THE KING OF MEATS IN MINUTE MAID

Ken Hoffman catches up with a BBQ legend who's Killen it at Minute Maid Park

Photo by Kimberly Park

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

The Houston Astros may have lost an All-Star pitcher in the off-season, but the team has added an even bigger superstar who'll be throwing some serious heat in 2020. BBQ maestro Ronnie Killen, often called The King of Meats, has practically taken over the upper deck of Minute Maid Park in deep right field with his acclaimed, prize-winning meats, fixins, and sweet tea.

Wait till you see his new smoker they're installing in the ballpark — it's enormous. You could run the B&O Railroad off it.

"I met Ronnie about six years ago. We were looking for someone to sell BBQ at street festivals before Astros game and it was an instant success," says Mat Drain, the Dalai Lama of Dill Pickles for Aramark, which operates all the concessions at Minute Maid Park.

"Ronnie has been operating at NRG Stadium with Aramark the last couple of seasons. We approached Ronnie about bringing Killen's to Minute Maid Park in tour new entertainment and food area on the 400 level. Ronnie jumped at the opportunity and with his prior relationship with the Astros, we knew it would be an ideal fit."

I caught up with Killen at a recent Astros food tasting. Here you go — just a taste to whet your appetite for the 2020 baseball season:

CultureMap: What will be the name of your concession booth? Is it a built-in stand or a kiosk?

Ronnie Killen:
It will be a freestanding barbecue restaurant and the name will be Killen's Barbecue.

CM: Will you have a limited menu with a few things from your famous restaurant, or are you swinging for the fences?

RK:
We will serve more than we do at NRG Stadium. We'll have several different types of barbecue sandwiches, including sliced beef, chopped beef, sliced turkey, and sausage. We'll have BBQ plates with two sides, like brisket, sausage, pork ribs, turkey breast, and an occasional beef rib.

CM: How many restaurants do you own now?

RK:
I have two Killen's Steakhouses, one in Pearland and one in The Woodlands; Killen's Barbecue; Killen's Burgers; Killen's TMX; and Killen's STQ. Plus, two restaurants in NRG Stadium and coming soon to Minute Maid Park. So, technically, I have 10.

Continue on CultureMap to find out the secret to Killen's meats.

Galveston beaches will be closed through Sunday, April 5, per a new order. Photo courtesy of Galveston Island Visitors & Convention Bureau

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

As beaches across the nation continue to see throngs of visitors seemingly ignoring social-distancing or stay-at-home orders, the city of Galveston has taken action to try to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the city and county.

Effective March 29, all public beaches in Galveston will be closed. Additionally, vehicle traffic will be restricted on the west end of the Seawall. By state law, the order runs through Sunday, April 5, according to a press release from the city.

Per the most recent reporting, the Galveston County Health District has confirmed 60 cases of COVID-19 within the county. "The City of Galveston's top priority is the health and safety of its residents and it is in guidance from federal and local health authorities that these actions are being taken," according to the statement.

Before this directive, the City of Galveston had attempted to avoid closing public beaches "because it is our desire that residents have an area to exercise and get fresh air while maintaining safe social distancing," reads the statement.

Continue on CultureMap to learn about the strict enforcement.

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