Four years ago, Joe Zavala’s best friend told him his smoked brisket “tasted like garbage.” Zavala took that as a personal challenge, and now he smokes some of the best brisket in Texas.

Congrats to Vera’s in Brownsville on being named an America’s Classic award recipient:

Dozier’s in Fulshear has been cooking barbecue since 1957. Now they’ve hired Jim Buchanan of the recently closed Buck’s BBQ to run their pits.

Gatlin’s BBQ in Houston is adding breakfast to its menu, but they’ll roll it out slowly. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the next offering.

Feges BBQ will open a second Houston location in Spring Branch Village next year and plan to serve a lunch and dinner menu with more than barbecue.

What is the best BBQ joint name in Houston?

Tim Love is adding a Houston outpost of Woodshed Smokehouse to his restaurant empire. This second location will open next month.

“If I could give a start-up one piece of advice, I would not suggest they purchase an Airstream to convert into a food truck.” – Trevor Sales of Fort Worth’s Brix Barbecue.

The Dallas Observer headed to Argyle to try the new Jack Reubie sandwich at 407 BBQ.

Jim Riscky passed away this month. He worked at Riscky’s BBQ since he was twelve years old and built the barbecue chain into what it is today.

To wrap ribs, or not to wrap ribs:

The Smoke Sheet talked with some barbecue couples around the country to learn the secrets of a successful partnership.

Vegan Rodeo Weekend is coming to Houston in late March, and there will be vegan barbecue.

KVUE spoke with the students who cook together once a month as part of the Juan Navarro High School barbecue team in Austin.

On proper beef rib appreciation:

Fresh off the opening of a new taco and coffee truck, Aaron Franklin looks to open a new po-boy shop in Austin.

Southside Market, the oldest barbecue joint in Texas, has started construction on its fourth location in Hutto.

2TX Biz and BBQ is open in Georgetown. The joint offers smoked brisket with a side of brokerage services.

The meeting of two Texas BBQ legends:

The 24-hour brisket smoked with oak, pecan, and mesquite at the new Alamo Smoke in San Antonio was a hit with

H-E-B named twenty finalists for their Quest for Texas Best competition, and they include a barbecue rub from Davila’s BBQ in Seguin and sausage from Smokey Denmark in Austin.

Epcot just opened a new barbecue joint called Regal Eagle Smokehouse, but I’m not sure how the display smoker has quite enough capacity.

A tantalizing tour of South Carolina hash varieties:

Hanna Raskin wrote a description for each of the hashes she found that don’t contain liver for the Charleston Post and Courier.

A retired minister is bringing Texas-style briskets to Virginia at his new Team Carolina Barbecue restaurant.

Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall has organized a barbecue event in Asheville, North Carolina, that will include some Texas barbecue talent. Smokeshow will be held May 17.

Who needs cake on their birthday?