BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 17, 2010

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

On a trip down to Nacogdoches, the family stopped for ‘cue in Tyler at Stanley’s. I’d visited once before with a friend and found many faults with Stanley’s although it seemed to have potential. After meeting owner Nick Pencis at the Gettin’ Sauced event in Austin, he urged

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 16, 2010

City Market (Luling)

Showing this joint to a friend for the first time is always fun, but the huge line can be daunting. Luckily we were stuffed, so waiting for a half hour or so wasn’t the worst that could have happened.Once inside the smoking room we were mesmerized by

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 4, 2010

The Smokehouse

As I pondered my order, a surly pitmaster noticed my FCGBBQ T-shirt and made some smart comments about me spying on his joint to get some tips for mine. He didn’t know I was just there to review it, so it was great to talk with him

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 1, 2010

Franklin Barbecue

Just before the Gettin’ Sauced event, I stopped in again at Franklin Barbecue to try the ribs and pulled pork. I knew the brisket was stellar from previous visits (I stole a bite or two from the Patron Saint on this trip too), so I wanted to check on the other

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 16, 2010

New Zion Bar-B-Q

Sometimes known as the “Church of the Holy Smoke,” this joint is a destination for BBQ lovers all over the state. It has made it onto countless “best of” lists when Texas BBQ is being discussed, and the church’s incredible story has been told in magazines and television.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 15, 2010

Two Bros. BBQ Market

My second trip to Two Bros. was just a month after the first, but I had to get back there to see if the brisket was great twice in a row, and I forgot to try the cold smoked shrimp and stuffed jalapenos back in January. It

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 23, 2010

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

It had been some time since my last visit to Cooper’s in Llano. This haven for bikers out on their Saturday stroll isn’t on the way from Dallas to anywhere, so I made a special road trip of my own. There was some BBQ sampled along the way, but

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 1, 2010

Franklin Barbecue

It’s been a while since I’ve found an honest “sugar cookie” on my brisket, but as I waited for my order to be filled, owner and pitmaster Aaron Franklin handed me a preview morsel from the fatty end of the brisket and the flavor was transcendent. If I lived in

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 1, 2010

Two Bros. BBQ Market

I know we’re well into the last week of January, but this is my official first review of the New Year. I visited this joint when most others were closed on New Year’s day. It was nearly empty, so I had the place to myself, and I was free to

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 2, 2009

Cousin’s Bar-B-Q

This is the second Cousin’s location that I’ve tried, and it’s the better of the two by a slight edge. After coming from Bill’s in White Settlement, my mouth desperately needed some edible meat. Waiting in line, I could smell the smokiness, and my

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 26, 2009

Casstevens Cash & Carry

Two trips in two years, and it was pouring down rain both times. I guess the sun shines in Lillian, I just haven’t seen it. It’s not like you pass through a place like Lillian. With Cedar Hill State Park to the east and nothing to the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 11, 2009

Hashknife on the Chisholm

This joint has been on my list for a long time. Back in June 2008 Texas Monthly’s “Top 50 BBQ Joints” listed Hashknife on the Chisholm, and a name like that really piqued my attention. Peadenville is barely a blip on the map at the crossroads of two

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 16, 2009

Country Tavern

This joint might as well be a Texas legend. I’ve heard so much about it from magazines, friends, and readers that I was dying to make it over to this storied establishment. In my research, I noticed the scorn heaped upon the new metal building with the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 1, 2009

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

The four meat sampler plate should become a staple of every self-respecting BBQ joint. The idea of piling a plate with multiple proteins, and diggin’ in without the distractions of cole slaw, pinto beans or anything else to slow down the ingestion pleases me. The folks over at Stanley’s seem

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 22, 2009

Longoria’s BBQ

After sampling some Longoria’s chopped beef and delectable brisket sausage at the Rahr Brewery tour, I knew I needed to get back soon. Besides, I was already out of the beef jerky that I picked up at the tour which is the best I’ve ever tasted (in addition

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 16, 2009

Black’s Barbecue

Some joints are known for how well they do one meat or another, but Black’s does them all well. Brisket, ribs, sausage, and turkey were piled on top of our small plate, and they were all picture perfect.The brisket had a dark crust and deep-red smoke line. The meat

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 16, 2009

City Meat Market

Thousands of drivers a day pass through Giddings along Texas Highway 290 on their way between Austin and Houston. They would all do themselves a favor if they stopped right in the center of town to sample the fine meats smoked at City Meat Market. This is a true meat

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 16, 2009

Prause Meat Market

A nondescript metal door on the side of the building is the entrance into the pit of this joint with more than one hundred years of history. Prause was a meat market in the late 1800’s and has been a barbecue joint nearly all of its life, according

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 14, 2009

Kreuz Market

On two previous trips to Lockhart, Kreuz was solid, but it has never been otherworldly. I assumed this trip would be no different, but it turned out to be one of my best barbecue experiences. I’ve eaten mounds of barbecue in my time, but this day was different. Two companions and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 7, 2009

Gonzales Food Market

The Food Market on the historic square of Gonzales is part BBQ joint and part convenience store. Pass through the glass door and you’ll hear a hum of activity as you walk toward the large glass-faced cases that display the plethora of smoked meats available. Behind the counter

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 2, 2009

Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ

December 23, 2008, to February 5, 2009, were the longest six weeks in the history of Smithville, Texas. This setting for the movie “Hope Floats” was full of folks hankering for Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que, but their purveyors, Bert and Dee Dee Bunte, had called it quits after years of working

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 31, 2009

Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

A few months ago Schoepf’s added on a new room in the back, and a new entry where you can now order your food inside rather than in the out-of-doors. I ordered brisket, ribs, and a pork chop.The brisket had the same roast-beefiness as it did

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 17, 2009

Smitty’s Market

Something about watching a man in a grease stained white jacket and a large knife portioning out my lunch, makes me crave it even more with every slice. Service is curt and efficient at this Lockhart legend, but the only niceties I need were piled on that butcher paper.An

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 16, 2009

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que

The Salt Lick is renowned throughout Texas, and holds a special place in the heart of BBQ fanatics. Many recent reviews have decried the demise of this mecca of Texas BBQ claiming that it’s all about atmosphere, and not enough about what’s in the pits. The setting alone may be

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 8, 2009

Mann’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

A spot in Texas Monthly‘s Top 50 brings high expectations, so my mouth was watering after the disappointment at Texas Rib Kings down the street. Tuesday-Friday 11-3 were the temporary hours posted at the door, but there was no indication of the timeline for these hours. Upon ordering

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 1, 2009

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Downtown Austin is home to many new structures, many of them modern. In the midst of the building boom sits Lamberts, which is located in a historic two-story brick building with lofty ceilings and an open kitchen. On a Wednesday afternoon, there were no open tables during lunchtime,

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 4, 2008

Bubba’s Bar-B-Q

This joint is all about meat. There is a large cooling case at the entrance where you can choose your own raw steak to be grilled per your specifications. Whether you want steak or bbq, everyone waits in the same line . . . unless you choose

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 17, 2008

Cousin’s Bar-B-Q

Normally I stay away from chains, but this location made it into Texas Monthly’s Top 50, so I thought I’d give it a try. There are four stand-alone locations as well as two more in the DFW Airport, but a friend and I chose to try the original, which opened

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 21, 2008

Luling Bar-B-Q

There is ample competition just on the other side of the square from the famous City Market in Luling, but this joint holds its own. Ordering is done at the counter, and prices here are very reasonable. I ordered a two-meat plate with brisket and ribs. The sliced beef had

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 8, 2008

Scholl Bros. Bar-B-Que

This joint came with high praise, so I drove about two hours to give it a try. Approaching the place, my hopes seemed fulfilled. The sheet metal and wood exterior along with the faded sign reeked potential. Talk about disappointment. The ribs here were nearly devoid of flavor and were

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

The Brother-in-Law, a sandwiched smorgasbord of chopped beef, butterflied hot links, and cheese, has a powerful (and well-deserved) reputation in East Texas, but order the old-fashioned hand-pulled-pork sandwich, filled with juicy shreds of perfectly smoked pork shoulder. Nick Pencis, the owner and pitmaster, follows a fifty-year-old smoking method—meats housed for

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Opie’s Barbecue

The prime rib at Opie’s is so tender you almost feel sorry for it. How will it protect itself? It lacks the brisket’s seasoned black bark, the baby back ribs’ sweet, chewy crust, or the all-pork jalapeño sausage’s threatening heat. Also try the tater tot casserole and the homemade, bigger-than-a-child’s-head

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Pappy’s Bar BQ

The mesquite-smoked brisket was well seasoned and tender, and the sliced German sausage was slightly sweet and spicy. But the real winners at this rustic locale, decorated with vintage posters for old cowboy flicks, were the sides. Green beans sprinkled with garlic, onion, and bacon and not-too-chunky potato salad with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Tom and Bingo’s Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que

For more than fifty years, this boxy luncheonette has turned out sliced- and chopped-beef sandwiches as good as you’ll ever eat, plus smoked-ham sandwiches and smoked burgers. That’s all, but that’s enough. The brisket, cooked for sixteen to eighteen hours in a well-worn brick pit, is lean and succulent, with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Snow’s BBQ

A small wood-frame restaurant, open only on Saturdays and only from eight in the morning until whenever the meat runs out, usually around noon, Snow’s is remarkable not only for the quality of its ’cue—“outlandishly tender brisket, fall-apart-delicious chicken”—but for the unlikeliness of its story. The genius behind this meat

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Smitty’s Market

Don’t bother going in the front door. You’ll end up in the parking lot behind the boxy brick building anyway, doing the Smitty’s shuffle: At peak hours, the lines invariably stretch out the back door. Patiently, you inch your way forward, passing the waist-high brick pits and perusing the list

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

City Meat Market

This friendly shop with blackened walls has been going strong for more than sixty years, and the locals swear by it. Though the brisket was average the day we went, everything else was excellent—pork, sausage, and chicken, all smoked with post oak in an iron-lined and tile-covered brick pit.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Burns Bar-B-Que Cooking and Catering

There’s always a line at this clapboard take-out shack. Plump, pink pork ribs, cooked over post oak in a steel pit for four hours, were irresistible. Smoky brisket was fall-apart tender. Commercially made beef-and-pork links tasted decidedly uncommercial. The sauce was tangy, good for dipping ribs and links. The sole

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Louie Mueller Barbecue

Forty-nine years of post oak coals in the pit have smoke-cured the building, which previously housed a ladies’ basketball court and a grocery market. Louie moved in with his barbecue business in 1959; his son, Bobby, took over more than three decades ago, but not a thing has suffered from

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Cousin’s Barbecue

In barbecue time there’s before, during, and after. Before our meal at Cousin’s, we studied the brisket’s thin, dark crust. During our meal, the smoky taste made us lose track of our other senses. Ribs were rich. Sauce was tart. Sweet beans really were. After, we wondered where the time had gone.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Bubba’s Bar-B-Q

Twenty minutes after opening, the wood-paneled dining room was already filling up with patrons. The hickory-smoked ribs were so good we ate everything that wasn’t bone . . . and kept the bones for marrow-sucking. Sides vary daily, but don’t miss the crisp coleslaw mixed with just enough mayonnaise and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

TC’s Ponderosa

The meats at this convenience store with but three tables were so pleasingly smoky we were shocked to learn the pit burns propane. TC’s only sells meat by the pound and sandwiches. Of the eight meats, seventeen-and-a-half-hour brisket and piquant beef-pork hot links were the stars. Beans and slaw are

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

City Market (Luling)

You’ve come for wholeness, for satisfaction deep within your soul. Your searching has brought you here, to the company of fellow pilgrims in the snaking line. Slowly, you advance across the tile floor, past the knotty-pine walls, and up to the inner sanctum: a glass-enclosed chamber where a host of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Thompson’s BBQ

As a general rule, the barbecue biz is pretty low-tech, but we noticed that owner Robert Thompson and his wife, Linda, both wore wireless telephone headsets. Perhaps this be-prepared attitude is the secret to Thompson’s success. He insists that pecan is the correct wood and that twelve hours is the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Kreuz Market

The old Kreuz Market was like a one-room chapel. The humble brick building off the courthouse square in Lockhart had turned out divine smoked meat since 1900. But just as churchgoers nowadays worship in larger halls, so too does the visitor to the new Kreuz Market, which opened in 1999

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Can a place that cooks its meat in a gas-burning rotisserie make really great ’cue? Well, the brown-sugar-and-coffee-rubbed brisket was delicious, the maple-and-coriander-encrusted pork ribs were tender, the pulled pork was perfect, and the chorizo-ish jalapeño hot links were unforgettable. Sides and desserts were extraordinary. A jícama-and-carrot slaw, in particular,

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

Cripple Creek B-B-Q

Though the usual fare can be found at Bill and Patty Flowers’s joint, it would be a barbecue sin not to sample their famous hog wings. The delectable hickory-smoked wing—actually a pork shank—looked like a juicy meat lollipop. Instead of dipping this treat in the unremarkable barbecue sauce, try the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 21, 2008

The Smokehouse

This modest spot with vinyl tablecloths and a TV mounted on the wall is brought to life by the old players handling the forty-foot indoor pit. We encountered laborers, families, and professional types all enjoying crunchy-on-the-outside, flavorful-and-moist-on-the-inside 24-hour brisket along with juicy pork ribs and not-too-greasy sausage, all smoked over