Every other week, Daniel Vaughn compiles the latest in barbecue news and unearths a few surprises. Here’s the roundup for November 22-December 6.

“If I were in the business of handing out Michelin stars, Villarreal would get one for that sandwich alone. It’s perfection,” writes Alison Cook about the brisket sandwich on Texas toast at Willow’s BBQ in Houston.

The annual 12 Days of Smoked Meats has begun at Stiles Switch:

The Houston versus Austin BBQ Throwdown is coming to Austin on December 9 and tickets are available.

A recent list (slideshow alert) of the 55 most powerful people in food and drink included Aaron Franklin of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue.

Micklethwait Craft Meats, known for their East Austin food truck, will open another location in Smithville in early 2019.

Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ in Tyler is expanding:

Construction will begin in January on a new building to house Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth in the location where their trailer currently sits.

Honky Tonk Kid BBQ in Waco will celebrate a grand opening in their new permanent space on December 15.

We hate to announce that a Top 50 BBQ joint has closed its doors. Rio Grande Grill in Harlingen is currently for sale.

Looking to buy a Hill Country barbecue joint? Fritze’s BBQ in Boerne is up for sale.

Denton’s Bet the House BBQ has closed for good:

Alamo BBQ and South BBQ were listed as two of the best new restaurants in San Antonio by Eater.

In a bid to focus not only on newness, Eater also released a list of the most iconic dishes in Dallas, including the brisket at Pecan Lodge.

The Americado restaurant in Fort Worth has rebranded itself as a food hall that includes newcomer Brix Barbecue on the weekends.

Wyatt McSpadden covers the small towns and the big cities:

Registration is open for Texas A&M’s class entitled Creative Sausage Making.

The most Prime beef in America is graded on Mondays.

CBS DFW headed out to Hard Eight BBQ where the fires never go out.

After several successful years in Winterville, Sam Jones BBQ will bring their Eastern North Carolina style whole hog barbecue to Raleigh, NC.

Ken Herman of the Statesman traveled to Atlanta to see how Texas is represented in the Atlanta History Center’s BBQ Nation exhibit.

RIP, Big Al Plaskoff:

Houston Chronicle’s barbecue columnist J. C. Reid found some Texas barbecue on a recent trip to Como, Italy and proposed a theory about why Europeans go for Texas-style barbecue:

Burns Original BBQ in Houston has completed a new mural honoring Roy Burns, their late founder, and Anthony Bourdain, who helped put them on the culinary map.

“The fact is, the onslaught of publicity nearly killed us and probably saved us from failure at the same time. And for quite a long time, we didn’t know which way it was going to go,” says Barry Sorkin of Smoque BBQ in Chicago.

Knickers the cow won’t get turned into brisket. She’s too big for the slaughterhouse: