Chris Wilkins

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texasBBQ

Poll: What are your top 5 Texas BBQ joints?

A father and son wait to order at a Texas barbecue joint. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) It’s hard to say what’s a more emotional subject for Texans, barbecue or politics. Over the years we’ve tried to keep the Posse blog free of partisan politics, there are plenty of other places on the web where you can endlessly argue that subject. But when it comes the BBQ, strong loyalties and opinions have been shared between writers and readers on the Posse blog over the past five years. Nothing gets BBQ fanatics going like a list of the “top” BBQ joints…
 - 03/05/2014
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The Posse Shows a Tolerant Side: Rethinking the ‘No-Sides’ Rule at Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells

Jim and Jan Worsham opened Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells in early February. (Photos @Daniel Goncalves & Chris Wilkins) Editor’s note: Bull Hollar BBQ is now closed. By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse A few days ago, I disagreed with fellow Posse member Gary Jacobson, who said we might have been wrong in the past for condemning gas-fired smokers. Call me an extremist, but I say the only way to cook fine barbecue is with wood. There’s no need to revisit that argument. I’m right. Gary’s wrong. Fin de conversación. However, as we discovered on a recent North Texas tour, the…
 - 03/03/2014
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Soft on gassers? Not so says Posse member Bruce Tomaso…..

Snow’s BBQ pit boss Tootsie Tomanetz tends the pits as the sun rises over Lexington. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse Gary Jacobson is a friend of mine. He’s a gifted writer, an extraordinary journalist with a sharp wit and a sharper mind. And he knows his barbecue. He’s been riding with the Posse longer than just about any of us. So it pains me to say this: On the subject of gas-fired smokers, Gary Jacobson is full of gas. A few days ago, he wrote on this blog that “perhaps we have mellowed a bit”…
 - 03/01/2014
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See the photos: Lockhart Smokehouse Plano is open for business

Lockhart Smokehouse’s second location is near the corner of 15th & K Streets in old downtown Plano. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) February 12, 2014, may go down in history as the day great barbecue finally came to Plano. In the past, if you wanted good BBQ and lived in Plano, you had to drive to either south to downtown Dallas or north to McKinney. Sad but true for a city of 272,000. Then Lockhart Smokehouse came to town…… The Posse first met the Lockhart crew when we snuck into the original location in Oak Cliff before they opened in…
 - 02/14/2014
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Check out our Heart of Texas BBQ Tour story in today’s Dallas Morning News

Here’s the lede page from our Heart of Texas BBQ Tour story in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News Travel section. This was the Posse’s 14th barbecue tour since we started following the smoke in November 2009. The Heart of Texas BBQ Tour covered 318 miles over ten hours on a recent Friday. Chick here to see the online package from the tour on dallasnews.com, including Gary Jacobson’s story, a slideshow featuring our four tour stops and a video by original Posse member David Guzman. Heart of Texas BBQ Tour 9am:  Leave Dallas 10:30am:  Wright’s Bar-B-Q, 123 Martin Luther King Jr Hwy…
 - 09/01/2013
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Here’s a new installment of our “BBQ is” pitmasters portrait project

Ben Washington, Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Que, Marlin.  (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) Posse member Daniel Goncalves is back with the next installment of his “BBQ is” pitmaster portrait series. The Dallas-based editorial and commercial photographer has been photographing top pitmasters around the state with a Fuji Instax 210 instant film camera. Sixty seconds later the Polaroid is dry and Daniel has each pitmaster fill in the blank with a sharpie on their portrait, “BBQ is ________.” With this project, Daniel continues to raise the creative bar for both the Posse and Texas BBQ photography. Click here to see our first blog post featuring his…
 - 08/28/2013
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Back for more: BBQ Signs of our Times

Marshall’s BBQ, Garland, Texas. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) BBQ Signs of our Times is back once again,with more memorable signs from our last trip to Central Texas on the Heart of Texas BBQ Tour and other Posse stops over the past couple of months. This blog post number eight of classic BBQ signs. You can use the search box in the upper right of the Posse blog homepage if you’d like to see some other sign posts, just search “BBQ Signs of Our Times”. If you happen to see a great sign while you’re out on the Texas BBQ Trail, please…
 - 08/09/2013
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Here’s how you can beat the long lines at Pecan Lodge in Dallas

The legendary Trough at Pecan Lodge, with a side of mac & cheese. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We just got this note from Diane and Justin Fourton, owners of Pecan Lodge, detailing some big changes at one of the great BBQ joints in Texas: Dear Friends, Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that we’ve been working on a few things to help make it easier for those coming down to eat with us. Starting today, we are happy to announce that the following options are now available: 1. A second cash register has…
 - 08/01/2013
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Posse favorites: The Jambo Texan sandwich at Jambo’s BBQ Shack

The Jambo Texan sandwich at Jambo’s BBQ Shack in Rendon. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Every now and then you run into something so uniquely Texan that you stop in pure amazement. This is the case with pitmaster Jamie Geer’s Jambo Texan sandwich at Jambo’s BBQ Shack in Rendon. The Posse hit Jambo’s in force during their first week of business and was quite impressed. It wasn’t surprising. Jamie not only builds what many consider to be the best BBQ smoker the in the world, the Lamborghini-esque Jambo pit, but he is also a veteran pitmaster on the competition BBQ…
 - 07/24/2013
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Success brings a new smoker to Pecan Lodge in Dallas, say hello to “Big Rick”

Pitmaster Justin Fourton shows off his new smoker Big Rick at Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Philip Lamb) Posse member Phil Lamb checks in with Pecan Lodge pitmaster Justin Fourton at Texas Monthly’s “Behind the Pit Dinner” event on Wednesday night.  Phil writes: We’ve known for a while that Pecan Lodge offers some of the best smoked meats around, but its status as an elite BBQ joint was solidified when it was awarded a tie for the No. 2 spot on Texas Monthly’s “Top 50” BBQ list. Now the lines at Pecan Lodge, which were already plenty long, frequently require “Lovers of…
 - 07/19/2013
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Mac’s Bar-B-Que of Dallas makes a surprise visit on Men’s Journal Top 10 Texas BBQ list

Brisket Frito Pie at Mac’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Another day, another Top 10 Texas BBQ list. It’s gotten to the point where every publication, whether they’ve ever actually ever stepped foot in the state, is coming out with their own top 10 Texas BBQ list. Outside of Texas Monthly and the Posse’s recent Best of Texas BBQ rankings, I pretty much ignore all the often silly lists coming out these days. However, I couldn’t resist the temptation to open a link this weekend from Men’s Journal, trumpeting “EXPERT ADVICE: Daniel Vaughn’s Top 10 BBQ Joints…
 - 06/23/2013
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From the Posse’s view, Pecan Lodge holds all the cards in negotiations with Dallas Farmers Market

Meats on the smoker at Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmers Market. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Posse member and Dallas Morning News assistant metro editor Bruce Tomaso gives us more details on the sweeping changes at the Dallas Farmers Market and how that might affect Pecan Lodge’s decision on moving to a new location. OK, let’s be honest: In the $64 million makeover of the Dallas Farmers Market, there’s only one thing that barbecue aficionados care about: What’s gonna happen to Pecan Lodge? That’s the $64,000 question. Our two-cent answer: No one knows. Owners Diane and Justin Fourton have…
 - 06/21/2013
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Photo essay of Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, by the Posse’s Daniel Goncalves

Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, newcomer on the Texas Monthly Top 50 list. (Photos ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) Here’s another great set of images from Dallas-based editorial and commercial photographer Daniel Goncalves, who joined up with the Posse early this year after moving to Dallas with wife Magda in late 2012. Daniel is helping us document the current DFW 7 BBQ Tour, where we are hitting all seven area BBQ joints from the Texas Monthly Top 50 list, each during lunch time on consecutive days. We’ve previously published several series of his classic pitmaster portraits, which is an ongoing project for Daniel. Click…
 - 06/08/2013
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Posse visits Texas Monthly’s “DFW 7” top BBQ joints this week

After Texas Monthly announced their Top 50 BBQ list in mid-May, we thought one of the biggest surprises was the inclusion of seven DFW-area barbecue restaurants on the list. The last Texas Monthly list in 2008 had three places in DFW: Baker’s Ribs in Dallas, Cousin’s Barbecue in Ft. Worth and Big Daddy’s Roadhouse BBQ in Lavon. Cousin’s is the only holdover on the new list. As a group, we have been numerous times to Pecan Lodge, Lockhart Smokehouse, Longoria’s BBQ and Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Shack. However, we’ve never visited Bartley’s BBQ, Cousin’s Barbecue or Hutchins BBQ on a BBQ tour. Thus planning…
 - 06/02/2013
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Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ first timers – Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton

Brisket sits on the pit at Miller’s Smokehouse. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You never forget your first time. That applies to visiting great barbecue joints as well. Our first trip 14 months ago to Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton was one of those unforgettable journeys. The visit was so inspiring that I couldn’t wait to get home and write about Miller’s. The lede was as follows: “Every now and then you hit the motherlode on the Texas BBQ trail. For every 20 mediocre BBQ joints, there’s one good one. For every 50 good ones, there’s one great one. You can add…
 - 05/23/2013
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Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ first timers – Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue in Jefferson

The opening spread to Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ list. (Photos by Wyatt McSpadden/Texas Monthly) During the past four years, we’ve eaten a lot of great barbecue and met an equal number of notable folks running BBQ joints around the state. A meal is almost always followed by a pit tour while swapping tales about the Texas BBQ trail. They always have a story to tell. At some point the conversation almost always turns to Texas Monthly magazine and the holy grail of endorsements, their Top 50 BBQ list. Faces would light up at the possibility of landing on the…
 - 05/22/2013
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True confessions of a BBQ vegan

Wearing my favorite BBQ t-shirt from Stanley’s while dining at our favorite vegan joint, The Loving Hut in Addison. I’ve been a blogger for the past ten years, writing mainly about photojournalism and barbecue. I even helped start the now-defunct Dallas Morning News fantasy football blog in the early 2000’s. Because I have a confession to make, this may be the toughest post I’ve ever had to write. For six long weeks in February and March of this year, I walked in the shoes of the enemy. The co-founder of the Texas BBQ Posse became a vegan. I’m the same guy who…
 - 05/07/2013
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The Barbecue Chronicles: Austin is the new Lockhart BBQ Tour

       The Texas BBQ Posse dives into a spread of sausage, brisket, ribs and turkey at La Barbecue in Austin. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) Story by Gary Jacobson It would be easy to get carried away by what’s happening in Austin barbecue. Amid a fertile startup environment, young pitmasters are creating a smoked-meat renaissance, using only wood-fired pits and adopting old-school ways to cook for a new generation. A case could even be made that Austin has replaced Lockhart as the capital of Texas barbecue. We’ll leave that big-think stuff for another time. This is a story about…
 - 05/07/2013
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Today in the Dallas Morning News: The BBQ Posse’s Austin BBQ Tour

Here’s a look at our Austin BBQ Tour story in today’s Dallas Morning News travel section. This is the Posse’s second installment from the Texas BBQ trail in the DMN this year. Our Best of Texas BBQ project was published in early March. The tour grew out of a growing suspicion that Austin might be quickly replacing Lockhart as the state’s barbecue capital. And nothing we experienced on that day disproved the theory, every stop on the tour was nothing short of sensational. Click here to see the story, slideshow and video links on the DMN Travel section of dallasnews.com. Also, you can join us…
 - 04/28/2013
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See the photos from the Posse’s Austin BBQ Tour – The Fantastic Mr. Fox strikes again

Dallas Morning News staff photographer Tom Fox at work on the Austin BBQ Tour. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) When you’re on the road with the Texas BBQ Posse, it’s kind of like being in the middle of a media storm. The Posse is mainly made up of Dallas Morning News writers, editors, photojournalists and their friends. Yes, we have been accused before of being the BBQ paparazzi. On the recent Austin BBQ Tour we had nine journalists and artists in the group, including five photographers. One of those was award-winning DMN staff photographer Tom Fox. Tom has captured numerous…
 - 04/27/2013
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The Posse’s Austin BBQ Tour: Is Austin poised to overtake Lockhart as the barbecue capital of Texas?

Stops on the Austin BBQ Tour, clockwise from top left: John Mueller Meat Co., Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue and Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew. (Photos by Tom Fox/DMN) The Dallas Morning News just posted Gary Jacobson’s story on our recent Austin BBQ Tour on both dallasnews.com and the DMN iPad app. The print story will appear on the in the newspaper’s travel section on Sunday. This may have been the best single day of barbecue we’ve ever had on tour, sampling four meats from each joint visited. As a collective group, the brisket, ribs, sausage and turkey from La Barbecue,…
 - 04/27/2013
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BBQ is….. A photo project by Posse member Daniel Goncalves

Lance Kirkpatrick, pitmaster at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) Here’s a sneak peek at the beginning of an extraordinary photo project by Dallas-based editorial and commercial photographer Daniel Goncalves. As most of you know by now, the Posse is a pretty creative group, made up of Dallas Morning News photojournalists, writers, editors and their friends. With this project, Daniel has raised the creative bar for the Posse. Daniel writes about the concept: I love people as much as I love food. The Posse has introduced me to great people and incredible BBQ. While on tour I’ve been…
 - 04/22/2013
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Sneak peek at our Austin BBQ Tour

Lunch no. 1 at Franklin Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The Posse was wheels up from Dallas early this morning to check out the growing Austin barbecue scene, which we believe could be overtaking Lockhart as the capital of Texas BBQ. This trip was a chance to test that theory. Stay tuned to the Texas BBQ Posse blog for stories and snippets from the trip. Our reporting will culminate at the end of April with a story in The Dallas Morning News and multimedia on dallasnews.com. Here’s the trip itinerary: Austin BBQ Tour 6:30am: Leave Dallas 9:30am: Franklin Barbecue,…
 - 04/17/2013
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First visit to Opie’s Barbecue in Spicewood

Opie’s Barbecue in Spicewood had been on the “must visit” list for a while. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The timing could have been better for my first visit to Opie’s Barbecue in Spicewood. I was following a hungry Easter crowd, arriving at 2 p.m. and there wasn’t a lot of meat left in the large black warming pit that greets you as you walk in the front door. This joint has been on the Posse’s “must visit” list for a while, but unfortunately Spicewood is a little off the beaten path. They’ve been named a Texas Monthly Top 50…
 - 04/10/2013
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Catching up with pitmaster Travis Mayes at Meshack’s Bar-Be-Que Shack in Garland

The Tuesday lunch crowd at MeShack’s Bar-Be-Que Shack in Garland. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) It had been too long, so I went out to visit old BBQ friends in Garland on Tuesday. Travis and Donna Mayes opened the now legendary Meshack’s Bar-Be-Que Shack in May 2009. They led the way to a renaissance of Dallas barbecue that has been exhilarating, including the opening of Pecan Lodge and Lockhart Smokehouse. New joints continue to open in the D/FW area almost monthly now, some good, some bad. BBQ snob Daniel Vaughn put MeShack’s on the map in late 2009, giving them…
 - 04/03/2013

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