BBQ History

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…

When Barbecue was Against the Law

Mar 10, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

A Denison newspaper described Al Hall as “a magnificent specimen of physical manhood.” When a local alderman pistol-whipped him during an argument at Hall’s barbecue joint in 1891, Hall retaliated with two swift punches to the face, sending the alderman home in a carriage. “Blood flowed quite freely,” noted The…

I Say DeMaria, You Say DiMaria

Feb 14, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

In 1891, the S.S. Utopia departed Italy, headed for America. The ship, carrying 880 passengers, many of them Italian immigrants who boarded the Utopia in Naples or Palermo, was sailing through the port of Gibraltar when it struck another vessel. The hole created by the collision sunk the Utopia in just twenty minutes, and 562 passengers…

Gobble, Gobble

Dec 9, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Rose Diamond once ruled the world of smoked turkey. In 1938, customers in New York, Miami, and Hollywood enjoyed her smoked turkeys shipped out from her Fort Worth home. According to The Claude News, they brined for at least ten days before being smoked in a brick pit in Diamond’s…

Governor Tryon’s Barbecue

Nov 16, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Protest season seems to be upon us after the recent election. Citizens are taking to the streets to show their displeasure with a new leader, which isn’t anything new in the United States. Before the original Brexit united us, we were anything but polite. Of course you remember the Boston Tea…

30 Years of Railhead Smokehouse

Nov 10, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

When Charlie Geren opened Railhead Smokehouse in Fort Worth, he had already failed at his previous attempt at the restaurant business. Geren said he had just “lost his ass” in a “steak and beer joint” in north Fort Worth, but decided to partner with a pitmaster friend, Harry Pilcher, to take over…

“Barbecue” is for Squares

Aug 30, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

I have a Twitter follower who, for a while, enjoyed pointing out when a barbecue joint spelled their name “incorrectly.” Presumably, “Barbecue” and “BBQ” were acceptable, but not “Barbeque,” “Bar-B-Q,” or its slight variation “Bar-B-Que.” He’s not alone. The AP Stylebook, generally used by journalists, doesn’t like those alternate spellings either,…

Eugene “Hot Sauce” Williams

Jun 17, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

The contributions of African Americans to our country’s barbecue culture are often overlooked. The influences can be hard to trace, which make it tempting to ignore them. Throughout Texas and the rest of the country, records of black barbecue culture are either gone or never existed in the first place. Most newspapers and magazines were…

The First Barbecue Joint in Texas?

Feb 23, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

For years, I’ve been on a quest to definitively answer a question that has plagued me since I began researching the history of barbecue: what was the first barbecue joint in Texas? Loyal readers of TMBBQ will remember that in August 2013, I wrote about the post-Civil War wave of butcher…

When Dallas Barbecued a Super Bowl Buffalo

Feb 5, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

It was six in the morning on Sunday, January 31, 1993, and Karl Kuby Sr. had just started cooking a couple of bison over an open fire in a Tom Thumb grocery store parking lot. Later that evening, after OJ Simpson flipped the coin and Michael Jackson entertained at halftime, the Dallas Cowboys would…

Eastern North Carolina BBQ at Skylight Inn

May 4, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Skylight Inn cooks whole hogs over wood coals in Ayden, North Carolina just like they did when they first opened in 1947. This past weekend I embedded myself with Samuel Jones, the third generation of the Skylight Inn family, at BBQ on the Neuse. The event…

Brisket Hash in El Paso

Apr 13, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

They’ve been smoking briskets over mesquite since Tony’s The Pit Bar-B-Q opened in 1958. Tony Vargas Sr. started the place, but according to Martha Vargas, it was her husband Tony Vargas Jr. that’s responsible for its most famous menu item – brisket hash. Mrs. Vargas recited the ingredient list without…

Texas Barbecue Appreciation Society

Mar 2, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

For forty years, Paul Burka has been a part of Texas Monthly. His retirement officially begins today, on Texas Independence Day. His legacy will live on in Texas Monthly’s list of the best and worst legislators, and his celebrated career has made an impact on Texas politics. But what few know…

A Timeline of Lockhart Barbecue

Feb 23, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

The Texas Legislature designated Lockhart, Texas as the “Barbecue Capital of Texas.” That, you probably knew along with the fact that it is home to five barbecue joints. Kreuz Market, one of Texas’s oldest, opened all the way back in 1900, while Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack is just two years old.

Bryan Family Artifacts and Mementos

Sep 8, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

This week on TMBBQ we’ll take a look at the Bryan family’s barbecue legacy. From Elias, to Red, to Sonny Bryan and beyond, the Dallas roots of this family tree run deep, but the branches extend well beyond Texas. With so much family history, there are plenty of artifacts and mementos that…

1940’s Era Menu from Martin’s Place

Jun 11, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

During an interview with Steve Kapchinskie of Martin’s Place in Bryan (since 1925), he mentioned a copy of an old menu that he had in his records. The menu is from the forties,and he was kind enough to scan it and send it for us to post it here.

Theon Beef Club

Mar 10, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

There’s a Beef Club in Theon, Texas, but good luck getting a membership today. All that’s left of this club that disbanded in 1949 is a tiny metal clad building with a slight lean. The birth and death date are recorded on the front of the building as if…