BBQ

Rio Grande Grill BBQ & Tex Mex (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Whimsical art and bright colors are unusual in a barbecue joint, but Rio Grande Grill throws the rules right out the kitchen door. Daniel Wright and his wife, head chef Stefania, break the rules with the food too, even battering up the smoked chicken to make the best of both…

Baker Boys BBQ (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

After Phil Baker and his son, Wayne, had some success on the barbecue competition circuit, they decided it was time to do more more than feed judges. They opened Baker Boys BBQ in a metal building on the east side of Gonzales two years ago. Their selections exhibit a subtler…

Heim Barbecue (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Travis and Emma Heim jumped into business ownership with little experience or capital in 2015. The Heim truck hadn’t been parked a year before they got an offer to build out their very own spot on West Magnolia. Their barbecue was that good. That location opened in late 2016 with…

4-T’s Bar-B-Q (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Something moved Mike Thomas to purchase his first barbecue pit at the State Fair of Texas in 1988, and Kaufman County should be grateful for that. His backyard hobby slowly became a passion, and, after losing his telecom job in 2003, he set up a roadside brisket stand, which morphed…

Top 5 BBQ (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Strip centers are seldom homey, but the first thing you’ll notice at Top 5 is a sense of community. Kendon Greene greets every customer with “It’s a smoking good day!” and the staff is equally friendly and chatty. They’re good people, and they produce great, highly distinctive ’cue, thanks largely…

Pecan Lodge (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

The influence of Pecan Lodge on Dallas’s barbecue scene cannot be overstated. At their (relatively) new place in Deep Ellum, they crank out four times the amount they did before. It’s all cooked in an array of unique offset smokers, and the sausages, both the original pork and the jalapeño-cheese…

Lockhart Smokehouse (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

It’s all in the family here. Co-founder Jill Grobowsky Bergus’s grandfather was Edgar Schmidt, the man who made Kreuz Market famous. That’s why three of the Lockhart joint’s specialties show up here: two great sausages and the cut known as shoulder clod. If you order actual brisket, you may find…

Cattleack Barbeque (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Every ounce of your being recoils at the idea of eating barbecue in an industrial-area strip center in north Dallas. It’s just wrong! How could it have any soul! Calm down. Walk to the end of the line and start inching along (it’s like going through airport security). Pass the…

BBQ on the Brazos (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Not quite as scenic as it sounds, BBQ on the Brazos is located inside a Texaco station just off U.S. 377. Barbecue aficionados have already sniffed the joint out, though—the line was deep at nine o’clock on a weekend morning, with bleary-eyed customers ordering everything from brisket-and-egg tacos on handmade…

Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Hugging the edge of Texas Highway 29, Payne’s is a true side-of-the-road joint, a turn-on-your-blinker-half-a-mile-ahead, career-off-the-road-in-a-cloud-of-dust kind of place. Once safely inside, you’ll take comfort in the wood-paneled walls, shiny picnic tables, dainty window coverings, and hospitality of Robert and Penny Payne, retirees turned pitmasters who work out of what…

Fargo’s Pit BBQ (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

We foolishly thought pitmaster Alan Caldwell might finally be ready to chat about the secrets of his smoking method. Ha. Caldwell said only, “You can ask . . .” and then broke into a big smile followed by silence. When we arrived, the eight or so tables were all taken,…

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

With roots in Mexico, barbacoa became a mainstay on South Texas ranches, where cowboys were hungry and cow heads were plentiful (Texans were expert at nose-to-tail eating long before it became trendy). Today, most commercial barbacoa is steamed or done in pressure cookers to comply with health codes. Vera’s time-honored…

Truth Barbeque (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Truth looks too cute to be serving serious barbecue. The carefully curated interior—with its hand-lettered signs, Texas license plates, and Instagram-ready desserts—is a far cry from a no-frills meat market or a rusty roadside pit. The first bite announces the fact that youthful proprietor Leonard Botello IV has been an…

Miller’s Smokehouse (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Miller’s roots are decidedly humble. They started selling sausage wraps part-time out of a meat-processing business (with a taxidermy operation in the back). A mere eight years later, after making our Top 50 list, they moved into bigger and better digs. These days they have it all: near-flawless brisket smoked…

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

At the moveable feast known as Valentina’s—which still occupies a shiny truck but is headed for a brick-and-mortar home later this year—the term “fusion cuisine” has a very Texas twist. The cuisines getting fused are barbecue and tacos. Pitmaster Miguel Vidal’s fifteen-hour mesquite-smoked brisket, lush and moist, is at its…

Terry Black’s Barbecue (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Twins Mark and Michael Black jumped into the barbecue business with their father, Terry, three years ago just south of downtown Austin. It didn’t take long for them to get out of the shadow of Lockhart (Terry’s brother, Kent, runs the Black’s in that city as well as two other…

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

You just feel good after a visit here. The super-friendly counter folks might hand you a bit of sausage or brisket to nibble. Plus, the roomy place, with beer signs and communal tables, is fun for families and groups. If you think you’ve had this style of barbecue before—heavy on…

Micklethwait Craft Meats (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

With its rounded corners and neatly painted garlands of oak leaves and acorns, Micklethwait’s fat little cream-colored trailer looks like part of a Hobbit community. It sits amid picnic tables on a tree-shaded lot in East Austin and offers superlative victuals, including brisket (embraced by a super-peppery, midnight-dark bark), rosy…

la Barbecue (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Owners LeAnn Mueller (yes, of the Louie Mueller clan) and Ali Clem have hunkered down at the Aztec Food Park in their fancy new food trailer. Until they move a block east this month, that’s where you’ll find folks lining up for a slow march to brisket and hot-guts glory.

Freedmen’s (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Freedmen’s is no stranger to the pages of Texas Monthly.They made our list of the best new and improved barbecue joints in 2015 under the direction of talented former pitmasters Evan LeRoy and Chris McGhee. Now Bradley Robinson has taken the helm at the historic building. We worried that Freedmen’s…

Franklin Barbecue (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Four years ago, Franklin Barbecue was our hands-down pick for best barbecue in the state (i.e., the world). A couple of years later, Aaron Franklin published a best-selling cookbook and won a James Beard award for best chef in the region, a first for a pitmaster. He’s the most famous…

Tyler’s Barbeque (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Tyler Frazer is at the heart of the operation, greeting customers and making recommendations—a lot of time and care go into the food and overall experience here. When we arrived, a little before noon, and joined the crowd of locals, it was the thick cuts of brisket that grabbed our…

BBQ News: 05/12 – 05/25

May 25, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– We had a little barbecue joint list come out this week: The 2017 Top 50 BBQ Joint list. – Three new names have been added to the Barbecue Hall of Fame. – The Houston Chronicle had some thoughts about how hard it is to get barbecue…

BBQ News: 05/05 – 05/11

May 11, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– We love this slo-mo brisket drop: Here’s a totally unoriginal, slow-mo video of a brisket jiggling. It was too good not to post?. #txbbq #lubbock #wolfforth #texasbbq #bbq #brisket #cincodemayo…

Hot Luck Preview

May 9, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Aaron Franklin’s Hot Luck festival will debut in Austin in a couple weeks. Despite Franklin’s involvement, this isn’t strictly a barbecue festival, but smoked meat fans needn’t worry. There are still plenty of talented pitmasters coming to Austin for the highly anticipated food festival. The Hi Lo and Al…

BBQ News: 04/28 – 05/04

May 4, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– Charlie’s BBQ in Houston was a total loss in an early morning fire: AERIAL VIEWS: Fire at Charlie’s BBQ in N. Harris County https://t.co/n5nHonACdx #KHOU #HouNews pic.twitter.com/c1wHqFuAZ8 — KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) May 4, 2017   – New…

BBQ News: 04/21 – 04/27

Apr 27, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– George H W Bush has good taste when ordering barbecue during his recent hospital stay. He called Houston’s Roegels Barbecue Co. – The Houston Chronicle examined the origins of the offset brick smoker in Texas. – Houstonia Mag loved the tacos served on brisket fat tortillas…

John Mueller is Back

Apr 21, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Just when you think John Mueller might be out of the barbecue game for good, he pops up somewhere hitched to a new trailer. And the pitmaster made a big announcement last Saturday on the “Great Outdoors” show on 1300 AM in Austin: His new Black Box Barbecue food truck will…

John Snider, Panhandle Barbecue King

Apr 20, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Barbecue in the Texas Panhandle has struggled for a foothold in statewide prominence, and that’s not entirely because of its far-flung locale. The area is a relative newcomer to Texas barbecue history. Amarillo’s founding in 1897, after all, was a year after Southside Market opened in Elgin. The oldest barbecue…

BBQ News: 04/14 – 04/20

Apr 20, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– A Confederacy of mustard-lovers: The politics of barbecue and the legacy of a white supremacist: https://t.co/bB73DusgRh pic.twitter.com/T3zY3e7UyH — The New Yorker (@NewYorker) April 17, 2017   – The Dallas Observer highlights some of the area’s newest barbecue trailers. – Houstonia takes…

The Barbecue Bill

Apr 17, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

House Bill 2029 is officially titled Weights and Scales in Restaurants, but a spokesman for the office of Representative J.M. Lozano, who filed the bill, has a more succinct moniker: the barbecue bill. The bill, which will go before the House on Tuesday, looks at the Texas Department of Agriculture’s scale…

BBQ News: 04/07 – 04/13

Apr 13, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– The Houston Chronicle featured all the pitmasters of the Houston BBQ Festival in these mini profiles. – Scenes from the Houston BBQ Festival: Sights and bites from 2017 #HouBBQ Festival. We had a wonderful time – https://t.co/UC8aBlYuKS @BloodBrosBBQ @LouieMuellerBBQ…

Southerner Jealous of Neighbor’s Popularity

Apr 7, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

You may have noticed the yammering of a South Carolinian about the “tyranny” of Texas barbecue in a recent article on First We Feast. The author, Robert Moss, is the barbecue editor for Southern Living. An esteemed position, for sure, but it’s curious that the magazine chose to poll…

BBQ News: 03/31 – 04/06

Apr 6, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– Somebody’s mad at Texas barbecue: Eating good barbecue doesn’t mean it can’t have sauce. A ‘cue historian talks these rules, and how to break them: https://t.co/EfqEgXavvF pic.twitter.com/qSMlxpYZ2m — First We Feast (@firstwefeast) April 5, 2017   – The Houston BBQ Festival…