Location, Location, Location (Woody’s Smokehouse)

1 Aug

I make the drive south on I-45 much too often, be it for a sporting event down at the alma mater or for a visit to the many friends who live in Houston.  The drive is long and monotonous.  Even I-45 itself provides no excitement with its rather flat topography and lack of speedway-like curves.  It’s like someone drew a straight line connecting Dallas to Houston and built a highway from it (oh wait, someone did do that, it’s exactly what I do at my day job).  And people are in hurry to get to their destination!  I-45 is the Texas Autobahn.  The first time I merged onto I-45 and set the cruise control at 75 mph, I was immediately passed by a gray haired granny flying in her Cadillac boat.  Yep, I sped up.  There’s nothing to see along this highway.  Move it or lose it, folks.

There’s nothing to stop for except two Shell stations in Centerville, a town so named for its location in the center of Leon County, but also coincidentally located almost halfway between Dallas and Houston on I-45.  Inside both Shell stations is Woody’s Smokehouse, selling their self-proclaimed “world’s best beef jerky.”  Yes, Woody’s is on BOTH sides of the highway.  So whether you’re traveling northbound or southbound on I-45, it will be convenient to stop by. 

I’m no beef jerky aficionado, but there’s something about Woody’s jerky that makes me stop every time.  Maybe it’s because there’s turkey jerky, pork jerky, and five flavors of beef jerky, so you’re bound to find one you like.  Maybe it’s because Woody’s sells a huge selection of locally made pickled vegetables (okra and asparagus, anyone?), jams, and syrups (love their toasted pecan maple syrup), giving you that “I found a neat little country store” feel.  Maybe it’s because their selection of trail mixes, candies, and brittles is just amazing and will please a bored passenger at any age.  Or maybe it’s simply because the location halfway between Dallas and Houston makes it the perfect place to stretch your legs.  Oh, and the bathrooms are always clean.

I normally just stick to purchasing jerky when stopping at Woody’s.  This past trip to Lake Livingston, I picked up a whole smoked turkey breast to feed the crowd at the lake house.  Apparently Woody’s is about more than just jerky, the hickory smoked peppery turkey was a big hit with the hungry crowd after a full day out on the water.

Yay for Woody’s, making that drive down I-45 a little more bearable.

Woody’s Smokehouse
I-45 Exit 164
Centerville, TX

3 Responses to “Location, Location, Location (Woody’s Smokehouse)”

  1. Bird_dog 08/10/2007 at 9:35 pm #


    Try both the peppered and un-peppered bacon at Woody’s too it is spectacular. My wife an I are both native Houstonians and ALL of our family still lives there. We go down at least once a month for one thing or another.
    Some time when you have the time, you should try the I-35-SH6-SH 290 route. It is much more scenic (once you get through Waco) and you have to go through West (Kolaches!!!) It takes a little longer but I think it is worth it. Especially if your destination is somewhere on the west side of Houston.

  2. donnaaries 08/10/2007 at 10:35 pm #


    I too am a fan of the kolaches in West, TX. That’s our default halfway stop for trips to Austin and San Antonio! Thanks for the tip about the bacon at Woody’s.

  3. Lee 01/09/2009 at 9:01 am #

    Most folks go North of Dallas on I-35 to a Casino just across the Tx line.

    If you are not into Casinos, I would recommend the two following places for a short fun day trip:

    1. Gainsville, Tx Square

    Fried Pie Company & Restaurant
    202 W Main St, Gainesville, TX
    Tel: (940) 665-7641

    Their many flavors of fried pies are all excellent…my personal favorite being Chocolate. I would suggest you pick these up on the way home.

    2. Fischer’s Meat Market that is 13 miles West of Gainsville, Tx on Highway 82.



    It’s actually a German Grocery store with tons of fresh German made products: from meats, wines, beers, pastries, & of course tons of fresh sausage they make themselves. Two of my favorite or the white brat & the jalapeno summer sausage. Their thick sliced bacon is the best bacon I have ever tasted in Texas & that’s saying a lot. One thing if you are into saving on your meat bill, & you have a freezer, they have the best prices on everything from a whole beef to a half beef to a quarter beef…quality is excellent because Fischer’s is the only meat market grocery store that has their own cattle farm where they grain feed & grow all their own beef. They do supply beef to a lot of the major restaurants in North Texas. But you won’t find a better price of quality meat in North Texas.

    Here is what they have on their front page:

    Our Mission

    Our mission is very simple. We aim to completely satisfy each and every one of our customers in a timely and effective manner.

    Company Profile

    Fischer’s Meat Market is located in Muenster, Texas. It was opened March 17, 1927. At this time, sales consisted of cured meats and fresh beef slaughtered and dressed the day before…remember, no refrigeration was available back then. Now, in addition to the original German smoked sausage made in 1927, the market offers many other varieties. We have a federal-inspected (USDA) plant that produces custom beef, pork, lamb and deer.

    The beef we provide for our customers comes directly from Fischer’s Farms. The store owns and operates this farm so that we can ensure the highest quality product available.

    We are a third-generation family business with both old-fashioned know-how (all of our meat is still hand-trimmed) and state-of–the-art modern technology.

    We may not make the most, but we do make the best!!


    If you or your husband are deer hunters this is the best place in Texas I have found to have my venison processed into summer sausage, chili meat, steaks, and roast.


    So take this hour or so drive…you won’t regret it!

    PS: Service at Fischers is 5 Star…these folks love what they do & they will spend whatever amount of time necessary to answer your questions & make you wish they were closer.

    And last: If you like German Festivals, Muenster has a big one in late April of each year with fun for the whole family including tons of German Food & Live Entertainment from many genres of bands.


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