BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 1, 2014

Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack

A pulled pork sandwich with slaw and sauce in between a honey bun and served in a Styrofoam container – it doesn’t get much further from the barbecue you’d expect to get in Lockhart, Texas. That’s precisely why Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack has been successful over the past year. Instead of trying

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 25, 2014

Schmidt Family Barbecue

When Schmidt Family Barbecue opened late last year it was billed as a taste of Lockhart, without having to drive to Lockhart. Two of the most famous barbecue joints in the state, Kreuz Market and Smitty’s, had put aside their differences. In a show of family unity, they partnered and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 18, 2014

Killen’s Barbecue

“The Best Barbecue, Period.” That’s the motto Ronnie Killen has printed on the shirts that he and his staff wear, putting a daily target on every one of their backs. Making that declaration even after a good run of success toes the line between confidence and arrogance, but Killen had them

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 11, 2014

Clark’s Outpost

In 1974 Warren Clark opened a little barbecue shack in Tioga, Texas, and it didn’t take long before it became the darling of food critics, chefs and celebrities. In 1989, Alan Richman, then writing for People, claimed “Clark produces the best barbecue in Texas, which is something to brag about.” Dallas

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 1, 2014

Kerlin BBQ

Kerlin BBQ isn’t yet a year old, making it one of the youngest barbecue joints in Austin to be mentioned with the big names. Owner and pitmaster Bill Kerlin is also pretty new to the craft of smoking meat. “I never cooked a brisket until I moved to

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 24, 2014

Hinze’s BBQ

Nothing about Hinze’s BBQ in Sealy says trendy. It’s situated a half block from I-10, and right next to a Whataburger. Just like that Whataburger, Hinze’s has a drive-thru stacked with vehicles. There were so many cars that I went inside to find their massive menu displayed on

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 17, 2014

Brown’s Bar-B-Que

Brown’s Bar-B-Que has one of the best briskets in Austin, and one of the best side items in Texas. When I visited a year ago (at their previous location) I found the brisket to be the weak link, but no longer. Pitmaster Daniel Brown has found the sweet spot in his

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 10, 2014

Hickory House Bar-B-Que

Johnny Doyle cooks on a gas rotisserie, but he’d do it differently if he could. He takes pride in the barbecue he puts out in his nearly forty-year-old Denison restaurant, so when a pit fire destroyed his Oylers, he wanted to replace them. “[J&R Manufacturing] told me it would be

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 3, 2014

Perk’s Bar-B-Que

Melissa Perkins grew up in Colbert, Oklahoma just across the Red River from Texas around the same time that the legendary PO Sam had his barbecue joint along Franklin Street in Colbert. A friend of hers worked at the barbecue joint, so when she took her friend to PO

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 27, 2014

Bubba Moses Pit BBQ

Chances are you won’t just happen upon Bubba Moses Pit BBQ in Dawson. The tiny town is along State Highway 31 between Corsicana and Waco. Even if you’ve driven that route, a well-timed sneeze might cause you to miss Dawson entirely. If you’re alert, look for the steady mesquite smoke that rises

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 20, 2014

Mack’s Split Rail Bar-B-Que

In Wyatt McSpadden’s book Texas BBQ from 2009 there are two evocative early-morning photos of the tall smokestack at Mack’s Split Rail Bar-B-Que in Mineola. Other than these photos, I hadn’t seen or heard much about the place and wondered if maybe it had closed. On a trip to Tyler

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 13, 2014

Ed’s Smok-N-Q

A accolade from two years back brought me to this renovated Sonic on the east side of San Antonio. A local media outlet (I don’t recall which one) wrote that Ed’s Smok-N-Q served the best brisket in the city. That claim in San Antonio doesn’t carry quite the weight as the same

BBQ Joint Reviews |
May 6, 2014

Hot Spot BBQ

I was looking for a jerk chicken restaurant just south of the Trinity University campus in San Antonio when I drove past a brightly painted converted service station. I hadn’t planned on visiting Hot Spot BBQ that day, but when the jerk chicken shack was locked down tight, I made

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 29, 2014

KB’s BBQ

This review comes from Texas Monthly’s Food Editor Pat Sharpe who found this little barbecue trailer during her travels through Victoria.The first sign that today was not my day was when I screeched up in front of Kevin Broll’s barbecue truck a mere nine minutes before closing time—that was pretty

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 22, 2014

4-T’s Bar-B-Q

For weeks 4-T’s Bar-B-Q courted me via Twitter. They would regularly send out photos of their brisket or of the Friday-only burnt ends. All of this was with the intent of getting me to drive the twenty minutes east of Dallas to try their barbecue in Forney. When I finally

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 15, 2014

Post Mountain BBQ

Post Mountain BBQ is in a tough spot. This tiny barbecue joint has its back to busy Highway 281 that bisects Burnet, and it’s a half block off the town square. Unless your keen eye picks up the small sign hanging out front that reads “BBQ,” you’d probably miss it,

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 8, 2014

Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak

Robert Payne has worked as a butcher in the past, and more recently for the Butter Krust bread bakery. His wife, Penny, was also in food service at a local school cafeteria. Three years ago, they both decided to retire and open up a barbecue joint in Burnet. They chose

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 1, 2014

Billy’s Oak Acres Bar-B-Q

On my first visit back in October, I thought that Billy Woodrich of Billy’s Oak Acres was smoking the best brisket in Fort Worth. It was smoky, moist, and perfectly tender showing some real skill from whoever was tending the pit. Since then, my opinion has wandered back and forth

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 25, 2014

Matus Pit Bar-B-Q

It was Saturday morning and I had snuck away briefly from a conference I was attending to check on a barbecue lead in Caldwell. My web searches brought up none of the details of the joint. From searching on Google’s street viewer I found the building and a couple of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 18, 2014

Petty’s BBQ

My visit to Petty’s BBQ was just a stop out of convenience. I came to Killeen to eat at another barbecue joint up the street. Big LL’s BBQ opened earlier this year just a mile away from Petty’s, and in a news story the owner announced “I don’t have

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 11, 2014

Hwy 29 BBQ

This stone covered building along Highway 29 in Bertram was once home to barbecue royalty. Bertram Smokehouse had a place in Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ joints in 2008. Then they moved into a bigger building across the tracks and soon folded. Tin Star BBQ also came and went a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 4, 2014

Pit-Stop Bar-B-Q

The joint’s not big. There are just a few tables, and most customers take their order to go. Behind the small counter is Kim Dunn who opened this place four years ago after moving from nearby Belton. As someone who seems to genuinely enjoy her job, there’s a good chance

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 3, 2014

Mexican/Canadian BBQ

Carne a la Lena “Meat from a Wood Fire”I was on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I should have been looking for local seafood or hidden gem taquerias, but it was a sign that read “BBQ” that caught my eye during the cab ride from the airport to our

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 25, 2014

The Cattle Exchange

Canadian, Texas is out there. In the already secluded Texas Panhandle, it stands alone anchoring the northeast corner. Amarillo is over a hundred miles away, and the next town of any consequence is two hundred miles east in Oklahoma City. With so little to visit nearby, Canadian has

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 18, 2014

Spicy Mike’s Bar-B-Q Haven

Mike Havens was done being an electrician. He had a lot more fun making barbecue for his crew, so he got a bigger smoker. That steel offset smoker sits out front by the road, but it’s mainly for show unless Havens has a catering gig. The workhouse now is a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 11, 2014

Pickles BBQ & Icehouse

I saw a flight of “flavor infused” pickles on the menu, and I was immediately powerless. I had to order them. I was dining alone during lunch at this sports bar/live music venue/barbecue joint hybrid in a suburb north of Fort Worth. Olympics curling was on the television in my

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 4, 2014

Virdinski’s Rub Shack

Amarillo can be a tough place for barbecue purists. Chris Virden is trying hard to make good barbecue at the three-month old Virdinski’s, but he can’t always make it the way he’d like to. In addition to his dozen years working for a local steakhouse, Virden is also a serious

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 28, 2014

Gas Monkey Bar and Grill

At four month old Gas Monkey Bar and Grill, I thought I was walking into a made for T.V. joke where barbecue was going to be the punch line. Muscle car makeover maestro Richard Ray Rawlings started in the business world with an advertising and printing firm in Dallas. He

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 27, 2014

Delysia/Salt Lick Truffles

A few years ago a group of barbecue aficionados met up for a pow-wow at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. We wanted to share stories and some great smoked meats, and one of the attendees brought in some contraband dessert. It was homemade ice cream made with Dr Pepper flavored

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 21, 2014

DBQ

Editor’s note: The name of this joint has been changed to DBQ since this article was published.Kyle Lewallen started his barbecue catering company while still a junior at Texas A&M. A few years later he bought a food trailer and parked it just a block away from campus. He couldn’t

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 14, 2014

Lenox Bar-B-Q

I walked through the front door, or at least I thought it was the front door. I was part way through it, when I turned around to walk back into the parking lot to make sure. It was definitely the front of the building, and this was the only door,

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 7, 2014

City Market (Schulenburg)

If I had it my way, City Market in Schulenburg would have a warning sign on their barbecue menu: “Pit in use only on Saturday, microwaves the rest of the week.” You see, first and foremost this is a meat market. Making sausage (including weiners) is their biggest business, on

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 23, 2013

Rio Grande Grill

For a small joint, there are plenty of cooks in this kitchen. Daniel Wright is the pitmaster, his wife Stefania Trimboli-Wright is the chef, her sous chef is Roque Luis Peña, and they even have a pastry chef – Drew Mann. They all have their specialty, but as a group they’ve

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 17, 2013

Curly’s Carolina, TX Barbeque

John Brotherton and Jay Yates seemed headed in different directions in the barbecue business until they found a way to work together. Both started with their own food trucks. John ran Hall of Flame BBQ in Pflugerville, but it closed earlier this year. Jay was successful enough with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 10, 2013

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

My first trip to Valentina’s was on a whim. I stopped at the trailer behind the Star Bar on Sixth Street in Austin on my way out of town. A friend was writing a story on taco variations, and I thought I might be able to add a novelty to

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 26, 2013

Shorty’s BBQ

A reader forwarded me this note comparing Shorty’s BBQ to Pecan Lodge in Dallas. “At Shorty’s, you don’t have to wait and they don’t run out of food, AND the beef is just as good.” I’d seen the prominent signs for Shorty’s on Highway 80 east of Dallas*, but this

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 19, 2013

Cattleack BBQ

Along Alpha Road you’ll pass a few furniture stores, a discount mattress outlet and a block or two of banal single-story retail buildings. When you turn north on Gamma Road you’ll think for sure that you’re in the wrong neighborhood, but look for the sidewalk signs advertising BBQ. There will

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 12, 2013

Big Al’s Smokehouse Barbecue

Big Al’s Smokehouse Barbecue has been smoking meats in Dallas for forty years. I recently sat down with owner Al Plaskoff to discuss a little Dallas barbecue history, and to learn where Big Al’s fits into the local story. It’s quite a legacy. There aren’t many restaurants of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 11, 2013

American Smoke

“This is my crack habit right here.” That’s how Tom Bera of the Philly Blind Pig BBQ team describes competition barbecue in a new documentary, American Smoke. Bera’s comparison is not only a comment on how addictive the competitions are and the high of winning one, but he’s also

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 5, 2013

Billy’s Pit Bar-B-Q

On his 1994 album Gringo Honeymoon, Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen recorded a song entitled “Barbeque.” It has become the anthem for many of my smoked meat adventures along with most every other REK song. When I had a chance meeting with he and Lyle Lovett at the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 29, 2013

Micklethwait Craft Meats

There’s a trailer in East Austin that is creating a new target for what it means to be a complete barbecue joint. Micklethwait Craft Meats not only serves great smoked meats, they also bake their own bread and desserts, all the sides and sauce are homemade, and they start with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 28, 2013

What’s the Rub?

Salt and pepper is a good start to any barbecue rub, but most on the market go well beyond that. The many labels on store shelves show the infinite combinations of paprika, sugar, garlic powder and anything else from the spice aisle that manufacturers believe will make their rub stand

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 22, 2013

Larrie’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

If you live in Austin, chances are you wouldn’t pass by Larrie’s Smokehouse in Bastrop. Billy’s, Cartwright’s and Fittie’s along busy four-lane Highway 71 may be familiar, but Larrie’s sits on the north side of town along tree-lined Highway 95. Coming south from Elgin the sign is hard to miss.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 15, 2013

R&G Bar-B-Que

Roy Jeffrey started working at City Market in Luling when he was ten. He then took that sauce and sausage recipe to Houston where he opened Luling City Market with a couple of business partners in 1981. He tired of the city life after a decade as the pitmaster there,

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 8, 2013

Baker’s Ribs – Weatherford

It’s a long drive from Deep Ellum to Weatherford, but repeated pleas from the owner of this Baker’s Ribs west of Fort Worth had convinced me that they were doing something a little different than their forebearers in Dallas. The owners posted photos of hormone-free, antibiotic-free briskets they’re using from

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 1, 2013

Sean’s Mesquite Pit BBQ

I’d seen this joint from the highway a couple of times, and I finally took the giant Texas U-turn required to visit. If you’re headed north on US Highway 287 through Decatur you’ll need to exit at US Highway 380 and go around a couple of cloverleaf ramps to get

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 24, 2013

Blue Ox Barbecue

The rise of Austin’s barbecue culture has been led by food trailers. The mighty trio of John Mueller Meat Co., la Barbecue, and Franklin Barbecue (which began as a food trailer) lead the local scene and have made patrons all too familiar with the “Sold Out” sign. These joints all

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 17, 2013

Joel’s Bar-B-Q

Back in 1978 Joycelyn and her then-husband Joel Kubesch were smoking meat at area parking lots on the weekends. They then moved into this current building around 1980. Joycelyn runs the place now, but the building looks like it came from another century. A tin roof over a clapboard exterior

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 10, 2013

Cotten’s Barbecue

Update: This joint is permanently CLOSED.2013: This is the second in a dual review. It’s rare to find two barbecue joints with food so similar to one another, but Cotten’s Catering in Calallen and Cotten’s Barbecue in San Antonio are nearly dead ringers. It all goes back to

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 10, 2013

Cotten’s Catering

This is the first in a dual review. It’s rare to find two barbecue joints with food so similar to one another, but Cotten’s Catering in Calallen and Cotten’s Barbecue in San Antonio are nearly dead ringers. It all goes back to 1947 when Joe Cotten starting selling