Texas BBQ and A Rental Car

I’ve been on a quest here near Dallas/Fort Worth to find a good BBQ joint. I’ve found that barbecue varies a lot from state to state and it’s been interesting to sample different regions take on this favorite of mine as I’ve been traveling. In asking around, I learned that Hard Eight BBQ in Roanoke, TX is a favorite of the locals so some coworkers and I used our five hours of paid time off to drive to Roanoke and get lunch last week.

The outdoor seating area at Hard Eight, was a bit cold to sit outside

The outdoor seating area at Hard Eight, was a bit cold to sit outside

What a cool place!  The meat is smoked on site as with any good BBQ joint, but here you actually walk up to the grill outside and pick your piece of meat directly. And wow are there a lot of choices. I went with the $8 lunch special, a sandwich (I chose pulled pork) with chips and a fountain drink. Otherwise you can pay by the pound and have more choices for the sides.


It smelled delicious

Once you get your meat, you head inside to pay. If you get a sandwich you have thechoice of regular bun or jalapeno bun (I like spicy, so jalapeno it was). Then you walk down the buffet style counter and slather on the sauce from warm crocks (they had a regular and a spicy BBQ option), and you can add extras like onions, or get a cup of homemade soup, or pick up fries. I think there are more options available during dinner time, but it’s hard to beat what I got for $8.


Hard Eight’s BBQ is ketchup based with a lot of vinegar in it, it was delicious and plentiful. So plentiful in fact that I was able to make three sandwiches out of it! I put what I could on the jalapeno bun and took the rest home to eat with my sandwich bread for later lunches. I’d definitely recommend this place to others visiting the area.

* * *

Tonight a strange vehicle is parked in front of Cas, a Buick rental car while poor Bertha is spending the night at a shop in Denton.

Bertha’s been having turn signal issues related to computer problems (and had a bad socket for one bulb), had a bad tie rod that was causing jerky stops, needed a new battery, and needed the power steering fluid changed. All of this was fixable in a day, but for some reason the front left wheel refused to be aligned properly, the techs say there’s just not enough give in the arm(think this was the word they used?) to align the canter right once everything else is set properly. I think this has actually been a problem for some time as Bertha goes through front tires quickly even though I pay to get an alignment done on a regular basis.

Kudos to Pioneer Automotive in Denton for actually taking the time to take the tire off and disassemble and reassemble some things (at no additional cost to me) to actually fix the problem instead of settling for “good enough” as I suspect most auto places have been doing. I picked Pioneer over other shops that were closer because they had an impressive 4.7 star rating on Google, when most shops were in the 3 to 3.5 range.

Good news: I got the rental car free, and at 6 pm when I got home today they called and said that taking the tire off and starting from scratch did the trick, I won’t be needing a new arm…or whatever that part was called. I could have gone back in to get Bertha then, but it was already getting late and I needed to do some grocery shopping and take care of other chores that got neglected, so I’ll be getting her tomorrow after work. I’m $908 poorer, but to me that’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that Bertha won’t be breaking down on me in the middle of the desert this winter. Everything else on their inspection looked good so cross your fingers that this is the last work Bertha will need for some time.

* * *

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  1. Gary Wood on December 22, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I’m glad you got it fixed. The peace of mind when you’re traveling out in the middle of nowhere is worth it. Finding the right place to have repairs done can be a challenge when you travel too. Glad you found a good one.
    Gary Wood recently posted..Jagger Makes a BreakMy Profile

    • Becky on December 22, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Yeah Gary I was quite satisfied with my experience. 🙂

  2. Jodee Gravel on December 21, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Tasty eats and a repaired vehicle (and a free rental car!) make for a great week in our book! Nobody likes spending money on fixes, but preventing breakdowns when you live on the road is invaluable 🙂 Glad they took good care of you.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Views of Mexico for Lunch, Another Friend-Stop, and Plan D is a Success!My Profile

    • Becky on December 21, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Indeed Jodee! I’ts nice now having it all done and not having to worry.

  3. Bonnie on December 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    We found our favorite bbq in Lockhart tx

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      What’s the name of the place Bonnie? Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bill Young on December 19, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Just Love your blog!
    Not that it matters it’s caster and camber and toe. The main thing is they fixed it!

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Thank you for reading Bill, glad you’re enjoying it!

  5. Jim@HiTek on December 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Not a big fan of BBQ as it’s far too sweet for my taste, and I mentioned that on a “best place for BBQ” thread once and it exploded with comments about people’s favorite joints.

    Out of some 200 comments, it seems the world center for the best BBQ is in Kansas City.

    So if you’re a BBQ lover, perhaps you should schedule a trip to KC.
    Jim@HiTek recently posted..On the way to Mexico…My Profile

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      My first year on the road I drove through Kansas City twice, but I was on a mission both times and couldn’t stop. South Carolina had mustard based BBQ that I would say is less sweet, but there’s still quite a bit of sugar in it. That’s funny you got so many comments, but look at what you learned! (not that it helps you much as a non-BBQ person, heh).

      Thanks for sharing.

  6. Terri on December 19, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Ernesto, that sounds amazing – I think I will have something like that tonight for dinner! (With vegan butter, of course.)
    Terri recently posted..My Next RVMy Profile

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm


  7. Ernesto Quintero on December 19, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Becky, I could live on baked sweet potato & sweet potato fries, add lots of melted butter and a touch of cinnamon powder. 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Yes! Gotta have the cinnamon powder on mine too.

      Thanks, and you have a Merry Christmas as well!

  8. Roger on December 19, 2015 at 9:56 am

    If you have a chance try Railhead BBQ, it in Ft Worth and is excellent.

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      I’ll see what I can do Roger, thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Dawn from Camano Island on December 19, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Mmmm, BBQ! What a great place. Jim was born & raised in Texas & has little to no desire to even visit there. I hope he’ll reconsider at some point.

    It’s such a relief to work with reputable service folks–they are among the folks (teachers, nurses, child care providers & many others) that, IMHO, should be paid more like what football players are paid.

    Are things slowing down at work? All my emails plugging holiday gifts begin with ‘you can get this by Christmas? Just choose next-day air!” Yikes. Take good care, Becky!

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Texas is the most varied state I’ve visited since I hit the road, I would think there’d be Something there Jim would like to see. 🙂

      And yeah, good service folk are awesome and I agree they don’t get paid enough.

      Nope, still mandatory 55 hour work-weeks this week for Receive but the managers are saying this will be the last week. Not that it matters to us campers since we’re all leaving before our overtime day, hehe.

      Hopefully the spam will be stopping soon too, “next-day air” wont’ cut it for much longer. 😉

      Take care!

  10. Terri on December 19, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Glad Bertha is fixed. It does suck when you get the repair bills but like you said, knowing you won’t break down in the desert is a value you can’t put a price on.

    I know you’re in Texas, but did they have vegetarian options at the BBQ place? (I’m half kidding of course.)
    Terri recently posted..My Next RVMy Profile

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      I’m trying to think if any BBQ place I’ve been to has had a vegetarian option Terri, don’t think so. 😉

      Yes! Especially the battery, which I had no idea was in bad shape. If it’d stopped working out in the middle of nowhere…

  11. LittleBittyLiving JanisP on December 19, 2015 at 5:39 am

    BBQ sounds great! Isn’t it refreshing to find honest mechanics who’ll go the extra mile, and for a stranger, too! Glad you got Bertha all fixed up.
    LittleBittyLiving JanisP recently posted..Tucson BoundMy Profile

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      They’re few and far between Janis (had to drive 50 minutes to get to this one), but it’s worth the extra drive time to me to know I’ll get reliable service at a fair price. Thanks.

  12. Mark Watson on December 19, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Our paths almost crossed up in Kanab. The lady with the new 13′ patriot did come up to me for a look in my 17′ FD just to see how much bigger it was on the inside. Paths would have crossed in the last few weeks, but I moved from Denton down to Houston. Hard 8 Bar B Q.. been there, great cuts of meat. Reading your post at midnight makes me hungry, but all the joints are closed right now. I’ll have to pull out my emergency sliced brisket stash from the freezer for a midnight snack. Glad Bertha is on the mend. Safe travels

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Mmm, that sounds like a great thing to have a stash of Mark, haha. Now I’m craving BBQ again reading everyone’s comments and I’m all out of leftovers!

      Hope Houston is treating you well, and who knows, with luck our paths will cross sometime in the future. 🙂

  13. Rene Kipp on December 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    That BBQ place sounds awesome! I bet your tummy was in pork heaven with the leftovers 🙂

    It’s great to find a good mechanic. Hopefully Bertha doesn’t gobble up tires as quickly anymore.
    Rene Kipp recently posted..One Fun Weekend, One Not-So-MuchMy Profile

    • Becky on December 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      I’d say it’s the best ketchup based BBQ I’ve ever had Rene.

      I’m hoping so Rene, mostly I’m just satisfied to know she’s in tip top shape for the run out to Arizona. That’s one less thing to worry about this winter.

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