Marine vet turns in uniform for BBQ apron to open famed Pasadena restaurant

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- In a metal building that's expanded over the years, Andy's BBQ has seen its popularity similarly grow, making it a legendary spot in Pasadena

"Hawg wild" is how the restaurant is described by its owner.

"In Tennessee, we did pork BBQ," said owner Andy Cook. "I didn't really know brisket."

The Marine veteran is a quick learner. He moved from his native home of Tennessee decades ago, and after 39 years running a parking lot maintenance business, Cook decided he wanted to do food.

He had already been "practicing" BBQ on the side, and then went "whole hog." What once had been the Cook family's home is now the site of Andy's. Where the house was, there are now stainless steel smokers.

On the menu is one offering called BBQ Tennessee-style. "It's about the slaw. There, slaw is on top of it," said Cook.

His sauce is also what he grew up on: tangy and sweet. In addition to BBQ, there are daily specials during the week, and soon, there'll be something special on Saturdays.

"Steak night," Cook said.

Outside of its food, which includes its cobbler and famous banana pudding, the restaurant's atmosphere includes pig memorabilia and a hand carved round dining table for large groups of diners.

"Everybody knows Andy's," said Johnny Isbell, former Pasadena mayor. "There's probably some new people in town who don't, so we're trying to tell them."

Isbell said he eats at Andy's at least once a week.
It's famous for its beef brisket, pork BBQ, and side orders, including baked potato salad served warm. There's also the Armadillo Egg, made of sausage, jalapeno, cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.

"Somebody once told me they didn't know armadillos laid eggs," Cook said with a laugh.

In addition to the BBQ, another secret ingredient may be Andy Cook himself, who takes orders, remembers customers, and loves what he does.

"I'm a people person, and I like being around them," he said.

Location of Andy's BBQ:
2826 Dedman St,
Pasadena, TX 77503

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