5 Questions: Bill Villetto

Bill Villetto with lunch (Photo by A. Rooney)

By Alison Rooney

After 13 years on Route 9 in Philipstown, Bill Villetto of Round Up Texas BBQ is expanding to Beacon, where his brisket (available marbled or lean — Philipstown favors marbled), ribs, chicken and chili are on the menu at the 2 Way Brewery Co.

What’s unique about Texas-style barbecue?
It’s brisket, rather than the pulled pork you find elsewhere in the South. It also uses all-day rubs instead of sweet sauce. There’s a little bite to it.

Why are you expanding?
They came to me. And coincidentally, I was looking at Beacon. The atmosphere at the brewery is rustic, which works well. They have a much younger clientele, probably because it’s a brewery. We’ll still do all the smoking in Philipstown. If something runs low, we’re only 20 minutes away.

The brewery is near Dia:Beacon. Is barbecue and contemporary art a winning combination?
Absolutely. We get lots of Europeans here. They’re excited to try real American food.

Are you from Texas?
No, I’m from Cold Spring. My original partner in the business was from Texas, though. I went to culinary school when I was young and then I spent a lot of time working in Texas and found out about their grills, rubs, marinades and smoking times. That’s what it’s all about. And no, I will absolutely never reveal my spicy dry-rub recipe.

You sell Frito pies. What is that?
You know how school cafeterias always serve sloppy Joes? In Texas, that’s how it is for Frito pies. You make one by getting a bag of Fritos, tearing the top off, and throwing chili on the Fritos. At Round Up, we hand you a cup of chili and a bag of Fritos. When Texans come in here, they look at the sign and get excited. “Oh my God, they have Frito pies!”

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