TEXARKANA, Texas — Tex-ish BBQ is bringing a touch of the Irish to a Southern staple.

The delivery-only business offers a rotating menu of traditional barbeque with a special twist to excite the taste buds.

The business started when friends Allan McEneaney and Chris Holder started experimenting with their home-cooked meals and trading recipes with one another. The two found themselves in competition to see who could create the best food.

What began as a deep-rooted love for food and friendly competition eventually grew into Tex-ish BBQ. The name combines the words Texan, to represent Chris, and Irish, to represent Allan.

The play on words also represents their barbecue: nontraditional, full-flavored and as eclectic as the two men.

“We like the craft part of our food to tease the taste buds,” McEneaney said. “We wanted to take all styles of barbecue across America and the rest of the world and combine them (to) show Texarkana what’s going on food-wise across the spectrum.”

Both men have traveled the world, and their exposure to different cultures influences their original seasoning, rubs and sauces.

“They pull from their experiences,” said Tera Holder, who is married to Chris.

Aly Dwyer, McEneaney’s, and Tera also help run the business, often posting the weekly, ever-changing menu to social media.

“Just from our own personal experience, if a menu is too big, it is hard to choose something,” Dwyer said.

“All of the food is made from scratch, locally sourced and smoked with hickory wood,” McEneaney said. “Briskets are smoked for a minimum of 12-18 hours.”

Recipes for the coveted sauces are highly guarded secrets

“The glaze on the ribs is a recipe no one else knows,” Holder said. “Allan’s chocolate BBQ sauce and Carolina sauce are also top secret.”

The chocolate sauce is a balance of salty and savory, not overpowering the meat or taking away from other flavors. In contrast, the Carolina sauce is powerful, with tangy and spicy notes that blend perfectly. However, the heat doesn’t linger, making it perfect even for those that don’t prefer spicy foods.

Holder also has a chicken spaghetti that is coveted. The creamy sauce and tender chicken are baked until the top layer is just crispy. Many customers pair the chicken spaghetti and ribs for the ultimate comfort food.

“So far everyone has given amazing feedback, and the repeat customers prove it works,” Holder said.

(Email orders to [email protected] or call or text Chris at 903-691-8135.)

  photo  Chris Holder and Alan McEneaney are co-owners of Tex-ish BBQ. The friendship and business are rooted in a shared love of food and travel. (Submitted photo)