Food: ET’s Bar-B-Q

It all began when Eric Thurmond cooked barbecue for a family birthday party. “Everyone loved it,” he said, and a passion for barbecue was born. His first restaurant originated in Midwest City in 1986 and moved to Edmond in 2008. “I introduced myself to the community by starting ET’s Bar-B-Q as a walk-up catering house on Midwest and Waterloo,” said Thurmond. Watching his dad cook barbecue developed Thurmond’s talent but his sauce is another story. “I played around with the sauce until I got it where I liked it. I’ve perfected it and it hasn’t changed since,” said Thurmond.

In the beginning of Thurmond’s business and marriage, his business almost went up in smoke. “My wife and I weren’t married very long when we catered a country fest in Stillwater. I couldn’t keep up with the demand for meat, so I kept throwing wood in the cooker to get the meat done faster. It got so hot in the trailer someone informed us our trailer had caught fire. I told my wife just to keep selling and I’d take care of it. I put out the fire with an extinguisher then went back to cooking and selling. My wife jokes that I tried to burn us up because of how badly I wanted to sell barbecue.”

ET’s stands for “Eric Thurmond’s” but according to Thurmond, it should stand for “extra tender” because the art to good barbecue requires “patience, low temperatures and slow cooking.” At first glance, the menu resembles a traditional barbecue restaurant but a closer look reveals “the uniqueness of ET’s.” “All of our meat is top quality and cooked fresh daily over wood. Our fries are fresh cut with every order. We have several homemade items including banana pudding, baked beans, coleslaw and green beans. We quality check the food before it goes out because if it doesn’t look or taste right, we won’t serve it.”
Thurmond checks on every customer dining at ET’s and the response is always the same. “When I ask customers about their food, they always say it’s what keeps them coming back.”

Great food and service aren’t the only things drawing customers to ET’s. Every summer, Bike Nights on Thursdays featuring a live band and inexpensive sandwiches and drinks, has families “setting up lawn chairs for a night of fun.”

Thurmond is “living his dream” and credits previous partners Steve and Donna Rushing in helping to make it possible. “The Rushings helped start this restaurant and in January, while I was in the hospital on life support, they ran it until I got back on my feet. God gave me a second chance to wake up every morning and do what I love.” 

ET’s is open Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  and located at 121 W. Waterloo Rd. in Edmond. For carry-out, call 330-4343.

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