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California

Maple Block Meat Co.

Sep 16, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

It’s my job to travel this great country—and parts outside Texas—looking for notable barbecue joints. But searching for good brisket in California can feel like waiting for a cool September day in Texas: both exist, but mainly in theory. After making my way through a solid Southern California itinerary…

Interview: Lolis Elie

Aug 19, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Author: Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country Age: 52 In the mid-nineties, Lolis Elie and photographer Frank Stewart travelled around the country eating barbecue for the book Smokestack Lightning. There aren’t many books as influential to my writing about barbecue than Smokestack. Sharing…

Interview: Kevin Bludso of Bludso’s BBQ

Aug 5, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Owner/Pitmaster: Bludso’s BBQ; Opened 2008 Age: 50 Smoker: Steel offset smoker and gas-fired rotisserie smoker Wood: Red oak, pecan, apple, and mesquite charcoal Kevin Bludso’s roots are in Compton, but he earned his barbecue chops in Corsicana, Texas. His great aunt, Willie Mae Fields, ran a semi-legal barbecue business at a…

Santa Maria BBQ Restaurants

Jun 3, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Santa Maria style barbecue is probably the least familiar of any barbecue style in the country, especially for those outside California. That’s likely due to how hyper-regional the menu and the fuel are, but also how limited its representation is outside the Santa Maria area. Even three hours in either direction,…

California’s Native Barbecue

Jun 2, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

California is known for a lot of things—sunshine, wine, earthquakes—but its barbecue scene isn’t one of them. Which isn’t to say they don’t have it at all. There are, of course, the smattering of “Texas-style” and “Louisville-style” and all the other ex-patriate homages to various barbecue iterations. But California has…

Totally Smoked in the Golden State

Nov 18, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

Texas seems to export our barbecue styles as far and wide as our natural gas. Earlier this year I noted how often the aesthetic of meat on butcher paper, a decidedly Texas design is imitated on both coasts (and a few places in between). But as anyone who has…