I Wander the Desert in Search of Brisket BBQ at East Gate Express

by Christiaan Mader

Photo by Robin May

This Lent I gave up caring. That’s easy when you’re already pre-cocked with nihilism, swatting away any floating notions of goals or life-fulfillment. Nevertheless, it wasn’t till about two weeks into the season that I realized I had in fact given nothing tangible up. When I did, I immediately went in search of red meat, because that’s what you do when you’re an apostate.

I traveled low. I traveled high. I drove down the Youngsville Highway, took a right on La Neuville — the very thoroughfare that brought me to my education as a young skeptic — and landed at East Gate Barbecue. From afar, it appears to be a BBQ shack from somewhere beyond the Thunderdome. Up close it smells like a Texan’s heaven and a cow’s hell.

The brisket, dear Nietzsche-in-thesky, the brisket. From what I could tell it gave up sinews for Lent — a carnal transubstantiation of meat into butter. Dipped into the restaurant’s maple jalapéno BBQ sauce, the brisket stands no chance against mortal mastication. Give up not driving to Youngsville for lent and try East Gate. Your soul will rejoice and be glad.

Pro Tip - These folks are downright generous with their side portions. I recommend saving a little bit of slaw juice, chopping your own cabbage or greens at home and pretending that you’ve made your own slaw. Your wife loves you. She definitely believes you.

East Gate Express is located at 123 La Neuville Road in Youngsville.

Photo by Robin May