Waco Chat

Fredrick Khoury

By Kevin Tankersley

Founder of 1934 BBQ

“All the money that we raised through the barbecue and through bingo was given to charities around Waco for 60 or 70 years.”

The Waco Syrian Lebanese club was formed by immigrants that came in and decided to open a social organization. They needed to raise some money. “Let’s do a barbecue.” There really weren’t many barbecues back then. There was no barbecue sauce in grocery stores. My grandfather made a barbecue sauce. And they served it at the first barbecue in 1934. And obviously, they did well enough that the barbecue lasted for 62 years.

It became a Waco event, I was told. I grew upgoing to them and then working them. There would be 2,000 or 3,000 people there, once a year for this barbecue event. The last one we had was in ‘91. All the money that we raised through the barbecue and through bingo was given to charities around Waco for 60 or 70 years.

All the sauces are from the same family. They all taste different. They’re all one ingredient apart. I started with the original. And it’s got ancho chilies in it. I wanted to add a smoke so I made it with smoked ancho chilies. So there’s your flavor, smoked ancho chiles versus liquid smoke.

When I created the heat, I was adding some cayenne to. It’s a mild heat that will hit the back of your throat, but it won’t overpower the flavor of the food. And then with the sweet onion, I went back to the original and just added pure sweet onion. You’ve got some black pepper and vinegar taste in it. Just adding the onion mellows it out. It’s not too sweet.

They’re clean products. There’s no preservatives, there’s no chemicals and no additives in it. They’re premium. They are top shelf, and they’re on the high end which you don’t typically find at your major chains.

HEB doesn’t carry it. Kroger’s doesn’t carry it. They mostly carry barbecue sauces that are made with liquid smoke, xanthan gums, guar gums, thickening agents or whatever to enhance the sauce.

And that’s done simply because when most people make a sauce, you look at it and go, ‘OK, it cost you X amount. That’s too expensive. So we’ve got to cut that in half.’ So they cut it with water and now they start adding chemicals that can thicken it back up. And that’s where you get your $3 bottle of barbecue sauce. [The 1934 brand] is $7.50 to $8 or $12 across the country. It’s just different.

The Drink

At Lighthouse Coffee & Wine, Fredrick Khoury chose an orange blossom iced tea. He had already had enough caffeine for the day, having left his Cedar Park home early that Saturday morning to take his son to a Baylor baseball camp. With him on the patio at Lighthouse were his wife Sandee and their dog Blue, a Blue Lacy, the state dog of Texas.

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