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Barbecue bonanza: Stanley's Famous Pit expands menu, adds music

By Christina Lane
Sept. 18, 2013 at 11 p.m.


Beef ribs and the mother clucker of all sandwiches are new to a long-time East Texas barbecue staple.

Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue in Tyler recently hired a classically trained Longview chef who attended the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school to come up with some new menu creations.

"We're constantly looking to push the envelope," owner Nick Pencis said.

Among the newest offerings at Stanley's are beef ribs - a popular item in Central Texas barbecue joints - and the Mother Clucker, a sandwich made with smoked chicken, cheddar cheese, spicy barbecue mayo and a fried egg on warm jalapeño cheese sourdough.

Restaurant staples such as pork ribs, turkey, sausage and brisket also remain ever popular.

Stanley's Famous Pit opened its doors in 1959. Pencis took over as owner in May 2006, but worked for the restaurant prior to that.

With new barbecue talent popping up every day, he said it's critical for restaurant owners to continuing trying new things.

In addition to new menu items, Stanley's is also transforming into an entertainment venue in Tyler. In the past year, the restaurant completed an outdoor expansion that added patio seating space, a full service bar and a stage, said Pencis, who is a musician himself. The restaurant features original acts performing each Friday.

"Food and music go well together," he said. "We definitely have an offering that you can't see everywhere else."

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