobby. Parmer moved to Fairhope in 2015 to be closer to his parents, who’d relocated to the coastal city. “I wanted to be close to my folks and to have a simpler life,” he says. “I was getting a little burnt out on the crowds and busyness of Austin.” He was doing carpentry work on construction projects at Alabama’s beaches and started playing around with barbecue at his home on the weekends, using a smoker hand-built from old propane tanks.
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