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…

Mapping Texas Barbecue History

Mar 7, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

When it comes to Texas barbecue’s roots, Central Texas meat markets get all the glory. The German and Czech immigrants who built the fires at Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Southside Market in Elgin, and Prause Meat Market in La Grange were indeed barbecue pioneers, but their stories are often elevated because those…

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,…