When Dirty Ernie’s Rib Pit in Fayetteville closed its doors last October, Brian and Terri Evans of Hico decided to take a leap of faith and purchase the building to open a restaurant of their own.

“There was no real, true barbecue restaurant around,” Terri said. “He cooks daily on the smoker,” she added pointing to her husband.

Brian spent more than 20 years working in the coal mines, but regularly received comments on his food when he cooked for family and friends at parties and events.

“It all started with him hosting family functions, pig roasts, at-home birthday parties and doing catering for other people,” Terri explained. “We did a function in town and everyone just went crazy over the food Brian cooked.”

Brian quit his job in the mines, and with the help of his brother, the Evans family derived the name Firecreek BBQ and Steaks. They opened the eatery’s doors in March this year.

They say what makes Firecreek BBQ and Steaks different is the fresh, never frozen meat they smoke daily on an outdoor smoker. Even the chicken wings at Firecreek are smoked slowly for several hours prior to being deep fried.

“Our meats have a light smoke on them, not a real heavy overpowering smoke taste to them,” Brian said. “This isn’t an electric smoker. No fake oven baking.”

The Firecreek Trio is one of the restaurant’s popular entrees and includes a half rack of baby back ribs, a quarter pound of tender brisket, a quarter chicken leg, salad and the choice of one side.

Other crowd favorite entrees include their hand-cut steaks, Firecracker burger and slow roasted prime rib. On Tuesday nights, patrons can try an 8-ounce cut of their prime rib with a baked potato for $10.

Everything at Firecreek BBQ is prepared fresh daily. The kitchen doesn’t even have a microwave, the Evanses say.

The barbecue ribs, which are smoked for several hours, are served with their homemade signature barbecue sauce. They are “fall off the bone” tender and a great choice for anyone who likes traditional barbecue, Brian says.

The Evanses say another hard-to-pass-up choice is the Firecracker shrimp – which are jumbo, lightly breaded shrimp deep fried and drizzled with their unique firecracker sauce and jalapeño relish.

Business has been good since the Evanses opened this spring. The owners say they look forward to hitting the one-year mark in business, which can be a test for any new restaurant.

“The locals all treat us great,” Brian said.

Firecreek BBQ and Steaks is at 310 Keller Ave. in Fayetteville. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m. They are closed on Monday.

For more information, visit them on Facebook or firecreekbbqandsteaks.com.

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