BBQ Joint Reviews

Gatlin’s BBQ & Catering

Jan 6, 2012 By Daniel Vaughn

It was the end of a long day. My friends Nick and Clark had stayed with me bite for bite through six other barbecue joints and we were on our way to Houston to eat at this mightily heralded joint in northwest Houston…

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que

Dec 6, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

I’ve often thought that the Salt Lick is a joint that serves very respectable smoked meat, and is vastly overrated at the same time. The wait for a table on this sprawling campus of barbecue can exceed and hour, but no worries as you can enjoy drinks…

Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que

Oct 18, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

A large pickup truck whizzed along Lamar St. (State Highway 70) in Sweetwater while we sat in the parking lot of Big Boy’s enjoying some smoked meats while my newborn son ate in the backseat. The scene was only worth a glance until a State Highway patrolman followed…

Franklin Barbecue

Sep 13, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

The music was blaring, and my regard for the speed limit was waning. I’d just finished a hearty breakfast of brisket and brisket at Snow’s in Lexington, and I was racing time to get a spot in line at Franklin Barbecue on a Saturday morning. I’d heard from the Twitterverse…

Smoke

Aug 22, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

Smoke had a revamping of their menu some time ago. Out with the market-style by-the-pound barbecue menu and in with more innovative, if not traditional plates of smoked meat. The lunch and dinner menus both feature these smoked meats in different combinations. For lunch, pulled pork and andouille share a…

Meshack’s Bar-B-Que

Apr 2, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

Travis Mayes, the pitmaster at Meshack’s, poked his head out through the side door to ask when he’d get his fifth star. He knows the power that his barbecue has over the locals, and he was feeling his oats today. No wonder with all of the accolades, long…

Lockhart Smokehouse

Mar 26, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

It’s good people, and it’s $15-per-pound good too. Three visits over the last three weeks have confirmed it. Brisket has morphed from very good to nearly perfect over those past three visits since my last review. The sausage just keeps getting better too, although it’s not quite to…

Kreuz Market

Feb 11, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

Two years ago, I took a road trip with two friends and stopped at ten joints in a single day. Our final stop was Kreuz, and it did not disappoint. I was hoping to strike gold on this trip where Kreuz was again the tenth stop on a…

Prause Meat Market

Jan 26, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

A pork roll sounds like a school cafeteria main course that’s been chopped, pressed, and processed. It’s much better than that when executed by the pitmaster at Prause Meat Market. A whole pork shoulder is deboned then wrapped and tied in a roll before smoking. On this visit I…

City Meat Market

Jan 22, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

You may remember from the first review that City Meat Market, in Giddings, makes their own sausage for the market as well as providing it to Snow’s. After trying it at Snow’,s we wanted a good comparison of not only the sausage but the brisket as well. I…

Pecan Lodge

Jan 1, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

After a nearly two-month hiatus (that felt like years to some barbecue fanatics) Pecan Lodge is back up and running. Justin and Diane Fourton have a wide menu of Southern food favorites so they weren’t exactly closed, but there’s no doubt that a celebration was warranted. A banner exclaiming “BBQ…

Snow’s BBQ

Dec 20, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

After driving three hours from Dallas to arrive in Lexington at nine in the morning, it’s hard not to suffer some validation bias no matter what you sink your teeth into. But it helps when it’s perfectly smoked and silky tender brisket. I invited a friend on a…

Big Daddy’s Roadhouse BBQ

Dec 10, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

I was in the neighborhood, which doesn’t happen often when speaking of Lavon, Texas, and I was hoping for the best since my visit to the much heralded Big Daddy’s just two years ago left much to be desired. Both fatty and lean brisket are listed on…

Opie’s Barbecue

Nov 25, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

Making it past the new sign outside, I entered into the dining room where I ordered a half rack of the sweet and spicy baby backs, a chunk of brisket, and some jalapeno cheese sausage. The sausage had great spice and flavor. The meat was incredibly moist with…

Black’s Barbecue

Nov 11, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

This was the morning where instead of discovering another great barbecue joint in Texas, Smokemaster1 and I were taking my friend Rob to the heart of barbecue country to find out what all the fuss was about. A stop at Chisholm Trail for excellent sausage and brisket but no…

Smitty’s Market

Nov 9, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

Smitty’s is just too good to dock it a star based on one mediocre visit, but this last one wasn’t up to the level I’m used to at Smitty’s. [After some poignant review of the last few visits, I must reconsider the high rating of five stars. Of…

Franklin Barbecue

Oct 30, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

Just before the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival, I met up with John Morthland at Franklin Barbecue to talk barbecue and get some breakfast. I knew I’d be stuffing myself silly in an hour or so, but I can’t rightly pass a chance to get some of Aaron Franklin’s brisket when I’m…

Opie’s Barbeque

Sep 20, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: Here’s the winning entry for the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival ticket giveaway. Jacob Reach offers this great review of Opie’s. The nice thing about making a BBQ trip with a lot of friends is that everyone will end up ordering something different, and with bartering you…

Bartley’s Bar-B-Q

Sep 3, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

I needed to go back to Bartley’s in Grapevine to clear up a misunderstanding. In my D Magazine article on the Best BBQ in DFW, I stated that Bartley’s used oak in their smokers, but a few commenters noted that they use hickory. I had to get it from…

Hutchins BBQ

Aug 20, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

Update: This joint has recovered from their fire and are now open for business. Being able to see your meat being chopped, sliced, and portioned can really improve your meal if you know what to ask for. After ordering up a three-meat combo of ribs, sausage, and sliced brisket at Hutchins,…

Leon’s World’s Finest In & Out Bar-B-Que

Aug 5, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

Traveling down I-45 into Galveston, the road quickly turns from interstate into Broadway. Just a few blocks after is a small wood sided building that could be mistaken for a house if not for the sign out front that claims not only Texas’s finest BBQ, but “World’s…

Virgie’s Bar-B-Que

Jul 10, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

Update: This joint had a fire on 03/11/11, but they have reopened and are back in business.   BBQ Snob: “Who is your hot link supplier?” Virgie: “That’s my secret. Are you folks food critics or something?” BBQ Snob: “That’s our secret.” This…

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

May 17, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

City Market (Luling)

May 16, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

The Smokehouse

Mar 4, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Franklin Barbecue

Mar 1, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

New Zion Bar-B-Q

Feb 16, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Two Bros. BBQ Market

Feb 15, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

Jan 23, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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,…

Franklin Barbecue

Jan 1, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Two Bros. BBQ Market

Jan 1, 2010 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Cousin’s Bar-B-Q

Oct 2, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Casstevens Cash & Carry

Sep 26, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Hashknife on the Chisholm

Aug 11, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Country Tavern

Jul 16, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

Jul 1, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Longoria’s BBQ

Jun 22, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Black’s Barbecue

May 16, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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.

City Meat Market

May 16, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Prause Meat Market

May 16, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Kreuz Market

May 14, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Baby J’s Bar-B-Que & Fish

May 14, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

Sweet Baby J’s may be a more appropriate name for this joint. The sauce was sweet, the greens were nearly candied, and the tea was downright syrupy. Even cut with half a glass of unsweet tea, this was liquid sugar that required a water chaser. The meats…

Gonzales Food Market

Apr 7, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ

Apr 2, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

Mar 31, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Smitty’s Market

Jan 17, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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.

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que

Jan 16, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Mann’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Jan 8, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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…

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Jan 1, 2009 By Daniel Vaughn

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,…

Bubba’s Bar-B-Q

Nov 4, 2008 By Daniel Vaughn

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…