On a busy avenue in southeast San Antonio, a line of vehicles—from pickups to Porsches—snakes out of the parking lot and onto the street. These pilgrims have come from all over for brisket with a spicy bark and a fine balance of smoky and beefy flavor that’s so tender it accordions open when you lift a slice. Pitmaster Ramos honed his skills at Austin’s La Barbecue but has brought his own style to 2M. One of his sausages is stuffed with serrano peppers and Oaxaca cheese, and the sides are similarly distinctive: pickled nopales, mac and cheese with chicharrones, and Mexican street corn.
City: San Antonio
Method: Post oak; offset smoker
Pitmaster: Esaul Ramos, 36
Pro-tip: Smoked beef cheek barbacoa is the special the first Sunday of the month.