BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 1, 2016

Top 5 BBQ

Four years ago, Davetta Greene bought a used barbecue pit for $40. It was a gift for her husband, Kendon. After fried pork chops caused two separate fires in their home kitchen, she thought it was time he moved his cooking outside. He didn’t take to the pitmaster role immediately. “It was

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 24, 2016

Pat Gee’s Barbecue

The hand-painted wooden sign reads “Pat’s Barbecue,” but everybody calls it Pat Gee’s after its late founder, Mack Henry “Pat” Gee, who opened this barbecue shack east of Tyler, deep in the piney woods, sometime around 1963. Pat, his wife Vida, and their seven children lived just up the hill

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 17, 2016

One90 Smoked Meats

This is not a barbecue joint. As the name suggests, they specialize in smoked meats, which are mostly piled in a sandwich. If you come to One90 Smoked Meats looking for a combo plate with slaw and beans on a plastic tray, prepare to be disappointed. But if you’re happy with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 3, 2016

Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery

Cary Hodson wanted to bring a brewery to historic downtown Garland. City regulations said he needed food to go along with his craft beers, so he enlisted the aptly named Tex Morgan to bring the barbecue. They made room for an Oyler smoker, and now Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery has

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 31, 2016

Zeke’s BBQ

Sometimes all it takes to seduce me into a high-mileage gamble on a barbecue joint are a few meat photos on Facebook. Unless you’re taking the circuitous route to nearby Wichita Falls, Windthorst, Texas isn’t really on the way to anywhere. But a mere five-hour round trip from home isn’t a bad investment for

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 24, 2016

The Salt Lick: An Appreciation

The image above is probably the most well-known in Texas barbecue. A photo of, or with, the iconic pit at the Salt Lick is on par with braking for our state’s bluebonnets along the highway. This particular photo fetched me nearly 3,000 likes on Instagram. My best image of a Franklin

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 20, 2016

Truth Barbeque

Last year, Leonard Botello IV decided he wanted to open a barbecue joint. The big hitch in his giddyup? He needed a smoker. He started searching for a workable, used pit, and pretty soon “a Klose pit came up on Craigslist in Cleveland,” he recalled. Ohio, that is, not Texas. According

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 6, 2016

Julian’s BBQ

To the people of Corpus Christi, I’m sorry about your barbecue. I tried just about every joint in the city a couple of weeks back, and there wasn’t much good news to report. There was one bright spot, though: Julian’s BBQ.With a black cowboy hat, a black shirt, and a red

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 29, 2016

King’s Hwy Brew & Q

Emilio Soliz began his barbecue career in a good spot. As a young man, he was the pitmaster at Two Bros. BBQ Market when they were named to the Texas Monthly Top 50 joints. Soon after, Anthony Bourdain visited and snapped a photo with Soliz—his reputation was on the rise.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 22, 2016

Old 300 BBQ

Even if the 300 migrants first given land grants in Texas didn’t make it to Blanco, Old 300 BBQ is still a good lesson in Texas history. The Hill Country joint is dubbed in honor of those original settlers; their names adorn the walls and modified Texas battle flags are etched into

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 15, 2016

Ronnie’s BBQ

Ronnie Weiershausen is a rare breed. Although most every barbecue joint out there is using an offset smoker or a rotisserie, Weiershausen still prefers the old-fashioned way of burning oak logs down to coals to feed the pits at Ronnie’s BBQ in Johnson City. The smell of fat dripping onto the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 1, 2016

Coach’s Bar-B-Que

It was one of those rare times I wasn’t looking just for brisket. The possibility of a well-smoked burger on Coach’s menu was the draw. It reminded me that I’d never had a good one, and this joint just west of Waco might be the breakthrough. Certainly, a patty of smoky

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 25, 2016

Back Home BBQ

Just a few months after opening in early 2015, Dallas’s Back Home BBQ pulled a barbecue mulligan: They shut it down. The already renovated Chinese restaurant got re-renovated. A new patio and sign were installed, and the menu was overhauled. When it reopened last November, pitmaster Carl Anderson began cooking with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 14, 2016

The Witt Pit BBQ

Randy Witt bet on a cursed location in the small town of Rosenberg for his first restaurant. He had run a successful catering business with his wife, Shauna for sixteen years before jumping into the restaurant business. “This building has been a barbecue joint for thirty years,” Witt told me, but the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 4, 2016

Vincek’s Smokehouse

Gary Vincek seems to do it all. He doesn’t run a just a barbecue joint, a sausage factory, a meat market, a processing facility, or a bakery. As owner and pitmaster at Vincek’s Smokehouse, he and his crew provide the Southeast Texas town of East Bernard with all of those things.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 19, 2016

Mike Anderson’s BBQ House

Mike Anderson Jr. runs one of the most popular barbecue lunch spots in Dallas, but when he opened it with his dad back in 1982, they really didn’t know what they’d gotten into. “We started it together the week after I got out of high school,” he told me while

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 12, 2016

Tons of Fun BBQ

A tattered banner hangs on the side of the small building that houses Tons of Fun BBQ. The restaurant sits on a gravel lot along the main drag of Bartlett, a town of just over 2,000 residents that’s midway between Temple and Taylor. Inside there’s just a counter and a cash register. Takeout

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 22, 2016

Tejas Chocolate Craftory

Scott Moore wanted to make tequila, but you can only call it “tequila” if it’s made in Mexico, and there is already plenty of competition on the store shelves. So he settled for chocolate. The availability of good chocolate was a different story in 2011 when Moore and his partner, Michelle Holland,

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 18, 2016

Church BBQ

Out in the Piney Woods of East Texas, a legendary barbecue joint run by the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church has been dishing out classic East Texas-style barbecue since the seventies. Some refer to it as New Zion, after the church it supports next door. Tthers call it “The Church of the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 8, 2016

Blue Moon BBQ

Before I was Barbecue Editor for Texas Monthly for nearly three years, I maintained my own blog, Full Custom Gospel BBQ, and one the last reviews I wrote was for Blue Moon BBQ. The first visit was a good one, and I’ve tried a few follow-ups that were thwarted by my own poor

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 18, 2015

The Big Bib BBQ

There’s no sign over the door—at least not for now—but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter. The Big Bib BBQ and its new attached event space anchor the corner of an aging strip center along Austin Highway in northeast San Antonio. It’s under construction, and the awnings are being replaced, but

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 11, 2015

Thorndale Meat Market

Central Texas was once known for its meat market-style barbecue joints, i.e. meat markets that had a barbecue business on the side. Many of those places are gone, or they have converted into barbecue-only businesses. A few holdouts remain, including one shining example: the Thorndale Meat Market.About an hour northeast of Austin, out on Texas

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 4, 2015

18th & Vine Barbeque

I’ve never eaten at a restaurant more often before a first review than this one. Including opening night, I’ve enjoyed seven meals at 18th & Vine since they opened the doors in early October. It helps that the restaurant is just fifteen minutes from my house, but it also takes a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 30, 2015

Fatboy’s BBQ

In 2009, Shannon Bankston and Heather Hoff opened a barbecue shack back in the tiny Northeast Texas town of Ladonia, population 612. Before long they sought out a bigger audience and moved Fatboy’s BBQ to the next county over, specifically to a roadside stand in Cooper, Texas, population 1,969. Fatboy’s popularity in the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 20, 2015

Desert Oak Barbecue

Back in April, I gave El Paso some tough love. I had tried and failed to find good barbecue there, and I wrote about my futile search in an article called “BBQ in Far West Texas? I’ll Paso.” With a headline like that, it’s no surprise that the piece resulted in

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 13, 2015

The Smoking Oak

Until relatively recently, when I heard (and sometimes gave) barbecue recommendations for places located along the edges of Texas, often the tip came with a qualifier: “It’s good for ___.” Fill in the blank with East Texas, The Panhandle, or the Valley. Even our Top 50 BBQ lists had a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 6, 2015

Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

If you’ve traveled down I-35 between Waco and Austin, you’ve probably wondered about Schoepf’s. Red billboards in either direction beckon. The name is noticeable if only for its phonetically challenging spelling (they say it “shuffs”). It might also be in your consciousness if you’re a longtime reader of Texas Monthly, which included

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 26, 2015

Winners BBQ

De’Andre Jackson never thought he’d be cooking barbecue for a living. As a football star out of Garland, he started for the Big 12’s Iowa State. Entering his senior year, some had him graded as the third best cornerback in college. An ACL-tear toward the end of the season kept

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 16, 2015

Heim Barbecue

For all chefs, there are moments in their culinary careers that forever shape them. Moments when principles are seared into their brain by mentors, books, or classes only to manifest in their cooking techniques for life. For Travis Heim, owner and pitmaster of Heim Barbecue, in Fort Worth, one of those illuminating experiences came

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 12, 2015

Hard Eight BBQ

Dining at Hard Eight BBQ is as much about experience as it is about the meal. During a recent visit to the original Stephenville location, I lined up with thirty other people, an impressive crowd for 1:00 p.m. on a Friday. Together we stood together facing cord upon cord of neatly piled mesquite and two

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 2, 2015

B-Daddy’s BBQ

The challenges of running a barbecue food truck weren’t lost on B.R. Anderson when he opened B-Daddy’s BBQ, in San Antonio, in 2012. After all, he was the third owner of the trailer he bought, stepping in after the other two gave up on their ventures. But in restaurants, it’s often innovate

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 25, 2015

Kolacny Bar-B-Q

This barbecue joint does not exist. No, this is not the start of a philosophical argument over what is and isn’t real. What I mean to say is that I thought this category of barbecue joint–“the unknown”–was gone forever. The “unknown” is a place that I would characterize as a “hidden gem,” a restaurant that

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 18, 2015

B & D Ice House

When Jason and Jake Dady opened Two Bros. BBQ Market, the barbecue joint on San Antonio’s north side of town was met with critical acclaim (including from Texas Monthly, which named it one of the Top 50 in 2013). Pivoting off of this success, the brothers decided to turn their sights

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 11, 2015

Pizzitola’s

Legends in the barbecue world perpetuate themselves. Keeping your doors open for decades takes hard work, loyal customers, and a little luck, and it doesn’t happen that often. In return, such barbecue joints are worshiped for their longevity, and rightly so. It’s a huge benefit, but it also comes with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 4, 2015

Quality Packers Smokehouse

When I first saw the website for the Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail, I thought it was some sort of chamber of commerce brain child meant to pump up some mediocre local businesses. Mumphord’s Place in Victoria and McMillans in Fannin were both good enough to make our latest Top 50

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 28, 2015

Swinging Door

Big cities in Texas all seem to have a beloved barbecue retreat outside of town. It’s a joint far enough away that you really need to leave the city to get there. For Dallas it is Clark’s Outpost in Tioga, San Antonio has the original Rudy’s BBQ in Leon Springs, Austin