Solis fires up the pits in Bertram

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John Solis stands in front of his latest honor, Grand Champion Reserve won last fall at the National Cook-Off Championship in Buda. Solis recently opened the restaurant John Beere Bar-B-Q in Bertram. (Dana Delgado Photo)

John Solis stands in front of his latest honor, Grand Champion Reserve won last fall at the National Cook-Off Championship in Buda. Solis recently opened the restaurant John Beere Bar-B-Q in Bertram. (Dana Delgado Photo)

By DANA DELGADO

BERTRAM — Over the years, John Solis has made a good living with his hands as a mason, but now finds himself savoring a whole new success.

A few years ago, the Bertram native turned an ordinary weekend ritual into an extraordinary new venture for himself. With close attention to detail and a lot of patience, Solis has become every bit a Pied Piper of barbecue with his unique brand of savory barbecue now being featured at his recently opened Bertram eatery, John Beere Bar-B-Q.

Situated at 525B E. Hwy 29 in Bertram among a cluster of other small businesses, the eatery that opened in October 2014 serves a wide range of menu items in a casual, home-like environment.

Offerings include the signature item, tender barbecue sandwiches and ribs with a secret sauce along with freshly prepared sides and desserts. Also available are the much requested old-fashioned, all-beef hamburgers with good-size patties.

Open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., John Beere Bar-B-Q also serves breakfast and offers lunch specials Monday – Thursday.

The restaurant is graced with a multitude of trophies and awards won by Solis at various cook-off competitions for his signature barbecue.

“It’s taken a lot of experience, but I love cooking them all,” said Solis.

While establishing themselves as the team to beat at virtually every competition over the last 10 years, The John Beere Bar-B-Q Team captured one of its prestigious honors at the National Championship in Buda last fall. The Bertram team was named Grand Champion Reserve out of 190 competitors.

For the award-winning cook who now has a full-size trailer, it all started in the backyard with a small pit.

“All my life I’ve been barbecuing goats and brisket for the family,” Solis said.

Encouraged by friends and family to enter competitions, he eventually did and all his success proved them right.

“I like the competitions,” he said. “Everything has to be done on time. It’s a lot of pressure, but I like the pressure.”

Now as a business owner, John Solis is looking forward to growing the restaurant.

“The church crowds, locals, and others have found us,” he said. “Business has been good.” Catering, however, is another major focus for the new restaurant owner. Over the years, he has catered for a number of events and organizations throughout the region including the Over the Hill Gang and the Future Farmers of America Chapter in Liberty Hill.

A few years ago, thousands of Fort Hood troops returning from Iraq were fed by the recognized cook. Last Thanksgiving as part of community service, Solis along with Sissy Hyden and Terry Reyes with help from the Bertram Food Bank cooked a complete turkey dinner for 30 families in the area. Also assisting were James Burkett and D.V. Flores. The meal was provided in conjunction with the John Beere Bar-B-Q Turkey Run.

For take-out orders or to reach the restaurant call (512) 355-8044.

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