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Daniel Vaughn is the author of The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue, the coauthor of Whole Hog BBQ: The Gospel of Carolina Barbecue, and the barbecue editor at Texas Monthly. He has traveled the world sampling smoked meats at over 1,800 barbecue joints, most of which are in Texas.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 24, 2012

Mumphord’s Place BBQ

Barbecue south of San Antonio generally means indirectly smoked meats done with mesquite. As we walked up to Mumphord’s the smell coming from the screened in pit room at the back of the joint was unmistakably from direct heat BBQ. We started our visit right there with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 1, 2012

Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Que

This is a tiny joint in a small town with a compact patio and a tight parking situation. I was momentarily trapped between another car and a sleeping dog in the narrow drive that leads past the smoker to the gravel road behind the joint. Orders are taken

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 27, 2012

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Most professional food critics will make at least three visits to a restaurant before completing a review or issuing a star rating. Given the miles that I travel (without a traveling budget) in search of smoked meats around Texas, I don’t get this luxury. I routinely provide

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 6, 2012

Gatlin’s BBQ & Catering

It was the end of a long day. My friends Nick and Clark had stayed with me bite for bite through six other barbecue joints and we were on our way to Houston to eat at this mightily heralded joint in northwest Houston

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 6, 2011

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que

I’ve often thought that the Salt Lick is a joint that serves very respectable smoked meat, and is vastly overrated at the same time. The wait for a table on this sprawling campus of barbecue can exceed and hour, but no worries as you can enjoy drinks and live music

Eat My Words |
October 27, 2011

Second fiddle barbecue

The luminaries of Texas barbecue are justly revered—from Lockhart's century old Kreuz Market, to Taylor's estimable Louie Mueller Barbecue to the ever-popular Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ in Llano. For the BBQ dabbler these names are familiar, but their pitmasters may as well be Hollywood celebrities

Eat My Words |
October 23, 2011

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Taylor Cafe

Editor’s Note: The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is almost here! Each day until then, we’ll be talking to one of the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog.Today we bring you Scott Morales, 45 and Vencil Mares, 87,

Eat My Words |
September 7, 2011

BBQ Snob: Dallas Enjoys a BBQ Renaissance

Editor's Note: Daniel Vaughn, writing under the name BBQ Snob, runs the Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog and will also be writing about barbecue for Texas Monthly. This is his first column. Texas barbecue is having a moment. It seems like every time I turned around this

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 2, 2011

Meshack’s Bar-B-Que

Travis Mayes, the pitmaster at Meshack’s, poked his head out through the side door to ask when he’d get his fifth star. He knows the power that his barbecue has over the locals, and he was feeling his oats today. No wonder with all of the accolades, long

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 11, 2010

Black’s Barbecue

This was the morning where instead of discovering another great barbecue joint in Texas, Smokemaster1 and I were taking my friend Rob to the heart of barbecue country to find out what all the fuss was about. A stop at Chisholm Trail for excellent sausage and brisket but no

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 10, 2010

Virgie’s Bar-B-Que

Update: This joint had a fire on 03/11/11, but they have reopened and are back in business. BBQ Snob: “Who is your hot link supplier?” Virgie: “That’s my secret. Are you folks food critics or something?” BBQ Snob: “That’s our secret.”This is how my experience at Virgie’s began

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 17, 2010

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

On a trip down to Nacogdoches, the family stopped for ‘cue in Tyler at Stanley’s. I’d visited once before with a friend and found many faults with Stanley’s although it seemed to have potential. After meeting owner Nick Pencis at the Gettin’ Sauced event in Austin, he urged

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 16, 2010

City Market (Luling)

Showing this joint to a friend for the first time is always fun, but the huge line can be daunting. Luckily we were stuffed, so waiting for a half hour or so wasn’t the worst that could have happened.Once inside the smoking room we were mesmerized by

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 4, 2010

The Smokehouse

As I pondered my order, a surly pitmaster noticed my FCGBBQ T-shirt and made some smart comments about me spying on his joint to get some tips for mine. He didn’t know I was just there to review it, so it was great to talk with him

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 16, 2010

New Zion Bar-B-Q

Sometimes known as the “Church of the Holy Smoke,” this joint is a destination for BBQ lovers all over the state. It has made it onto countless “best of” lists when Texas BBQ is being discussed, and the church’s incredible story has been told in magazines and television.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 1, 2009

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

The four meat sampler plate should become a staple of every self-respecting BBQ joint. The idea of piling a plate with multiple proteins, and diggin’ in without the distractions of cole slaw, pinto beans or anything else to slow down the ingestion pleases me. The folks over at Stanley’s seem

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 16, 2009

City Meat Market

Thousands of drivers a day pass through Giddings along Texas Highway 290 on their way between Austin and Houston. They would all do themselves a favor if they stopped right in the center of town to sample the fine meats smoked at City Meat Market. This is a true meat

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 14, 2009

Kreuz Market

On two previous trips to Lockhart, Kreuz was solid, but it has never been otherworldly. I assumed this trip would be no different, but it turned out to be one of my best barbecue experiences. I’ve eaten mounds of barbecue in my time, but this day was different. Two companions and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 14, 2009

Baby J’s Bar-B-Que & Fish

Sweet Baby J’s may be a more appropriate name for this joint. The sauce was sweet, the greens were nearly candied, and the tea was downright syrupy. Even cut with half a glass of unsweet tea, this was liquid sugar that required a water chaser.The meats were

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 7, 2009

Gonzales Food Market

The Food Market on the historic square of Gonzales is part BBQ joint and part convenience store. Pass through the glass door and you’ll hear a hum of activity as you walk toward the large glass-faced cases that display the plethora of smoked meats available. Behind the counter

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 16, 2009

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que

The Salt Lick is renowned throughout Texas, and holds a special place in the heart of BBQ fanatics. Many recent reviews have decried the demise of this mecca of Texas BBQ claiming that it’s all about atmosphere, and not enough about what’s in the pits. The setting alone may be