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Barbecue History

Mapping Texas Barbecue History

Mar 7, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

When it comes to Texas barbecue’s roots, Central Texas meat markets get all the glory. The German and Czech immigrants who built the fires at Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Southside Market in Elgin, and Prause Meat Market in La Grange were indeed barbecue pioneers, but their stories are often elevated because those…

Interview: Earnest Griffith Sr. of Back Country Bar-B-Q

Sep 19, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Pitmaster: Back Country Bar-B-Que; Opened 1975 Age: 62 Smoker: Wood-Fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Hickory Earnest Griffith Sr. has been cooking barbecue in Dallas for 42 years. He started in downtown Dallas in 1970, when the area was teeming with workers in need of lunch. This was before the days of the downtown…

The Transformation of Southside Market

Feb 16, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Southside Market in Elgin opened its doors in 1886, making it Texas’s oldest barbecue joint. Predictably, it has transformed considerably in its 130-year history. The original ownership, location, menu—even the famous sausage recipe—have all changed over that time. But this is not a story about eroding traditions. Southside Market stands as…

The Legend of Southside Market

Feb 9, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Origin stories are often hard to trace. And those of century-old restaurants—especially ones where ownership has changed hands a few times—are particularly difficult to pinpoint. People’s institutional memory literally dies off, and unless someone is fervidly passionate about keeping records (which, when a place is struggling to stay afloat in the notoriously fickle restaurant…

Spareribs for Texas

Jan 13, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Memphis has the baby back rib. Chicago has rib tips. St. Louis even has a style of ribs named after its fair city. But spareribs are what you’ll get in Texas when “ribs” alone are listed on the menu. For the most part, we find baby backs too dainty, Chicago-style too wanting,…

John Lewis Jr.’s BBQ Roots

Oct 20, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Rummaging through your family genealogy can be dicey. The history could be upsetting (just ask Ben Affleck), but you also might be able to confirm some royal bloodlines. And for Austin’s John Lewis Jr., what he and his father discovered was even more rewarding than any monarch. The man who built…

How Southern Barbecue got to Texas

Aug 4, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

This past Fourth of July weekend, Michael Twitty detailed the often-forgot influence of enslaved Africans on barbecue in the U.S. in his article in The Guardian. “At best, our ancestors are seen as mindless cooking machines who prepared the meat under strict white supervision, if at all; at worst, barbecue…