BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 6, 2015

Clark Food & Wine Co.

It’s only fifteen percent of a wandering menu, but the listings under “New Texas Smokehouse” at Clark Food & Wine in Dallas begged for a visit. It’s a chic new restaurant on Lower Greenville, a neighborhood that has been amping up its restaurant game of late. The meat-centric Blind Butcher

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 30, 2015

Nutter Buster BBQ

Lindsey Nutter and Brian “Buster” Rauschuber operate Nutter Buster BBQ from a trailer in a small dirt patch of a food truck park near 290 and MoPac in Austin. They sat in relative obscurity in Manchaca south of Austin for a year and a half, but a few months ago they scooted

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 23, 2015

Chuck’s Country Smoke House

If it weren’t for the big, red sign that reads “BBQ” out along FM 1970, I’d probably have passed Chuck’s Smoke House. It’s a few miles southwest of Carthage in East Texas, near the shores of Lake Murvaul. A metal bull mounted to the roof and hand painted lettering on

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 16, 2015

Terry Black’s Barbecue

It was big news when the Austin American Statesman announced fourteen months ago that Black’s Barbecue was opening an Austin branch. It looked like the Black barbecue family from Lockhart was expanding. Running the place would be twins Michael and Mark Black, nephews of Kent Black who manages

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 9, 2015

Hickory Hill BBQ

It was a phone call that brought me back out to Hickory Hill BBQ. It sits along a stretch of State Highway 31, right on the western edge of the East Texas pine curtain. I’d driven by it a few times, but always found it closed, then owner Kerry Shaw

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 19, 2014

Specht’s Store

In 1908, German immigrant William Specht bought some property outside Bulverde, Texas, about twenty miles north of San Antonio. He took over the operation of an existing store, and by the early twenties erected a building that, according to the Bulverde Standard, was originally a dance hall. Being

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 12, 2014

Stillwater Barbeque

With a history formed by ranching and railroads, Abilene sounds like a city destined to have good brisket. It was founded in 1883 after cattle ranchers and land speculators convinced the railroad to swing north of former county seat Buffalo Gap, and a new city was born. After the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 5, 2014

Triple J’s Smokehouse

The smokers were everywhere. Co-owner Rhonda Scales had led me through a swinging door into the kitchen where a hulking rotisserie pit was churning with tomorrow’s briskets. “We use all oak,” she told me as we walked out the back door. Split oak logs were piled around two more trailer-mounted

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 21, 2014

Baker’s Ribs – Houston

Two weeks after this review ran, Russell Roegels ended his franchise agreement with Baker’s Ribs and rebranded the business as Roegels Barbecue Co. Great barbecue at a chain restaurant? I was skeptical to say the least, but in Houston I stopped at the lone Baker’s Ribs location in town.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 14, 2014

Bet The House BBQ

Shawn Eagle and Cody Smithers opened a Denton barbecue joint in a strip mall with $5,000 from a Kickstarter campaign and a big dream. A week into running the business they shared with the local paper the desire to make the Texas Monthly Top 50 barbecue list. Five months

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 7, 2014

Mesquite Wood Bar-B-Q

I’d like to be able to say more about Mesquite Wood Bar-B-Q, but the items available from the smoker the day I stopped in didn’t allow for it. I stood perusing the menu on the small porch at the ordering window that faces Drake Street. A few blocks south the county

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 31, 2014

Ten 50 BBQ

Larry Lavine has been an accomplished restaurateur in Dallas for decades, but he’s best known for founding the Chili’s chain in the seventies. He sold the business thirty years ago, even before baby back ribs ever made it to the menu, and now he’s in the brisket game. After plenty of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 24, 2014

Avondale Station BBQ

I didn’t go looking for a barbecue theme as I drove around the rural roads northwest of Fort Worth, but I found plenty. It seems in the Azle/Rhome/Haslet part of the state that a barbecue joint can’t operate unless it has hand-cut fries (five out of five that I visited)

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 17, 2014

Come & Take It BBQ

Good barbecue in West Texas is about as common as an oak tree west of the Pecos River. Consequently, it was a revelation when we found Pody’s BBQ in Pecos a couple years back. When I first visited Pody’s back in 2012 it was brand new. A search

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 10, 2014

The Wooden Spoke

You’ve probably didn’t know there is an Oklahoma, Texas, but that’s where you’ll find The Wooden Spoke on a corner gravel lot along FM Road 2978. It’s officially in Magnolia, but the Oklahoma Cemetery and the Oklahoma Community Center are just a block away. Despite that, owner and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 3, 2014

Florida’s Kitchen

It’s just a mile or so off 190, the state highway that runs through Livingston, but Florida’s Kitchen feels like it’s way out in the country. I passed it on my way to visit Hitch-N-Post BBQ, a Texas Monthly top 5o barbecue joint, just another mile

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 26, 2014

Texas Smoke BBQ Co.

There’s something homey about a meal at Texas Smoke BBQ Co. in downtown Sanger. Owner and pitmaster Jay Coin prepares the barbecue plates back in the kitchen while his wife, Mindy, works the front of the house. They work together on the popular smoked meatloaf, and a table full of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 19, 2014

Double G Pit Stop

Just outside of downtown San Saba is Double G Pit Stop, a combination drive-thru beer barn and barbecue joint. You can get a drink any day, but for barbecue you’ll have to wait until the weekend. Owner and pitmaster Bobby Galindo only fires up the pits on Saturdays and Sundays, and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 12, 2014

David’s Barbecue

When I took the first bite from the towering chopped brisket sandwich at David’s Barbecue in Pantego, I thought this must be what Sonny Bryan’s used to taste like when it made it on everyone’s “best of” barbecue lists. You see, owner and pitmaster Jimmy Harris is part of the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 5, 2014

Southside BBQ

Cherokee sits in between San Saba and Llano in the Texas Hill Country. There aren’t many dining options in this town of a hundred seventy-five. A gas station has ready-made pizzas and there’s Southside BBQ on the weekends.Alva Zulauf and his wife Chris have operated a barbecue catering company for

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 29, 2014

Heavy’s Outdoor Bar-B-Que

The fire burns brightly in a brick pit out front of Heavy’s in Hondo. It’s a hulking brick pit built by the McBee family back when they opened this barbecue joint, and it’s prominent location on the front corner of the building, along with the smoke that pours out of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 22, 2014

Ray’s BBQ Shack

In a gas station just south of the University of Houston campus you’ll find some of the best fried catfish you’ll ever eat and some great barbecue to go along with it. The barbecue comes from the experienced hands of co-owner Ray Busch who has been serving smoked meat to the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 15, 2014

Naaman Championship BBQ

Darby Neaves wanted to be included in the page of Texas Monthly, and he knew that wouldn’t happen with a food truck set up in Arkansas, even if it was just ten miles north of the Red River in Ashdown. It was still worrisome moving his business into the city, but

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 8, 2014

FM Smoke House

FM Smoke House began with sous vide brisket and bacon grease injections. The owners of Holy Grail Pub in Plano had some success with inventive barbecue items at their weekend “Smoke Out” barbecue events, so they brought some of those ideas along when they branched out last year into Irving

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