Post oak is the one of the choice woods in Texas for smoking meats, primarily because it's readily available, but also because it burns slowly and provides mild smoke. So if you want your meat to taste like the best of the Lone Star State, you'll have to buy your post oak from Texas (because it doesn't grow well in Colorado). And if you want brisket aficionados to know that your new barbecue restaurant leans Texas in style and spirit, you'll name it Post Oak Barbecue.
Fort Worth native Nick Prince has been mastering his smoking skills in backyard cookouts and barbecue contests since moving to Colorado twenty years ago, relying on post oak to nail the flavor he remembered from his home state. And now he's gone pro, opening Post Oak this week at 4000 Tennyson Street, where the namesake wood is the only kind he uses. Prince took over the former Block & Larder space, dropping in a four-ton smoker behind the restaurant and converting the upscale eatery into a counter-service smokehouse with a full bar.
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Prince's smoker can handle up to 1,300 pounds of meat in one go, and most of that is brisket, which the pit master says is USDA-certified Prime Angus. But he's also smoking St. Louis ribs, pork shoulder, turkey, chicken and two styles of housemade sausage. Customers can order by the pound or choose sandwiches or tacos, and there are also dry-rubbed wings, loaded baked potatoes, and sides ranging from Brussels sprouts to fried okra to jalapeño-bacon mac and cheese. Homesick Texans will also want to save room for a mini pecan pie for dessert.
At the bar, Post Oak stocks Shiner beers from Texas, craft brews from Colorado and more than sixty whiskeys, ten of which are made in Texas.
Texas-style barbecue has been on the rise in Denver this year, with Owlbear Barbecue opening in May in RiNo and Hank's Texas Barbecue coming to East Colfax in February. Post Oak Barbecue is open for lunch and dinner starting at 11 a.m. every day but Monday. Call 720-829-8207 or visit the restaurant's website for more details.