Madera Tex Mex: The Best BBQ in Town!
I recently tuned in to the new season of Chef’s Table on Netflix. This season focuses on BBQ. After just a few minutes of viewing the first episode, I suddenly had a hankering for a slice of tender brisket. And when I crave brisket, there is only one place to go: Madera Tex Mex BBQ & Tap.
Let’s be clear. Madera is a BBQ joint.
Their smoked meats and amazing BBQ sauces are to die for. If you’re looking for local BBQ, this is your place.
Located in the space formally occupied by another famous BBQ joint, GT South’s, Madera’s menu offers a variety of meats prepared in the Texas tradition—low and slow. Low heat and slow cooking yields incredibly tender cuts of meat that literally melt in your mouth. And that’s precisely how I would describe a slice of brisket from Madera.
All of Madera’s meats are smoked in-house for more than a dozen hours in their custom-made smoker modeled after the smoker of legendary Texas BBQ Pit Master, Aaron Franklin. The 7,000-pound smoker itself is mammoth and is completely fueled by wood, which drives the deep smoky flavor found in all of Madera’s meats. The team is so committed to delivering the best smoked meat experience that they only serve their prized baby back ribs on Fridays and Saturdays.
How Madera Tex Mex BBQ Started
Madera was founded by two local guys who offer a long history in the restaurant franchise business. Inspired by their own passion for backyard BBQ, the two began to travel to Texas to learn more about the word of smoking meats.
During their travels, they were heavily influenced by the Tex-Mex style of cuisine in Texas. Tex-Mex is a combination of Mexican and American influences common in border regions like those in south Texas. Not Mexican food and not purely American food, Tex-Mex food usually consists of bold flavors, smoked meats, and spicy influences from south of the border.
One of the owners, Jeff, who lives within a mile of the restaurant, shared that a 16-pound slab of brisket yields just 8 pounds of meat once it’s fully cooked down in the smoker. “This is what results in what some may consider a higher price,” but there is no doubt the price is worth the incredible quality of the meats served.
Dine-in or Carry Out!
Takeout from Madera was the carryout go-to for my family during lock-down. It works for my family of picky eaters, unlike most other restaurants. There is something on the menu that pleases everyone. Select from several smoked proteins (pork, chicken, sausage, and brisket) served with one of four house-made BBQ sauces. For sides, I like the coleslaw, other family members prefer the macaroni and cheese and my husband loves the cowboy beans. One kid only gets a plan quesadilla and we all can’t stop dipping the fresh tortilla chips in the tasty queso.
Dine-in or carryout, don’t overlook the amazing drink menu. My husband and I always looked forward to the refreshing margaritas. The most important determinant in the quality of a margarita is the quality of its ingredients. Madera’s margaritas are made with fresh-squeezed lime juice—and it shows!
So, if you like BBQ, I highly recommend you first check out this season’s Chef’s Table on Netflix. Then, once you start viewing and you—like me—get that hankering for some amazing BBQ, instead of feeling like you need to head to Texas, save yourself the travel headache and visit Madera Tex Mex BBQ & Tap instead.
Madera Tex Mex BBQ & Tap
5711 E 71st St.
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Check out last month’s feature on another amazing local restaurant, Chile Verde!