To dream in America is a powerful force. We see dreams become reality every day in this country – everything from reality personalities getting rich to hard-working come from nothing dreamers becoming success stories. So, this can lead to impulsive decisions by dreamers going all in on an idea, like opening a restaurant with little to no experience. Ray Resendez and his business partner and brother Matt Resendez have taken an oft-times rare approach. They’re taking it slow, “low and slow,” a technique the barbeque pitmaster community understands is the best way to tender tasting results.
Understanding that opening a restaurant in Downtown El Paso (DTEP) is challenging, so Ray and Matt have opted for a two-night a week offering of their BBQ in lieu of extended daily hours. Open on Friday and Saturday nights on the corner of 120. West San Antonio Ave., the operation is humble but worth waiting for. In addition, the duo has partnered with a slew of DTEP businesses to reinforce the sense of community and capitalize on each other’s strengths.
Ray, marrying into a family that smoked BBQ competitively chose to pick up a thing or two, “It was a way of life for them (wife’s brothers), so I learned from them and it was a nice release.”
“It’s the one thing you can’t rush, and I have to remind myself not to open that lid until it’s time,” said Ray.
Upon his return to El Paso, Ray shared his new skills with his family. With some encouragement about his BBQ, Ray decided to start doing some catering. The first of many jobs was a cancer benefit in which the company provided catering for no profit. Raising over $1,400 for some of Rachel Gutierrez’s expenses at the Mayo clinic to battle cancer.
“We learned so much from that experience and subsequent fund raisers, like the challenges of feeding 400 hungry people at times. We learned to keep the line moving, and the benefit of involving family. With members of our family contributing to the business they feel like they have a piece. We love people,” said Ray.
Ray is not only involved in catering but in non-profit ventures, such as the partners in education non-profit, Fit for Success, an at-risk youth organization designed to guide these children on the right path.
All of the hard work has lead Ray and Matt to an agreement with Deana of Pedicabs El Paso, based in DTEP. After calling her to see if Pedicabs El Paso would like to be a part of Fit for Success, it was her that made a proposition Ray told us, “She said they have a concession stand they don’t use and offered it to us.”
“Everyone around us in downtown is helping us out with everything. Just to name a few but Night Owl Pub, Sparrow’s, the Pint & Peanut, Black Pearl and the Coffee Box have worked with us on one thing or another,” said Ray.
Ray Ray’s is open on Friday and Saturdays from 5 pm to midnight, unless there is another big event outside of DTEP.
The Menu has its mainstays such as, brisket sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches and the popular pulled pork or brisket nachos.
The Ray Ray’s burger is also a popular item with its patty soaked in brisket juice prior to grilling. Or the beer-can smoked raspberry chipotle taco with a mango sauce.
If you’re out in Downtown El Paso at night on the weekend, they also deliver to some of their bar partners, so keep that in mind!
For more information visit www.bbqelpaso.com
For delivery call (915) 252-5619 or call Pedicabs El Paso