Since the days of the Alamo, there has always been a special relationship between Texas and Tennessee. There are many commonalities between the two states, including history, culture and country music.
However, there is another strong tie between the two states that have risen to the top of the list in recent years – barbecue. From beef briskets to pulled pork to smoked chicken, Texas-style grilling has become all the rage in Tennessee, and in much of the rest of the nation, too. According to an August 2022 survey conducted by BBQ Revolution, Texas barbecue was ranked the best in 33 out of 50 states.
Fortunately, Hendersonville has not missed out on the rise of the Texas food wave. Thanks to the efforts of a local entrepreneur, Texas food is alive and well in the City by the Lake at the Meat Sweats.
Owned and operated by former Texan and lifelong griller Martin Tudon, the Meat Sweats has been Hendersonville’s go-to place for great meats and sides since 2018.
“I have always loved to grill, whether to serve at church potluck dinners or to cater family events,” says Martin. “After moving from the Lone Star State to Tennessee, I realized that I missed Texas home cooking, especially smoked brisket. As a result, I decided to start the Meat Sweats, along with my wife Kelly.”
The Meat Sweats is truly a meat lover’s delight. The restaurant specializes in meat by the pound, including smoked brisket, chicken, beef link, barbecue pork, ribs and burnt ends. The eatery also offers a wide variety of sides and desserts, as well as daily specials during its Tuesday through Friday schedule.
“Our most popular items are our signature brisket and our pork belly or brisket burnt ends,” says Martin. “However, we offer many other customer favorites, including Tex-Mex specialties such as barbeque nachos, brisket burritos and hot chicken tacos.”
Although best known for its Hendersonville dine-in and take-out location, the Meat Sweats also operates a thriving catering and food truck business.
“Our current business breakdown is approximately 30% dine in, 20% take out, 20% catering and 10% food truck,” says Martin. “We are committed to making sure that our customers always receive the best food, service and prices, whether in the restaurant or at local events.”
Along with operating his business, Martin is also well known for giving back to the community. It is common to see Martin’s food truck providing food and drink to patrons of local events and fundraisers.
“My father emigrated to Texas from Mexico, and he paid a dear price for it. He always stressed to me that I should live a life of service,” says Martin. “He instilled in me a love of people. I truly believe in serving my neighbors. If we take care of our community, our community will take care of us.”
In June this year, Martin expanded the Meat Sweats’ presence to include a new location in White House. His future business plans include adding a butcher shop, a deli and an ice cream parlor/coffee house.
“I believe that to succeed in life and in business, we have to constantly grow and strive to be the best that we can be,” says Martin. “I am trying to follow my father’s advice to rest if I must, but never quit.”
For Middle Tennessee brisket and barbecue lovers, the future looks bright. No longer do we have to pack up and travel to get the best in Texas-style cooking. Instead, we can get it right here at home at the Meat Sweats.
The Meat Sweats BBQ
393 East Main Street #2,
Hendersonville, TN 37075