Back in the old days (that is, before April 3, 2024), Convenience West was merely one of the best barbecue joints in Texas—at least according to the 2021 Texas Monthly “50 Best” list. But then came the announcement of the five James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Restaurant” finalists, and Convenience West officially became one of the best establishments in the country. So get there early. It’s only open Friday and Saturday, from 5 p.m. until the food runs out. You order at a window from the hand-drawn menu (meat by the pound or half pound and sides by the container, plus tacos and tortas). The offerings change (some days they don’t have  brisket) but we were happy with a stupendous beef rib that looked like something out of The Flintstones, under a massive, black, crunchy pepper crust. We had to tear it apart with our bare hands. The pork ribs were tiny in comparison, but equally tender, their crust sweet. Most barbecued chicken tastes like liquid smoke—this one tastes of real smoke, perfectly balanced, the meat moist, the skin just right. We only went to the house sauce for recreational dipping—it was tangy and sweet and we swore there was a dash of bourbon in there. Our favorite side was the kale salad (our table expert thought the greens had been massaged to tenderize them and had a hint of pickled red onion). The blue cornbread is one of the most popular things on the menu, thanks to (a) its buttery taste, (b) its crunchy texture, and (c) the ribbons of blue running through the yellow, which reminds us of the colors of the world out here in the Trans-Pecos. From ordering to eating at picnic tables on the back patio under the big far-west Texas sky, the whole Convenience West experience feels like a movie—or a dream. Only in Marfa.