Butcher BBQ Stand
If smells trigger memories, the Butcher BBQ Stand in Wellston, Okla., is a sure shot for hungry travelers to make a trip unforgettable.
Pulled pork and slaw sandwich. Photo by Levi Bouska
Greeted with a nice kiss of pecan wood and hickory wood blend, barbecue buffs will feel right at home with the rich-smelling smoke of savory briskets and sweet honey-rubbed ribs.
“A lot of barbecue fans may think the sun rises in Texas and sets on Kansas City, but we want to show the world us ‘Okie’ boys know what we’re doing too,” Levi Bouska, butcher barbecuer and owner, says.
The Butcher BBQ Stand quality is truly world famous. Bouska is a second-generation butcher and a third-generation barbecuer. At just 4 years old, he could be found standing on a milk crate so he would be tall enough to make burgers with his dad, David Bouska.
The father-son team took an eight-year tour on the competitive barbecue circuit, and they did not return to Wellston empty handed. With over 70 Grand Champions and Reserve Grand Champions, more than 400 first place calls, eight years of being nationally ranked, Grand Champions in over 10 states and being named the 2012 World Food Champion, Bouska brought his famous barbecue back to his hometown in May 2015.
“The community helped me build this place from dirt work to electric work,” Bouska, a Central Electric Cooperative member, says.
The stand is charming. A warm red shipping container is decorated with friendly walk-up windows instructing customers, “Let’s Talk” and “Come Get It.” Wooden picnic and spool tables sit under the glow of string lights, creating a picture-perfect scene for a meal off of historic Route 66.
“I wake up every day, look around this place and pinch myself,” Bouska says of his dream come true.
A true labor of love, Bouska is up and drinking his coffee in the morning before many people are turning in for the night. At 2:30 a.m., Bouska is getting the ribs rubbed and the smoke rolling. After the ribs go in, each side is handmade daily. At 6:30 a.m., he’s wrapping ribs and putting in the chicken and sausage. Patrons say it’s clear Bouska puts a lot of time in perfecting the art of barbecue.
“The ribs are nice and firm, but they are seriously fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy,” customer David Zilenski says. “This is an award-winning recipe; everyone should try it.”
The menu is simple but impeccably savory—sandwiches, meals and barbecue. Most of the brisket, ribs and pulled pork are processed a mere 4 miles from the stand. The sausage and hot links are processed locally in Stilwell, Okla. Everything is smoked on site.
His family inspires all the recipes, especially the flavorful side dishes. The apple pie baked beans are a Bouska Thanksgiving favorite. It’s a tasty twist on the traditional baked bean with barbecue rubs, spices, cubed apple pie filling and pulled pork. The potato salad is his mom’s creation and the macaroni and cheese is a Levi Bouska original. David Bouska inspires many recipes and rubs, like the unique “Chick-Q” nuggets that are smoked in a butter bath with brown sugar.
David Bouska, a 34-year butcher by trade, says he is elated to pass his knowledge down to his son.
“I am so proud to say that’s my son. I’m so proud to have him bear the Butcher BBQ name,” David Bouska says. “He has taken it to another level.”
If you want ribs, brisket or burnt ends, it’s a good idea to get in line before 4 or 5 p.m. But if you know you’re going to be late, Bouska says to call in and make an order and he’ll have it reserved.
“I do this stand for everyone to have a place to be proud of,” Bouska says. “This is home.” To stay up to date on specials and events, follow the Butcher BBQ Stand on Facebook or visit http://www.butcherbbqstand.com/.