310s bbq lunch

310’s Kitchen Brings the Gulf Coast to Elm Street

Waco may be six hours from the Gulf Coast, but 310’s Kitchen is bringing a taste of Galveston to historic Elm Street. Chef-owner Tony Berotte, a Galvestonian who has called Waco home for over nineteen years, creates memorable barbeque and seafood dishes using flavors and techniques he inherited from his Creole-Cajun family.

What you won’t find here are mayo-laden sides or heavily-smoked meats swimming in barbeque sauce. Instead, Berotte dispenses with the traditionally heavy classics, preferring to use distinct but restrained seasonings, very few sauces, and shorter smoke times, allowing the ingredients like prime pork ribs and jumbo lump crab to take center stage.

An Open-Air BBQ Bistro

Facing the quiet ebb and flow of Elm Street, the outdoor dining area at 310’s Kitchen features simple plastic picnic tables shaded by a handsome roof of caramel-colored wood beams. Choosing from the sandwich board menu is tough. Thick slabs of brisket edged with melting fat contend with fall-apart, toothsome ribs blanketed with Berotte’s signature Galveston spice blend. Garlicky-spiced smoked chicken swimming in juice vies for attention with seafood gumbo, brimming with andouille sausage and plump Gulf shrimp.

“You don’t want that two-inch smoke ring,” Berotte says, referring to the bright pink ring that forms on the outer edges of meat during its time in the smoker. “Otherwise you’ll be burping barbecue all night.”

Tending to the smoker is an art in itself: combining different woods to achieve the correct smoke profile, balancing smoke with flame, and paying close attention to each type of protein to achieve a flavorful crust encasing a juicy interior.

The crab cakes are mostly crab, and that’s a good thing. Large, sweet lumps of crab bound together by seemingly nothing are shaped into patties, lightly fried, and served with a delicate creamy sauce reminiscent of remoulade but without the overwhelming garlicky punch. House coleslaw, black beans, pico de gallo, mac and cheese, potato salad—all the sides are lightly seasoned and sauced, complementing rather than competing with the main attractions.

But Berotte doesn’t limit himself when it comes to his menu. On Sundays, he parks his food truck at One Day Waco on Columbus Avenue and sells brunch items: fluffy waffles bolstered with egg-whites, crispy buttermilk-brined fried chicken tenderloins, decadent pork hash, and his favorite, migas.

Tony Berotte Cooks with Love

For Berotte, culinary training began early. While his mom worked two jobs and put herself through college, he and his siblings cobbled together cheap meals in their kitchen. When the old 50-gallon barrel smoker was fired up in the shared backyard space, he was tasked with rubbing spices on the brisket.

Later, Berotte took charge of the fire. He made note of the heavy pepper in the spice rub, imagining a different balance of flavors he would conjure later: an old-school Galveston flavor from a place called Honey Brown’s that he could “lift up” and tweak. When he cooked for the community on Labor Day, he heard folks bragging about his cooking. The pride he felt sparked a lifelong passion for perfecting his technique and feeding others.

The menu at 310’s Kitchen reflects Berotte’s dedication to simplicity and restraint. At the moment, he does most of the cooking himself, but he is searching for someone eager to learn, someone with whom he can share his decades of acquired knowledge. He worries that younger generations won’t share his devotion to the craft.

“They don’t want to reach for that love. It’s all systems and money, but they’re selling just good enough. You’ve got to put the work in,” he says. The right candidate will understand his approach and the importance of cooking from scratch. “You’ll never see a Cisco truck pull up here.”

Migas for Two

Migas are a staple in Berotte’s household, an easy breakfast he cooks for his wife, children, and grandchildren. It is endlessly customizable, but this is his favorite preparation. Reach for that love and whip some up for you and yours.


Grapeseed oil for cooking or another neutral-flavored oil such as canola

4 large eggs, lightly scrambled with a pinch of salt and pepper

8 large, salted tortilla chips

½ tube (5 oz.) chorizo, the oilier the better (Andy Garcia brand will work fine)

3-4 T pico de gallo

3 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese for garnish

Salsa for garnish (spicy or mild, roja or verde, use what you like best)


Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high, then add chorizo and cook until it has broken down and released some of its oils. Crumble the chips in medium-sized pieces into the chorizo and saute about 1 minute. Move the chorizo and chip mixture to the side of the skillet.

Add oil to the cleared space in the skillet, then add the pico de gallo and cook until some of the moisture has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes. Combine the pico de gallo and chorizo-chip mixture in the pan and spread out evenly.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and pour the scrambled eggs over the mixture. Stirring gently, cook until the eggs are still moist but not wet, about 3-4 minutes. Drizzle salsa on top followed by a sprinkling of cheese and serve hot.

310’s Kitchen is named after its location on Elm Street, but Berotte says, “I think people always come and find three things that they think — at that moment when they eat them — that they’re a ten. They really do. And so it pushed us to just make great dishes happen.”

Open Friday and Saturday at 310 Elm Street from 11 am until sold out. Call ahead at (254) 227-1141 for pick-up orders or to find out about catering for your next event.

Learn more about Waco’s local food scene on the Waco Insider podcast Eat, Drink, Repeat, hosted by Angelica Mazé.

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Angelica Mazé is a Waco transplant by way of San Francisco, New York, and Saudi Arabia. A former chocolatière and production manager, she is now a writer and freelance marketing consultant with a focus on food and cooking.

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