Keep it 100 in the Dirty South

Take a break from tradition with SLAB BBQ & Beer


Growing up in Texas, Mark Avalos always heard country music in barbecue joints. He wanted to start a brand that revolved around hip-hop—something that resonated with his peers, that he could build a people-oriented culture around. Since 2006, Avalos’s twist on barbecue has been recognized across the state and by Food Network.

“Mark has seen the business grow from a simple trailer focused on catering to four brick-and-mortar locations and three food trucks,” says managing partner Raf Robinson. “The brand has also evolved from its original name of Sugar Shack BBQ to SLAB, which stands for Slow, Low, And Bangin’.”

SLAB’s concept is based on feature items representing iconic barbecue flavors from the Carolinas, Alabama, Memphis, and Texas. When customers started to ask about purchasing sauces and rubs to take home, Avalos’s team decided to kick off a Dirty South-inspired line.

“Mark reached out to a friend in Georgetown who was bottling his own line of hot sauces to understand the process of getting FDA approval to sell outside of just our restaurant locations,” says Robinson. “Mikey V has been bottling our sauces and rubs from the beginning.”

To both Avalos and Robinson, barbecue is a cultural experience around bringing people together. If you are improving your own barbecuing skills from home, they recommend going slow and low. Plan ahead, take your time, and make sure to have fun.

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