BBQ Joint Reviews

Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ

May 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly

You could lose a lot of tire tread and a little bit of soul looking for good barbecue in East Texas. But if you should find yourself in Jasper, mosey down Main Street, past the modest houses and packs of free-range dogs, and make the acquaintance of George Ralph Mahathay,…

Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue

May 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly

A devastating fire in 2012 destroyed all but the thin brick facade of this joint, which faces Polk Street in downtown Jefferson. But once the flames were extinguished, owner and pitmaster Stephen Joseph started rebuilding, and seven months later he was christening the new Bewley smoker. The refurbished interior is…

Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q

May 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Ordering brisket is a reflexive action for most eaters of Texas barbecue. And at a joint like Buzzie’s, with a reputation for expertly smoked beef, it’s truly a no-brainer. Where your tough choices come into play at this Hill Country standby is farther down the menu. If for some crazy…

Hitch-N-Post BBQ

May 15, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Billy Ray Nelson is the former sheriff in these parts, but he had always dreamed of making real-deal barbecue his full-time gig once he retired. His wish came true four years ago, and boy, is that a good thing for the rest of us. Situated in a wide-open field on…

Cousin’s Bar-B-Q

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

With six locations—two of which are in the Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport—this family-run operation could be considered a chain now and, thus, not admissible for this list. But rules are made to be broken, especially when a plateful of expertly smoked meat is before you. We still like the original…

McMillan’s Bar-B-Q

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

The tiny town of Fannin is famous for exactly two things. The first is for being the site of the 1836 Battle of Coleto Creek during the Texas Revolution, where Texians under Colonel James W. Fannin surrendered to the Mexican army, only to be marched to Goliad and executed en…

Lockhart Smokehouse

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

The closest some Dallasites will get to a Central Texas barbecue experience could well be ordering meat by the pound at Lockhart Smokehouse. The similarity to Kreuz Market, in Lockhart, isn’t an accident. Co-owner Jill Bergus is part of the Schmidt family, who run Kreuz Market, and she and her…

Austin’s BBQ and Catering

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

If you’re in the market for brisket, be sure to get the fatty rather than the lean, and be sure they leave the crust on when cutting your order. We didn’t know to say anything on our first visit, and our brisket came out looking scalped. When the bark is on,…

Brooks’ Place

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Trent Brooks was working as a materials specialist for a gas-compression company when a supervisor, who knew of Brooks’s talent as a part-time pitmaster, referred him to an ad on Craigslist for a $12,000 mobile smoker. Brooks negotiated the price down to $4,500, and the rest, as they say, is…

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

A few months back Fargo’s moved out of its original building, a cramped place that lacked indoor seating—or outdoor seating, for that matter. Though the restaurant is now located just a few blocks from the first location, the large dining room, lined with big windows, feels miles away. One thing…

Miller’s Smokehouse

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

If Miller’s were in Austin, it might have started in a food truck. Instead, Dirk Miller began cooking in the front room of his meat-processing and taxidermy business, which opened in 2006. First came sausage wraps and pulled pork in 2008; he started “throwing briskets” on the smoker a year…

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

This place comes with rock-solid credentials: The pitmaster, Lance Kirkpatrick, worked under Bobby Mueller at Taylor’s Louie Mueller Barbecue for nine years. Following that, he briefly succumbed to the lure of a fine-dining kitchen, but last year Austin entrepreneur Shane Stiles beckoned Kirkpatrick to the pits once again. We’re grateful…

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Some people may be turned off by the description at the bottom of the Lamberts menu: “Fancy Barbecue?” But there are so many outstanding dishes at this establishment, we urge you to put preconceived notions out of your mind. Plus, the restaurant (we can’t bring ourselves to call it a…

La Barbecue

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

In this case, “La” is not a definite article referring to the “Cuisine Texicana” this relatively new joint says it serves; it’s an abbreviation referring to the first name of the co-owner LeAnn Mueller, granddaughter of the founder of Taylor’s famous Louie Mueller Barbecue (disclosure: LeAnn is a contributing photographer…

John Mueller Meat Co.

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

If there’s a dark prince of Texas barbecue, it’s probably John Mueller, the famously irascible, hugely talented, at times erratic master of meat who left his family’s legendary joint—Louie Mueller Barbecue, in Taylor—and set out on his own in 2001 with John Mueller’s B-B-Q, on Austin’s East Side. By 2003,…

Tyler’s Barbeque

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Our first visit to Tyler’s Barbeque was a failure. The staff was friendly and the food was great, particularly the tender brisket with its peppery crust and subtle smoke ring, but we arrived too late to try the pork ribs, whose praises were being sung all over the High Plains.

The Original Willie’s Bar-B-Q

May 14, 2013 By Texas Monthly

With rattlesnake skin tacked to the particleboard walls, wagon wheel chandeliers, and black-and-white-checked tablecloths, Willie’s aesthetic can be described Little House on the Prairie chic. This joint has a large menu that caters to local tastes (brisket tacos, fajita plates), and it was packed during the weekday lunch rush. Meats…

R&G Bar-B-Que

May 3, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

2011: When we arrived at about 2:00 in the afternoon, the place was empty. We grabbed a couple cans of High Life at $1.75 a piece, then settled down for a snack. The sausage link was well seasoned with plenty of smoke, but it was obvious that it had been…

John Mueller Meat Co.

Feb 5, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

You may remember last October when John Mueller was shut out of his well-regarded JMueller BBQ trailer on South First Street in Austin. He wasn’t happy about it, to say the least, but stayed quiet, plotting his return. That…

Pappy’s Bar BQ

Jan 11, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

If it’s been a long day of poor-quality smoked meat, then I start ordering dessert. If the meat is bad, then the sweet stuff is usually pretty good. I watched the knife man cut the brisket and it looked tough and springy, so I added a slice…

Johnny’s Bar-B-Q

Jan 10, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

The smoke was thick coming out of the Oyler smoker in the back of this joint, and the neon was bright over the door as we entered. Toward the back of the room was a long cafeteria style counter with the meats on display, but the bright…

Van’s Bar BQ

Jan 4, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

Van’s sits all alone along a long stretch of interstate between Corpus Christi and San Antonio. I had high hopes for this joint given the praise received from Texas Monthly in their 2008 Top 50 BBQ list, but little that they served on this day was worth…

Longhorn Cattle Company Barbecue and Steak Restaurant

Jan 4, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

I guess if you have mesquite grilled steaks on the menu in addition to the mesquite smoked barbecue, you feel the need to serve an amuse bouche. A steaming mug of their “world famous” pinto bean soup came to the table along with our drinks. The beans…

The Original Willie’s Bar-B-Q

Jan 4, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

They’ve got lots of meat options at Willie’s, and the longer we stood in the cafeteria line, the easier it was to convince myself to order them all. Well, I didn’t quite get them all, but I do admire that Willie’s will sell you any amount of…

McMillan’s Bar-B-Q

Jan 3, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

The sign outside reads “World Famous” and Louis McMillan won’t hesitate to tell you how good his barbecue is. He was about done for the day, so we admittedly got the tail end of the days offering, but this wasn’t praiseworthy. Sausage was barely warmed…

City Market (Luling)

Dec 13, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

There are many folks around the country that may have just been introduced to the existence of City Market, in Luling, earlier this year when Newsweek published their list of the “101 Best Places to Eat” around the world. I myself…

Baker’s Ribs

Sep 26, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

You may have been familiar with the Baker’s Ribs location in Deep Ellum. It stood for decades in a brick building on Commerce Street with a large pig painted on the side. They leased that building but were looking for a permanent home, so they…

Wilhite’s Barbeque

Sep 21, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Robert Wilhite is both mayor and resident pitmaster in Creedmoor. He runs one of the few restaurants in town, and I’d guess this is the best one. Don’t let the adjoining Valero station fool you into thinking this is some fly-by-night barbecue stand. Robert’s dad started this place back in…

Bob’s Bar-B-Que

Aug 20, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

This joint is a family affair run by the tight-lipped Bob Allen, his wife, and son. A steel wood-fired pit was hidden by a fence, and they weren’t willing to give us a tour. Bob assured us that “there’s no gas up on this hill.” It’s all hickory…

Pecan Lodge

Aug 3, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

You may have heard that this joint is getting a bit popular. While I may lament not being able to visit my go-to barbecue joint without braving a long line, I’m happy for the proprietors. Justin and Diane Fourton are friends in the barbecue world, and I’ve sought some bit…

JMueller BBQ – Closed

Jul 21, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Update: This joint is CLOSED. Pitmaster John Mueller was unceremoniously relieved of his duties by his sister LeAnn Mueller who owns the place. She has reopened with the new name La Barbecue. I’ll…

Louie Mueller Barbecue

Jul 20, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

In the words of owner Wayne Mueller, black pepper is a food group at Louie Mueller Barbecue, in Taylor. There isn’t a whole lot that it doesn’t go into, and its pervasiveness around the restaurant means it will find its way into unexpected places like your cup of…

Tyler’s Barbeque

Jun 12, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

I have a GUEST REVIEWER from the Lubbock area. I met Marshall Scott over a plate of brisket at Pecan Lodge. He’s been searching all over the Panhandle and West Texas for decent smoked meats with little success until landing on Tyler’s in Amarillo. I asked if he’d write a…

Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q

Jun 12, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

The original Buzzie’s burned down, so a newer building clad in stone and sitting off the main drag houses it now. The classic ordering process at the counter went smoothly and I was able to point directly to the crusty slices of beef that I preferred. As I…

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Statewide (Fort Worth)

Apr 24, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

This was my third, and best visit to the newest Cooper’s near the Fort Worth Stockyards. This is the newest in the Wootan empire, and it pays to get here early as well. Even at 11:00 the ‘Big Chop’ was starting to lose some of those juices. Fatty brisket edges…

Cooper’s Bar-B-Q & Grill (Junction)

Apr 24, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

The sign may claim that they’ve been smoking since 1953, but this joint opened in 1999. Current owner Mark Cooper is a grandson of George Cooper, so they’re sort for taking credit for a few decades of Cooper’s operation in Mason. The woodpiles and pits are just as impressive as…

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Statewide (Llano)

Apr 24, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

In 1962, Tommy Cooper was sent out by his father George to expand the Cooper’s BBQ business from Mason to Llano. Tommy sadly died in an accident in 1979 and the business was sold. It was sold again in 1986 to current owner Terry Wootan who has seen this Hill…

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Statewide (Mason)

Apr 24, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

This is the original. Started by George Cooper in 1953, but sold to Duard Dockal (who still runs it) in 1983. This is where the family traditions of cooking directly over mesquite coals and ordering straight from the pit were born. It was one of my favorites of mine and…

Pody’s BBQ

Apr 5, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Israel “Pody” Campos needed a new direction in life. He had been training police recruits in Austin before being laid off. He then decided to move back home to Pecos, buy a laundromat, and convert it into a barbecue joint. Open for just six months, Pody’s is an…

Heavy’s BBQ

Mar 31, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

The former McBee’s in Hondo has gotten a new lease on life. Heavy purchased the joint after moving back home from Austin where he had worked at Bert’s BBQ. He’s using the same methods of indirectly smoking with mesquite in the same brick pit…

Miller’s Smokehouse

Mar 28, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Dirk Miller knows his way around meat. He’s a deer processor, taxidermist, sausage maker and a master at the barbecue pit. Hidden a couple blocks down a side street in Belton you’ll find his small but expanding storefront. On the way there it’s hard to ignore the billboards…

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que

Mar 26, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

I’m not here to tell you that I’m an authority on barbacoa. I know enough about it to be dangerous, and I’ve eaten enough of it to know that what I ate at Vera’s was something special. The funny part is that the best place to get barbacoa…

Mumphord’s Place BBQ

Mar 24, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Barbecue south of San Antonio generally means indirectly smoked meats done with mesquite. As we walked up to Mumphord’s the smell coming from the screened in pit room at the back of the joint was unmistakably from direct heat BBQ. We started our visit right there with…

Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering

Mar 5, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

You won’t find it if you’re not looking for it. Hidden at a blind curve a good ways outside of town, and definitely not in view of the Interstate, Hays Co. Bar-B-Que has been flying under the radar. It didn’t help that they’ve already changed names since…

Vincek’s Smokehouse

Feb 22, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Between the deer processing, sausage making and meat smoking, Gary Vincek is a busy man. He is also a great host who showed us around the entire operation at this gem of a barbecue joint southwest of Houston. A couple of skinned deer legs peeking out…

Austin’s BBQ and Catering

Feb 20, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Only two BBQ joints in Texas have made it into Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ in 1997, 2003, and 2008 without being in the top 5. One is Schoepf’s in Belton and the other is Austin’s in Eagle Lake. I’ve had this one on my…

Maywald’s Sisterdale Smokehouse

Feb 12, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

In 2007, John Maywald had a restaurant building that he couldn’t lease out, and he was more than skeptical about using it to run his own place. After nearly four years of sitting vacant, he decided along with his spouse and some friends to fish rather than cut…

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

Feb 5, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Austin has traditionally been a jumping off point for barbecue trips to famous towns like Lockhart, Luling, Taylor, and Llano. Great barbecue seems to surround Austin, but the city has been getting a reputation of its own as a barbecue destination. Some have even started…

Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Que

Feb 1, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

This is a tiny joint in a small town with a compact patio and a tight parking situation. I was momentarily trapped between another car and a sleeping dog in the narrow drive that leads past the smoker to the gravel road behind the joint. Orders are taken…

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Jan 27, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

Most professional food critics will make at least three visits to a restaurant before completing a review or issuing a star rating. Given the miles that I travel (without a traveling budget) in search of smoked meats around Texas, I don’t get this luxury. I routinely provide…