Above, AJ's Ranch Road Grill's brisket nachos, which came with tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, a quarter pound of savory brisket topped with pinto beans, jalapenos and a drizzle of ranch. Below, a two-meat plate served with brisket and pulled pork with potato salad, mac and cheese and barbecue sauce on the side. Daily Record photos by Nick Castillo
Foodie Friday: AJ’s Ranch Road Grill
AJ’s Ranch Road Grill boasts that its food is “Late night, done right.” Although we didn’t sample this San Marcos restaurant’s food late at night, it did prove to be “done right.”
AJ’s offers a wide variety of barbecue options from plates to nachos as well as burgers and classic American fare.
AJ’s, owned and operated by Texas State University alumni since 2013, is a hidden spot nestled away just off Old Ranch Road 12.
Looking for a quick, delicious lunch or maybe a late-night snack, this San Marcos eatery is well worth a try.
What to get:
During our visit, my dining companion had to sample AJ’s barbecue. He chose a two-meat plate, selecting brisket and pulled pork as his meats and potato salad and mac and cheese as his accompanying sides.
He raved about AJ’s pulled pork and was impressed by the brisket. Both sides paired well with his meal. It all came out to $8.99.
I chose to sample AJ’s brisket nachos, which came with tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, a quarter pound of savory brisket topped with jalapenos and a drizzle of ranch. I chose beans as my side, which the restaurant offered to put on top of the nachos. This delicious meal was filling and made me want to come back for another serving. The brisket nachos came out to $5.59 on their lunch menu.
AJ’s offers several different barbecue plates, including a smoked chicken plate, sausage plate, brisket plate and pork rib plate. You can also get barbecue combo plates, including chicken and brisket, brisket and sausage, pork rib and sausage, pork rib and brisket, or the hungry man’s combo served with a quarter pound of brisket, sausage and pork ribs. These plates cost between $9.35 and $15.17. They all come with two sides and a sweet tea.
This San Marcos spot also has several sandwich selections, including a pulled pork sandwich, sliced sausage sandwich, chopped brisket sandwich and sliced brisket sandwich.
Maybe you’re in the mood for a quesadilla. AJ’s offers those too. You can pick from the yard hen quesadilla — “chicken for you city folks,” as AJ’s describes it. Or you can sample a cheese quesadilla, or AJ’s famous brisket quesadilla, which comes with chopped brisket, cheddar cheese, dripping with AJ’s salsa verde.
Looking for something different. The menu also features stoner mac and cheese, which comes with “super cheesy” seasoned mac and cheese topped with a quarter pound of smoked chopped brisket. You can also sample AJ’s Tater Tots, which is a serving of tater tots and jalapeno wrapped in bacon, deep fried and topped with melted cheddar cheese.
AJ’s also has a Famous Philly combo served with its smoked brisket on a sourdough bun, smothered in gooey melted pepper jack cheese, grilled onions and green bell peppers topped with pickled jalapenos.
AJ’s has a wide variety of meal options for even the hungriest eaters.
If you go:
AJ’s Ranch Road Grill is located at 1904 Old Ranch Road 12.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sundays. AJ’s is closed on Mondays.
For more information visit ajsranchroadgrill.com or call 512-878-8226.